Free iPhone app development, design and hosting!

That got your attention didn't it? Yes, you've found the only iPhone app developer on the internet who will prototype your design, create the visuals, develop the website, backend database, web services (for push notifications) and handle search engine optimisation. Heck, you can even use my $99 Apple Developer Program registration to get it published!

You've probably thought long and hard about your app idea and you reckon it can make you a lot of money, but you don't know how to develop software and that's where I come in. The software part is the easy bit, right?

Hey, perhaps you'd like to stay at my house rent free while I develop your software too? It'll be nice and quiet so you can carry on thinking about your idea in peace because my wife will have left me due to never seeing my face while I'm working 120 hours a week on other people’s ideas, unpaid.

If you want company it won't be long before the phone starts to ring off the hook with the bank calling to ask why the mortgage has not been paid. You see, while I'm working on your idea I won't be paying my mortgage because (you might want to sit down here), I'm not rich and I don't have caviar and salmon washed down with a bottle of Bollinger as the starter to a six course meal hand prepared by my faithful staff each evening. I don’t have a super hero cloak that magically protects me from the economy.

OK, in case you've not got it yet, I'm being sarcastic. I reckon most people reading this will understand that I need to make money and perhaps think I'm exaggerating about the 2-3 emails I get each day asking for cheap / free / sweat equity shared app development. I'm not joking, really, some of these are downright rude and they are not 'a friend of a friend told me' stories, they happen to me every day.

The emails / calls I get must be in the Outlook template list under 'I have an idea but no money', they seem to be run through a Bayesian filter first as they vary a little, but not by much. There are a few types of email / surreal conversation I generally get.

  • We are a charity, that's great, but I'm not! I can't tell the bank to hold off on the mortgage because I'm working on charity projects can I? Well I could, but they wouldn't listen and would promptly kick me out. I've no problem with charities but I just can't afford to work for free.
  • I've got a great idea but I don't want to tell you in case you steal it, how much to develop it? Hmm, let me nip into my time machine, ask my future self how much I should charge for the project they just developed, write down the cost, come back and then wipe my mind so I don't infringe your intellectual property. Or shall I say anywhere between £3,000 and £90,000 and you get all smart with me because you think I'm being cheeky!
  • I've got a great idea, it's going to make loads of money, sign this NDA before I'll talk to you and by the way, I have no money so can you do it for free / cheap / a tiny share? Um, for all the reasons above and many more, NO! If your idea is so good and guaranteed to succeed then mortgage your house, sell your car, Xbox etc., after all, the risk is minimal and you'll be able to buy a bigger house or car in six months. It's not like the idea won't work is it?
  • The very rare 'I've got an idea, how much to develop, that sounds fair' email. Not seen in the wild very often but is often sent from someone in the industry (web or software) who has a clue. I like these ones, keep 'em coming.

Perhaps they think software is easy. If so then why does most of it crash, look awful, not install and fail to meet basic customer expectations? Here's a clue, because it's not easy and the software that does fail on a regular basis has probably been developed by someone who thought software development isn't hard.

Or perhaps they think all of the hard work has been done on the extensive design documents (you know, the back of the cereal packet they scribbled on, but can't find it now, maybe it's in the bin with their other ideas).

I've been involved in sweat equity arrangements before and I know why they mostly don't work. It's because the other party has not committed anything apart from their 'great idea', after all that's the hard bit (so they think). I ended up developing systems to the value of £10,000 - £20,000 in my spare time, if I quit then I've lost six months of my life, if the partner quits then they have usually lost nothing. I’ve learned lessons, painful ones.

If you can find anyone who will develop, design the visuals, set up the web services, hosting and maintain support, let me know. I've got so many 'sales' leads I could put their way that they'll end up making a bigger loss than Bernie Madoff!

You can't believe how hard it has been to not swear during this tirade, but it's great to get it off my chest. Guess I'll ask Jeeves to warm the Bentley up, I fancy a tour round the estate after all this writing. Nah, sod it, I'll go rustic and use the Range Rover.

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Ryan O'Neill

Mostly about tech, working for myself and my thoughts.

Ludlow, Shropshire, UK