How to become an app creating entrepreneur.. in 700 days or less.

Fry from Futurama?I was on the back porch feeding my 6 month old boy, when I came up with a fantastic, new technology idea to help get children get out of the house, but I never realized how difficult a start-up can be on your own.

There are lots of ‘How to create your own app’ articles on blogging sites and found via Twitter. Here’s my experience with launching a new app business over the last 2 years.

I’ve been searching for a new technology idea for over 10 years. Since I’ve been working with computers for 30+ years, and I have an engineering background, I’ve always been on the lookout for the next greatest idea, as I love creating and I love technology, and I’ve had a pretty good knack for predicting the future of technology.

I have a business plan, with a rusty staple, that I wrote in 2000 for a company like I didn’t follow through on that dream, as I had no self-confidence in finding backers or partners. In 2001, I started a company to create software for the niche market of mega-yachts. There is incredible money to be made there, and they were sorely missing a way to organize all the business processes on board. We had an angel investor interested in setting us up with an office on the water. My partner ended up leaving me behind on that one, and we didn’t have any contracts signed…. definitely learned from that mistake, but I’m happy that my partner made it a success, and its still operating today. I was also asked to be a 50/50 partner in an architectural firm, but I didn’t want to live in Florida.

What have I learned in the past 30 months from this experience?.. An incredible wealth of information about “What not to do”, and “What works”.  I know many VC’s and Angel’s, that are clients for my home technology business, Technical Visionaries. I’m glad that  that I’ve never approached them about investing. If I had been given the money for the start-up early on, I would have been amiss about being able to solve a problem, should the app be immediately successful, but then full into a rut. I’ve created this new business from the ground up with minimal expenses and minimal help. I’m glad I started in the trenches, as I know how to prepare for the snags that come with launching an app company.

Have you ever tried to learn how to social market on your own? Its daunting, frustrating and requires lots of reading to educate yourself on the intricacies of this new style of marketing.

I’m very envious of the college students who are creating their start-ups  Chances are your college roommate or best friend is a programmer, another one is a business major, and you are a computer science major. These young teams have the time and resources to create something amazing, but without the funds that are needed by most starting entrepreneurs. Funding is required to launch the product, but at least they have a polished product to present to possible investors.

1st lesson for my readers. Keep your blog posts reasonably short, as a lot of readers will become dis-enchanted at the sight of a really long story.

Please come back tomorrow for Part 2.

In Part 2, I’ll finish up and discuss what I’ve learned about marketing, looking for funding and finding experienced programmers and business partners.

Cheers, Steve.

Disclaimer: All posts are based upon my perceptions. If any of the parties in the post have a different viewpoint, please contact me or comment below. These are just my thoughts and memories.


About steve@genzplay

Based in Sonoma Valley, California, GenZplay was founded in August 2011 by Steve Calhoun to make video games a physically active part of his son’s outdoor life. The company is focused on integrating gaming mechanics with everyday activities, especially those that need a mixture of fun and adventure to motivate and inspire. Follow GenZPlay at or Twitter @genzplay.

Posted on April 16, 2013, in Personal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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