Tag Archives: #countusdown

Podcast: An Entrepreneurial Strategy for Selling a Company

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Jordon Bryant of ChambersDS just published this podcast with Steve Miller, who built a multi-million dollar software business and sold it in 2009 and retired. After being retired for several years and traveling the world, Steve is now creating mobile apps in between time he spends golfing, boating, cycling and keeping fit.

Ways To Listen To This Episode

About Steve Miller

The guest for this podcast is Steve Miller, an entrepreneur who built the multi-million dollar Pragmatic software and sold it to AutomatedQA, which is now SmartBear Software, in 2009. He has over 24 years of experience in software development, project management, and software architecture.

Here are the highlights of the conversation with Steve:
  • 1:23 : Steve gives us a peak in his consulting days with Microsoft and how this influenced him in forming his previous company, Pragmatic Software.
  • 3:21 : The solutions, features and benefits of their software, and the pivots they had made to fully develop their company including branding and building up clients to make the business viable. These strategies resulted to winning awards and, in turn, made them more attractive to other companies.
  • 06:16 : How they ended up being acquired by creating strategic partnerships and pre-planning integrations with other vendors with products complimentary to theirs. We also discuss the value exchange that happens during cross promotions and partnerships, not only in terms of revenue, but also when it comes to building relationships.
  • 08:46 : We dig into how he came up with a SMART exit strategy and how he ensured that this buyout plan came into fruition. Steve shares the timelines, starting out by identifying the list of companies which would be a good fit, narrowing them down, reaching out to form a relationship to those which remained as potential candidates and finally achieving the goal of being acquired.
  • 12:07 : Steve explains what a buyout earn out is, as well as the things that companies are looking for before doing acquisitions. He adds that they are not just interested in the product but also, they are interested on what you will bring into the table. As someone who knows your product well, they would look at you to be there to support the transition initially. He also shared pay out terms during their buyout and how they exceeded revenue targets which resulted to bonuses.
  • 14:04 : What Steve is currently doing with his free time including travelling, exploring his hobbies, and finally deciding to enter the mobile app development world.
  • 15:10 : His amusing story of how losing his iPad spurred his genius and resulted to his first app creation, aMemoryJog. He also talks about how travel can change perspectives and about his long term plans.
  • 18:41 : The structures Steve had in place when he started working with aMemoryJog starting from looking at the competitive landscape, creating a business plan after his analysis, and documenting his processes along the way.
  • 23:53 : Apart from looking at the App Store, Steve also shared his other validation techniques such as having the app reviewed with friends and family and leveraging on his network.
  • 25:21 : How detailing his specifications helped him in landing a good price and using oDesk and Elance services for his app development needs. Steve also shares advice to people seeking development.
  • 27:57 : Steve’s other marketing efforts including reaching out to bloggers to tap them to become beta testers in different silos to get feedback. He also shares how he plans to reach out to them using a template with a YouTube video and how he tracks response rates.
  • 36:10 : Other key take aways that Steve had learned from his first app that he will be applying for the second: driving social virality through sharing capability and establishing good PR.

Rapid Fire Questions

  • Would you put more emphasis on the idea or the execution? How would you weigh each of them why?
    • Everybody has an idea for an app so for me it’s 10% idea, 90% execution.
  • What is your biggest learning lesson on your journey so far?
    • It’s good to localize but you can localize too early.
  • What is your favorite business book?
  • What is your favorite app?
  • What is the coolest thing that you are working on right now that you want everyone to know about?

Links From The Episode

Connect With Our Guest

aMemoryJog - Best Password Manager for iPhone

Cost Savings for your first app

Ways to Save a few Bucks

As a subscriber to this blog, you probably know that my wife and I retired early and develop mobile apps in our spare time. When retiring early, you will have lots of years to live on your savings so it is fun to find ways to cut costs.

In today’s blog, I have curated a few articles that show you how to save a few dollars with very little sacrifice and spotlights a soon-to-be early retiree.

Saving on your Cellular Bill

Our family has 4 iPhones and the monthly cost of service has been $250 with AT&T. This provided unlimited talk and text and 10 gb of data. We’ve been on a mission to lower our monthly cost and finally found a solution. AT&T has pre-paid plans that are much less expensive. The one we have chosen is the $30 per month plan. It provides unlimited talk and text but does not have a data plan. In other words, you can only use the internet if you are connected to WiFi, but that lower our costs from $250 a month to $120 a month.

If not having a data plan is a deal breaker for you, another option is the $45 per month plan. It provides unlimited talk, text and data, so you can use the internet while connected to cellular or WiFi. It provides fast speeds for up to 1 gb per month then slows the cellular connection speed down to 128 kb once you hit the 1 gb for the month. Checking our usage, I never hit 1 gb a month anyways, so it is a good plan for us.  With this plan, we can reduce our costs from $250 per month to $180 per month.

aMemoryJog - Best Password Manager for iPhone

Since we already use AT&T, we can keep our own phones and the pre-paid plan is a month-to-month plan with no long term commitment. Learn more here: https://www.att.com/shop/wireless/plans/prepaidplans.html.

If you have an Android phone, another option would be Republic Wireless. With this plan, it connects to the data plan via roaming WiFi signals and will connect to a cellular tower when a local WiFi signal is not present. The cost varies but they advertise that you can get coverage for about $14.95 per month (see https://republicwireless.com/plans/). Our only issue with this plan was that coverage is not nearly as good as with AT&T, so you may be giving up access to phone service in specific areas. They do have an online coverage map that shows you coverage for the areas you live and will visit.

Related article: 5 Budgeting Tips for September

Online Coupons

We tend to purchase items online and look for promotion code coupons to make purchasing items cheaper. It is sometimes tricky to find a coupon for a specific item, but a browser plug-in called Honey really helps.

honey review - logo

Our friends over at Budgets Are Sexy wrote a great article that explains how Honey works, see that article here: http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2015/07/save-money-using-honey-browser-extension/.

Related article: 5 Budgeting Tips for September

Mr. and Mrs. 1500

It’s always great to meet people with similar interests. We recently met a couple that goes by the name of Mr. and Mrs. 1500. They are inspiring couple that have a goal of retiring at 43 years old. In 2013, they started a blog called 1500 Days to Freedom and publicized that they would retire in 1,500 days from then. Starting with a portfolio of less than $600,000, their goal was to amass 1 million dollars in 1,500 days (ending in 2017).

On their website, they chronicle their journey and transparently post each month how they are progressing towards their goal. As of today (July 25, 2015), they have already reached $1,000,000 and are now working on paying off their house so that when they retire in a couple of years, they will be totally debt free.

My wife and I recently had a beer with Mr. and Mrs. 1500 and got to know them better. They are truly and inspiring couple.  Learn More: http://www.1500days.com/

Our Apps

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Count Us Down App: Status as of 10-July-2015

Thanks for being a loyal follower of the 2HourAppreneur blog. As you probably know, we are developing a new app and we will be providing monthly updates as we progress with the development of the new app and let you know once the app is ready for the first round of beta testing.

If you want to sign up for the beta team, you can do it here: http://www.CountUsDown.com. If you are interested in how that might benefit you, read this article.

Current Status of the Count Us Down App

Currently, we are making great progress on the development of the app. We plan to have 2 formal beta releases:

  • Beta 1 – This will have the basic features of the app. We will be soliciting feedback on colors, design, and ease-of-use. We expect to be in Beta 1 by the end of summer.
  • Beta 2 – This release will have sharing capabilities built into the app. You will be able to create an event and share it with others. We expect to be in Beta 2 sometime in the fall.

#CountUsDown Website

We just finished the first iteration of the Count Us Down website, it would be great to get your feedback: http://www.CountUsDown.com.

Specifically:

  1. What do you think of the colors of the website?
  2. Can you easily understand what the app does by viewing the website?
  3. What do you think of the logo (top left area of the page)?
  4. Are we missing anything on the website that is important to know?

CountUsDownWebsite

Related article: How to Build a Product Website for your App

#CountUsDown Movie Trailer

We just finished the first iteration of the Count Us Down Youtube video, it would be great to get your feedback:

Specifically:

  1. Is the video too short, too long, or just right?
  2. Can you easily understand what the app does by viewing the video?
  3. Are we missing anything in the video that is important to know?

Related article: How to Build a Product Website for your App

#CountUsDown Screen Shots

Here are some screen shots from the app. Please review the screen shots and let us know what you think about them (any feedback is helpful).

AllEvents Baby Concert Superbowl Vacation Wedding

Ever wonder what it would be like see an app being developed?

We are working hard on a new mobile app that will work on both the iPhone and Android devices and would like your help!

What is the new app?

It is a friend-sharing app that allows you to countdown and celebrate your life’s big events. It’s called Count Us Down.

How is the app used?

Weddings: Imagine you are planning a wedding and would like to share the big date with your friends and family. Simply open up the app, add your wedding date, share it with your friends and now all your friends can count down the days with you!

Travel: Let’s say you are planning a vacation with friends and/or family. Add your vacation date, share it with your travel mates and you all share in the anticipation of counting down the days until your fun trip.

Baby on the Way: If you’re pregnant and want to share the baby’s arrival with friends and family, you can have them count down to the arrival of your bundle of joy.

Sporting Events: Imagine counting down to the Superbowl, World Series, the Stanley Cup finals, NBA finals or the Women’s World Cup!

You get the Picture: Any event coming up (retirement, soldier coming home from deployment, concert, family reunion, class reunion) — count down and share the excitement!

aMemoryJog - Best Password Manager for iPhone

How can you help?

We are in the development stages of the app now and will soon be testing our first release of the app. We plan to have 2 formal beta releases, the first will have basic features and the 2nd will have sharing features.

We are looking for about 100 beta testers (we currently have about 25 signed up). As a beta tester you will:

  • Download the app and ensure it works as it should on your device (iPhone, iPad or Android)
  • Give us candid feedback on colors, features, and ease-of-use.
  • Give us suggestions for future versions of the app.

What’s in it for you?

  • Get a free copy of the app once it is in the app store.
  • Get exposure to how an app is developed and tested.
  • Brag to your friends that you helped test an app that is used world-wide.
  • Nab Karma points for helping us out (we will also give you a shout out in an upcoming blog).

Sign up for the Beta:

Sign up here: http://www.CountUsDown.com 

Movie Trailer

We just finished our first YouTube movie for the app, let us know what you think of it:

Screen Shots

Here are some screen shots of the app, let us know what you think:

Baby Concert Superbowl Vacation WeddingAllEvents

Sign up for the Beta:

Sign up here: http://www.CountUsDown.com 

Related article: How to Build a Product Website for your App