Free The Apps: How To Outsource Effectively Posted by jhaynam | Published on February 20, 2012 http://www.entrepreneur-stories.com We are Quoc Bui and Michael Moon. We’re your typical “Two guys in a garage start a business” (http://www.elance.com/p/two-guys-in-a-garage-build-a-business-with-elance.html) . We got into apps in 2009 at the age of 26. The difference between us and the rest of developers is that we didn’t program any of our apps. We outsourced them all, and before we knew it… we had created a viable $80k/month business (http://mixergy.com/free-apps-interview/). Instead of spending months learning Objective C to develop apps ourselves, we did what any efficient entrepreneurs would do, we hired someone to build them for us. The idea to outsource our business was the single smartest decision we made. Since then, we’ve been living the 4-hour work week lifestyle and traveling the world. Quoc gave his time to medical missions in developing southeast Asian countries and Michael and him continued to grow their business working virtually with one another. Give a brief business overview – what does your company do? We make useful iPhone apps and give them away for free. How did you come up with the idea for FreeTheApps? Back when we started in 2009, there weren’t any good free apps out there. The most common model was the full/lite model. Not the freemium model that you see dominating today. All the free apps were just limited versions of their paid counterparts. When you were first starting out, how did you market the company? Cross promotion has definitely been the most powerful tool for us. We are actually working on creating a public SDK so people can join our network of 40 million downloads. It will not only help others, it will help us too. Cross promotion is powerful in that the success of one app can pull the rest up and keep the rest of your apps from falling off the charts. Visibility is the most important thing in the app store. Was it difficult to communicate with programmers since you had no programming experience when you first started out? Not difficult at all. If there is a big language barrier, then you should find another team to work with. Communication is very important. We always start out with a wire-frame when outsourcing our projects. It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated. Sometimes we even write it out on a notepad with a pencil and take a picture of it. It’s that simple. What are a few of the most important things you’ve learned on your quick rise to success? Cross promotion is the most effective and useful tool in app marketing. If you don’t have your own network, you can probably find a few other developers in forums to join up with. Cross promotion helps everyone. It’s Win-Win! One of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. How do you find new opportunities for apps? How do you find the problems that your apps solve? There is no secret. We started in photography because we use photography apps. At the time of our first app, there wasn’t a simple and good cropping app so we made one. If you have a great idea and you see that it’s already been done, that shouldn’t be discouragement. We see that as a good thing. It means that a market for you idea exists. You have the advantage because you can learn from the mistakes of the current apps out there that are similar to your idea. Read reviews of your competitors and see what users have to say. If you could go back and do anything differently, what would it be? Getting started sooner! What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs? Execute. Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis. Get it done and add all the bells and whistles after. You’ll make money, get feedback, and be able to release an update that will only improve your app and show your user’s that you’re listening.