Why Outsourcing iPhone Apps was a No-Brainer for Us


Writing my very first blog post ever! Pat has been doing an awesome job so far designing all of our sites and keeping the blogs updated. I think it’s time I put in a few words as the other and only team member of LOLer Apps.

It seems so long ago that we came up with the idea for our first iPhone app while golfing on a beautiful sunny San Diego day. So we thought we had this great idea for an iPhone app, but now what? Pat is an architect / internet marketing expert and I’m a software developer of 10 years. Sounds perfect right? I would develop the applications and Pat would lead the way in marketing. We had a different plan though.

This was around the time I had just finished the book The 4-Hour Workweek By Timothy Ferriss and I had been inspired. The part about outsourcing your life and living anywhere in the world really struck a chord with me. Here is a little excerpt taken from the book about outsourcing your life that is really interesting.

With this in mind, outsourcing the development of our application was the only way to go. I was not at all familiar with Objective-C, iPhone’s programming language, so it would have taken some time to learn. Sure I could pick up a book, read a tutorial and try to get the hang of it, but I knew that it would take me 2 to 3 times as long to finish an application as opposed to hiring someone who was already familiar with the language. There would be hours wasted on forums trying to figure out a little quirk of the language that would have been cakewalk in Java or PHP. It’s nice to learn new programming languages but frankly I don’t feel like it is worth my time anymore when I can hire someone on Elance from across the world for a fraction of the price. So that is what we did. We posted our application on Elance, picked a developer and got our first LOLer Apps project, iPopIt! started.

Aside from the application development we also outsourced all of our graphic designs to a really great artist we found on 99designs.com. We are also preparing to outsource our marketing needs (more on that later). We feel that no matter how awesome you think you are at something, there will usually be someone out there more qualified, more experienced and more than happy to do the task at a cheaper per hour rate than what your time is worth. With that in mind we were able to outsource all of our needs and work on 3 LOLer Apps applications at once, and that is not considering the other individual projects that both Pat and I have going.

Currently, I am addicted to outsourcing. I love being a project manager and how cool is it to say that you have people doing work for you around the clock in Pakistan, China, Indonesia, and Minsk, Belarus. It allows me to work on so many different projects at the same time and gives me the freedom to work when I want, where I want. I don’t know about you guys but working 8 hours a day for someone else’s company really drained the creative juices out of me. Now that I’m on my own I find myself thinking of new and creative ideas all the time! So what are you waiting for? Have a great idea? There are people around the world that are waiting to make it happen for you. Just remember to check out Pat’s 10 outsourcing tips before you start.

As always, comments are welcome :mrgreen:

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44 Responses to “Why Outsourcing iPhone Apps was a No-Brainer for Us”

  1. Dennis G. says:

    Interesting post on an awesome business model. It allows you to focus on strengths and have fun. Can’t ask for anything more.

    Good Luck!

  2. Min says:

    Good post. I wanted to start my own iphone application soon, but the task of learning everything seemed much out of my league. I think it is a great idea to outsource your projects. I might research the same idea for my own.

  3. pfincome says:

    Great job on your first post ever! I have been a long time reader of Pat’s – Smart Passive Income blog and am glad to hear from the other half of the LOLer Apps brain trust!

    I know what you mean about having your creativity sucked out of you. I am a 9 year veteran as a developer and feel bogged down in my career. I hope to transition within the next few years to be on my own and will be using outsourcing to get there.

    Great job!

  4. quocbui says:

    Thanks for the nice comments guys! Good luck starting your outsourcing projects and let us know if you ever have any questions.

  5. MattjDrake says:

    Awesome post – I’ve outsourced some projects myself, but I am still very reluctant to do so for iPhone programming. I have some kind of mental block when it comes to that.

    But, I thought you may be interested in an eBook that I reviewed a few weeks back. It is called “Inside Secrets to an iPhone App” written by Carla White. It is essentially the story of how she designed and developed her iPhone app (Gratitude Journal) on a shoestring budget. She details the entire process + her app is currently #12 on the lifestyle category so her book is definitely worth a read if you are thinking of going in the direction of outsourcing your iPhone app.

    I wrote a review of her book here if you want some more information:


  6. Joe says:

    I have yet to use 99design.com but look forward to use it one of these days. As a web/graphic designer I would feel somewhat bad for using it when I could design something myself but want to try it out nonetheless!

  7. Paul says:

    Great post…. its the same for SEO services too!

  8. C says:

    Question is what is stopping them from taking your idea and having it for sale on their own? And what type of procedures should be taken place to ensure the protection of the person with the idea? Especially when international laws and standards are involved.

  9. Vasile says:

    I’d like to respond to a few questions related to iPhone software development outsourcing. If you go to a company like Mobile Touch (http://mobiletouchit.com), you will find out that they do ONLY iPhone projects, and they have the experience and expertise necessary to implement just about anything iPhone related.

    If you are concerned with the safety of your idea, you do just what you do in any other software development business (and not only there): before you start talking about your project, sign an NDA with them. I’m in this business for quite some time, and I never heard of a development company breaking the terms of an NDA.

    You know your project best, and you are most likely the best qualified person to build a business around it. And with the App Store becoming more and more a crowded place, good marketing and support start to count again, just as in any software market.

  10. Definitely look into an NDA form when outsourcing your iPhone app idea. Its really easy and basic legal language but it can protect you in the future from having your developer making your idea, get paid, then submit it to the app store before you do. Its too easy to not to have your developer sign one!

  11. Ryan Wang says:

    Nice post, and right up our alley. Thanks for the info, I am on the way to check out the sites you mention like Elance ao I can post my company info there. Yes, my company, Bluefir, does outsource work, i.e. we are one of those firms in China (probably the only one at this juncture) that can do what you need done, easier, cheaper, faster when it comes to phone apps. We are doing design AND coding for iPhone and Android, a combination that isn’t found elsewhere to my knowledge. We have a team of about 10 qualified young professionals now, and growing. So if you want to put us to work, we are happy to hear from you. Thanks!

    Ryan, support@bluefir.cn

  12. Mike l says:

    Hello, I was wondering if I was to find someone to build my APP and lets say that there were over sea’s, what happens when there done building it for me? How do I see the work? How do I get all the information to Apple to try to get in the APPstore. My concern is what happens when my APP is done. I have the Idea for the APP, I pay someone to build it and then what? Thanks, MIke

  13. Mike l says:

    Hello, I was wondering if I was to find someone to build my APP and lets say that there were over sea’s, what happens when there done building it for me? How do I see the work? How do I get all the information to Apple to try to get in the APPstore. My concern is what happens when my APP is done. I have the Idea for the APP, I pay someone to build it and then what? Thanks, MIke mlbaa@aol.com

  14. m65 says:

    As a iphone developer, I find a ton of fun and lucrative app projects to work on there. Its free to get quotes and all the developers are prescreened

  15. Alan says:

    Great post. Please don’t forgetNewAppIdea.com (https://www.newappidea.com). We are a community where people with creative new app ideas but no programming skills can meet and hire expert app developers (both domestic and international developers).

    There’s no cost for App Idea People or App Developers to become members of the NewAppIdea.com community. App Idea People simply post their app ideas, App Developers bid on the opportunity to develop those ideas, and users can pick and choose which App Developer they want to hire to create their apps.

    The NewAppIdea.com Team
    New App Idea | App Idea Development
    (follow us on Twitter @newappidea)

  16. Carolina Rodriguez says:

    Thanks for the information.. we are looking for outsourcing companies to develop our first project, however we have found it extremely frustrating … can you please recommend us with good company or individual that may be able to help

  17. zee says:

    I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!

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    Thank you very much for your help, this site has been a great reprieve from the books,

  19. BJ says:

    We are a team for outsourcing all your iphone app freely, wish you guys mail to me

  20. Dave Jackson says:

    Interesting post – I think you end up with something you can start with, at least. Then when you want to polish, at least you have an app to work with. Costs go up when you lack the planning involved to make it flow. Dave

  21. Boaz-Bagbag says:

    This a great written post on the topic.


  22. Ron Davies says:

    I am a developer and I am now travelling the world, and have attempting to write my own iphone app in Objective C. Love the 4 hour week idea and I have now decided to go the outsourcing route so this blog is perfect for me. The stuff about NDA is really useful advice, and i will be following your progress regularly. Thanks for posting guys!

    Ron Davies

  23. this site is cool, i like it!

  24. Just want to add some more pointers for IPR protection:

    1. Sign an NDA before Sharing the requirements.
    2. Do sign an agreement or contract as per the terms, costs agreed.
    3. Do put a clause regarding IPR protection, source code rights, and pertinent things.

    As a mobile apps development company, we suggest and sign all these terms and documents with our customers for mutual interest and trust; since most of our customers are in the US only and we’ve our dev center in India (a delivery office in NJ as well) so good contracts keep mutual interests safe.

    Should you require any format, sample agreements for the same then don’t hesitate and write me at sales at agicent dot com, and we can also discuss other pertinent things.

    Should you have any app idea and looking for developers, do write me at the same email ID and I’ll revert to that asap.

    Btw, Nice article, and an encouragement for outsourcing companies like us; but please note that there are many scam artists in the market as well, and also individual developers, who don’t take accountability of the work they do, they can disappear in the mid as well because they don’t bother about their image, but companies do. No offenses to good ones, so be thoughtful and particular when choosing a vendor (be that offshore or domestic), the rule applies to all.

    Best Regards

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  32. Karl says:

    This is great! I am doing the same thing now, just found a good programmer after a couple of failed attempts but they are out there. Hopefully it all turns out great but I agree that its a lot of fun to be a project manager!

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  34. These are great tips for outsourcing your iPhone app development. When you take into account that you can cut your cost drastically by using offshore companies, this is definitively something that everyone should consider.

  35. thien says:

    i have an idea for very addictted gameboard for iphone and android. How do you protect your intellectual rights from outsourcing software developer ?

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  41. VOZAX says:

    Great to read your post about your outsourcing experience. I saw lot of people wanted to to get their app developed or thinking to start one , well here i present my company VOZAX. We are also developing smartphone apps for the clients around the world.We use cross-platform development tools so the app we develop for Iphone will also work for android and windows mobile . It is the win-win situation for our current and future clients that they can get an app for 3 different platforms in the cost of ONE…
    Email us anytime for a free quote : support@vozax.com..
    Don’t forget to mention lolerapps.com in your email…


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