Read as Gregg Weiss talks about his career as an IOS App Developer. Find Gregg at www.bluewhaleapps.com and on his Twitter feed in the sidebar of this interview.
What do you do for a living?
I am the CEO and Founder of Blue Whale Apps, a mobile app development company.
I wear many hats as a small business owner including Business Development, Sales, Marketing, Project Management, HR Dept, and “App Development Consultant”.
What does your work entail?
Primary I am speaking with potential clients who would like to create iOS or Android apps, either for business or as an entrepreneurial app endeavor.
What’s a typical work week like?
Typical Work Week.
I usually have up to 3 or 4 calls scheduled per day that are “consults” so to speak with entrepreneurs and businesses that want to develop apps. These are people that have either called in to the office or submitted an inquiry via our website.
The rest of my day is spent putting together proposals, keeping tabs on existing projects by checking in with my Project Manager, developers and designers. A few times a week I am testing a particular app when it’s ready to be shipped to a Client and going through our bug tracking system.
Other days I might be interviewing a potential hire or evaluating a product or service that we may want to partner with or use. I also keep a close eye on our traffic and lead volume, reviewing our Google Analytics and search rankings.
How did you get started?
I held several jobs at software development companies as well as worked for AOL in NYC before relocating to South Florida in 2004 and starting Blue Whale. For the first few years Blue Whale was a web design/dev shop. When the iPhone and App Store took shape 4 years ago, I immediately knew mobile app development was the direction I wanted to take the company in. We have been developing iPhone, iPad and Android apps ever since.
What do you like about what you do?
I love the entrepreneurial aspect of running your own company and being able to jump on new and exciting business opportunities and technologies. I love helping businesses develop a mobile strategy and presence that adds value.
What do you dislike?
I dislike telling people that they have unrealistic expectations of what they can afford based on their budget.
How do you make money/or how are you compensated?
We offer mobile app development professional services.
How much money do Mobile App Developers make?
How much money did/do you make starting out?
Starting a business bootstrapping from zero takes time and you have to be prepared to make nothing when starting out.
What education, schooling, or skills are needed to do this?
Do what, start a business or be a developer? To run a business I don’t think you need any schooling per se. You can learn by trial and error. As long as you have a business head and you are willing to take risks and most importantly, learn from your mistakes, those are the most important skills.
What is most challenging about what you do?
As a small business owner, it is sometimes challenging to wear all of the “hats” you need to on a given day – Biz Dev, Sales, Human Resources Manager, Project Manager, Marketing and PR, Tester and gofer to Office Max to get ink.
What is most rewarding?
It’s rewarding to develop apps and see them live in the store with great ratings and know that what you had a hand in making has then affected someone else in a positive way. We released an iPad app called Speech Therapy for Apraxia that has great reviews and is consistently in the Top 25 Medical iPad apps. This is an app that can actually help kids with speech issues. That’s comforting and rewarding.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
Learn everything about the industry you can and become an expert. Sometimes you need to learn by doing, not learn by having someone teach you.
How much time off do you get/take?
Ha! I try to take at least a week or two a year, mostly in the summer when the kids are out of school. As a business owner it is much more difficult to get away from your work. You can just tune out and put an auto-responder on like you would if you were working for someone else. On the flip side of that I don’t have to ask for time off from anyone.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
That I want to hear about their great “app idea”!
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
Retire in 10 years a millionaire + and leave behind a legacy.
What else would you like people to know about your job/career?
Really, your app idea is not that great. Ideas are a dime a dozen, it’s the execution and marketing of your app idea that will make it and you successful.