Teen duo find apps lucrative
A pair of Garin College students with a knack for the digital and an eye on the future have made thousands from creating apps, and they are only just getting started.
Callum McMenamin and Jack Greenhill, both 15, have set up their own web and app design company Cynergetic.
Jack taught himself a few simple programming languages in his spare time by watching YouTube, and decided it would be fun to try to make an iPhone app.
Dissatisfied with the low quality and high prices of existing word processor apps in the store, he spent about two months creating Documentation, a simple text editor, and released it into Apple's App Store for $1.29.
After several months of strong sales, he had made about $5000 from the app, with its popularity soon propelling it to sixth place in the App Store charts in Spain, Portugal and Taiwan, he said.
But from that peak, sales died off, and Jack said he thought the app's life was nearing its end. Overall about 5000 people bought the app.
At the same time, Jack was teaching Callum how to program his own apps.
In a week's frenzied coding, the pair created Blockness, a simple Space Invaders-style game where players destroy crudely designed block enemies, using the iPhone's built-in accelerometer to move their own block.
To create the game's sound effects Callum recorded himself tapping glasses of water filled at various levels. The game has had about 200 downloads so far.
The pair are currently contracted to build the website for Ethical Mall, an e-commerce site for buying and selling ethically-made products.
Once they have finished that, they will begin work on version 3.0 of Documentation.
But Jack said making iPhone apps was a risky way to do business, as you could spend months creating an app that no-one wanted.
Callum agreed. "You either fail or you do really, really well. There's a real contrast between successful and unsuccessful, there's no middle ground."
A more viable business strategy was to take contracts to develop apps, rather than coming up with your own ideas, he said.
For those planning to try their hand at app development, Jack recommended spending time learning a programming language.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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