• Two Guys in a Garage Build a Business with Elance

    Elance invites us to share our story.

    Sure, I could tell you about the 165,000 different expert professionals there are on Elance, or how businesses and entrepreneurs everyday on Elance are getting started, but in reality, seeing it in action is a whole different experience. Quoc Bui and Michael Moon, founders of Free the Apps, stop by and share their story, strategies and experiences in a multi-part blog series.

    How is it possible that two 26 year old guys can start and maintain an $800,000 a year business with limited resources and only a few hours a week?? If you had asked me that question in early 2009 I would have thought it was an impossible task, but just one year later my best friend Michael and I are living the dream as founders of Free the Apps! That dream was made possible by not only Apple’s iPhone and the app store, but also and how easy they have made it to outsource all aspects of our business.

    Last summer, we were hanging out and talking about the insane amount of revenue indie developers were generating through the Apple iTunes App Store. Being tech-geeks who love the latest technology, we talked about how cool it would be to release our own app in the App Store. The thought of creating an app and making it available for the world to use was enough to get us started. Making a few bucks off it was merely an afterthought, let alone creating a real life-changing business out of it. We got really excited to make it happen, but realized that we didn’t have any iPhone app programming experience. So instead of spending months learning Objective C to develop apps ourselves, we did what any efficient entrepreneurs would do, we hired someone to build it for us! The idea to outsource our business was the single smartest decision we made.

    With Elance, we’ve been able to research all of our outsourcing options and pick the team that is best for our projects. There are thousands of extremely talented professionals all over the world that are excited to work with us at a price that keeps our overhead costs low, and we’ve been able to leverage their talents to build quality apps for our users. Not only have we used the experts at Elance to develop our apps, but we’ve outsourced all aspects of our business. We hired them to design our website and SEO. Our eBook, “How to Make iPhone Apps With No Programming Experience” had the cover design, in-page formatting, and proofreading done by a professional from Elance as well. As I am writing this article, there are iPhone app developers from China, Russia, India and America, all working on our newest projects. Elance and the wonderful, top-notch providers have made this possible.

    By hiring on Elance, we’ve generated over 18 million downloads across more than 20 applications in the iTunes App Store in less than a year and a half, have been mentioned in the New York Times, and have significantly cut the number of hours worked per week. If we had decided to do it all ourselves, we would have released three to five applications at most, while having spent countless hours learning, troubleshooting, and debugging them. Outsourcing was definitely a no brainer for what we wanted to do and achieve. I quit my 8-5 job back in March 2009 and have not looked back since. With outsourcing I am no longer limited by what I can do with my own hands, but what creative ideas I can think of next.

    In our upcoming posts, we’ll talk about our success in the iTunes App Store without programming, detail our best practices for outsourcing, and tell readers how to create a steady passive income stream from home.

    About the Author:
    Quoc Bui and Michael Moon grew up together in San Diego, California. These young entrepreneurs are best friends from high school and have used the power of outsourcing through to start multiple iPhone App companies including Free the Apps, Hipposoft, and Pici Apps all in the span of a year and a half.

    • Karissa

      Wow! Congrats! How do you monetize your apps, since they are free? How long and how much did it take before you were in the black?


    • Greg

      Nice work lads!

      Got a great idea and definitely need your help to get it to the top, so let’s talk.



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