Building oSnap with Steve P Young

How to Make an App


In this Episode, Chris and David are joined by fellow podcaster and mobile app publisher Steve P Young.  Over almost an hour, we chat about setting goals, going out solo and the journey of oSnap.  Listen in as we discuss:

  • Failure
  • Masterminds (yes – again – go join one already)
  • A Lovefest between our podcasts
  • Leaving Corporate America and falling on your face
  • Connection to Kissmetrics
  • oSnap Development Story
  • Steve’s Experience with hate mail from Medium post
  • Freemium vs Paid
  • When to charge for your app (awesome insight!)
  • Reaching out to the press and tricks for finding interested journalists

[Tweet “”If you can only make $1 on in-apps – just charge for your app” – @stevepyoung”]


  • Affordable Dev  a complete mobile development agency with developers and designers that will bring your project to life.  Mention the #ABP for 20% off of your next project.  For a limited time – Affordable Dev is offering free ASO consultations with an ASO professional with every new project.

Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode


Chris: Hi and welcome to another episode of the App Business Podcast. As always joined by David Pfahler. Hey David, whats up man?

David: Hi everybody.

Chris: And we have a special guest today, actually this was, Steve P Young was supposed to be a guest, coz were talking maybe 3 months ago. And we didn’t have our stuff, do our act together enough so we are joined today by Steve P Young P. Young, the host of Mobile App Chat. I’m sure a lot of you guys know him. And were gonna talk about his bunch of stuff and his new app, OSnap. Steve P Young, what’s up man?

Steve P Young: What’s up Chris? I finally arrive.

Chris: You’ve made it man, you’re on the App Business Podcast. You have made it. Just coz we thought it would be fun, we also promised to read 5 star reviews. And we also appreciate it but we also wanna do it in front of Steve P Young just to show how awesome we are. We have been leaving out the United Kingdom in our reading of reviews so for everyone on the Big Island, we really appreciate it. Here’s one for Mr. Bean, “A fantastic podcast, incredibly informative and well put together.” That’s our intro music I’m sure. “Full of hot tips for the new and experienced mobile developers, marketers, you need this on your subscribe list.” So thank you Mr. Bean, really appreciate that. We have another one from happy apper, also from the UK. “Hey guys, been listening for a while and enjoyed the open and honest info. Keep on keeping on.” From horizon high apps, smiley face. So thank you Happy Apper. We also have this last one, we’re gonna do a 3-star review just coz we thought it was funny. We have a 3 star review from Australia, that says, “This is really interesting, not my area, but I learned a lot on each episode.” So were just a little bit confused about that one

David: Thanks for the words at least.

Chris: Yes, yes. LO at Denie says, almost as good as Mobile App Chat. So were getting there. Were getting there.

Steve P Young: That’s me, I’m sorry

Chris: Oh yeah, you’re representative from Australia. Steve P Young thanks for joining us. When I was a guest on your show and it was I think maybe my first time I was on a podcast as a guest and I think at that time you were still working in your primary job and so this was kind of a new thing and so you kind of come along when the last four months like besides for Mobile App Chat you’ve been putting out some apps and you left your job, all this is right, right?

Steve P Young: Yeah.

Chris: He’s in the Bay Area too, I think I mentioned this to you on Facebook or Skype or something. Going out on your own in the Bay Area with a family, that’s not easy to do, so that’s pretty, that’s a big accomplishment. But so, where are you making money? Are your apps bringing in, is your portfolio bringing in all this cash or what’s going on?

Steve P Young: Yes, so I’ll take the journey, way back. So I started the podcast back in May of 2013, still had a full time job and I was hustling and you know just trying to get out there and I did this episode  with my business coach where we talk about where how much I wanted to make. And I said I wanted to make 10 grand, she was like, how you’re gonna make this? And so what really got me thinking was, I started the podcast because I was only making a couple hundred dollars from my apps. Its like jeez, like how do I grow this thing and I’ve always wanted to do a podcast so why don’t I just interview experts and really learn from them and so got the whole experience I learned all that. But the business coach that session taught me was like, I don’t know know if I can really scale up the apps enough where I can make a living of off it. And so I started thinking of other ways of monetizing and so you asked like how my portfolio of apps are doing. They’re doing a lot better, than they once where, but they’re still, the bulk of my income comes from other things than just apps. So I wanted so to grow it but when I made a decision to leave my full time job and I knew that I couldn’t scale that quickly being just coz the focus then was just the podcast so I had some consulting. So the way I make revenue, money now is I do some consulting which I don’t do anymore some fully just on my own but I did some consulting. I have sponsorships on the podcast, I run a mastermind as well. Its a paid membership and then I have my apps and some other stuff and so that sort of the way the revenues are all made up right now.

Chris: Yeah you know that reminds me, we, David a I were talking about the five ways to take your app business to the next level and we decided that the number one thing by far was join a mastermind. And so David and I know each other. We’ve been on the same mastermind group with I mean different characters but him and I been one together for what, last year and a half?

David: Yeah, at least.

Chris: Yeah and I mean we’ve grown tremendously a year and a half an entrepreneurial life is a long time and we both grown quite a bit, so we were talking about the different masterminds out there and we mentioned Mobile10x and we mentioned yours and we provided a link to yours but I didn’t know, does it have a name?

Steve P Young: Not really. I mean,.. we call it App Masters and so, yeah I have and that’s where you can, so I bring on past guest or experts on the thing that they do and so they like gave them my share and there was a past guest of yours, he came on and we did an ASO course and you know like there are the guys from Sensor Tower, we have a course for there. So is sort of if you want some of the courses that I have, its a video and I give you, you can download the audio file or the video file but its the one thing that they have the guest knows best and then they teach you. So I have that and that’s part of the revenue and then the member, the mastermind is I call it appmasters, the mastermind. Its if you wanna learn more about the mastermind I have going on.

Chris: Cool, yeah and you actually had a really informative post I think it was blog post where you’re talking about how, maybe it was an income report or something where you talked about how how one of the members left and how you tried to turn that into like you took it really almost like personally and you’re like, okay I’m gonna make this the best goddam mastermind around. And its funny because so many people are struggling, I don’t know if that’s the right word, but no one, there’s no preeminent or premier mobile mastermind as far as I understand. Like you know Mobile10x is a free one that has about 60 members and you know it doesn’t have many of the videos or other type of you know like education materials. Then there’s Greg Hickman’s Mobile Mix which isn’t, it isn’t really I don’t think for like mobile app publishers. There’s the App Empire Facebook Group that I think is kind of not super active anymore. So yeah, there’s not really like a default mastermind for let’s say like for podcasters that would be in Dumas’ thing right? So yes interesting to see different people offering or adding value or offering different things to see what the market wants. But I mean the main thing is listeners join the masterminds seriously. David and  I met on the Dynamite Circle which is a different like entrepreneur location independent thing. And its been a huge deal so, go check that out because you’re gonna make your money back. I haven’t been in this mastermind so I don’t know but everything’s, everyone’s different, every group is different right? But your gonna make your money back no matter what the cost I mean I pay what, 400 dollars a year for the DC and its made me way way more than that. Just in the last year of things like indirectly connect with that so.

David: Yeah, we wouldn’t have met without the DC either. Because the mastermind emerge from that so you can never like connect the dots looking forward to quote Steve P Young Jobs here but its just like you have to trust that connecting with a community of like minded people will open doors that you would have never have even thought about. So that’s why I can recommend that. And to what you just said Steve P Young, we had an episode that was called 5 ways to make money from mobile without building apps and your story is a testament to that, that you don’t have to build apps of only build apps to make money in the mobile space if you’re passionate about the industry. There’s lots and lots of value that you can add in different spaces and fields right?

Steve P Young: Yeah absolutely David. And I think, you know, to listeners out there whose considering it, I started the mastermind because like you guys, I was part of Dumas mastermind and just saw how valuable it was. And I was paying 290 a quarter at there. And Chris just kind of talk about what you said, there was, when I first started the mastermind, there was a guy who said this is BS that I had to pay. I was like FU then, I’m gonna make this the best mastermind that you can possibly be and be paying, you actually value it. And so there’s a lot of participation within my mastermind and I recently switch from a quarterly subscription to just a one time, lifetime access fee because there’s somebody that was leaving because he couldn’t afford it anymore and I said you know what, I didn’t start this community because I wanted people to come in and out. I started this community to kind of build sort of like what DCwas where its a big enough community where you can kind of point  pinpoint back to this community of where your business or your other masterminds started and so that’s how I can see the vision of the mastermind. David, your absolutely right, like there’s a quote that I love. Its “people don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do it.” And I’m living proof of that, like I just give an ish about people and you know like, I’m not here saying like I’m the expert in mobile, like I know all this stuff like now I’m like I’m the guy who likes to talk to people so I can learn from people. That’s it and I give an ish about connecting with people and that’s all, that’s all I’m passionate about.

Chris: Yeah it comes across dude, like you had a post announcing Osnap and you talked Osnap for everyone who is a new camera idea and its like a super simple simplified camera and its mostly done by gestures and has some other cool features that we’ll get into. But Steve P Young had a really cool title, like hey Apple, I fixed your phone or something like, or your camera? And then like 4 days later its like men did I get a lot of hate mails from this. Like it came across really genuine and real like as opposed to, Oh no everything’s perfect and were making so much money and everything’s lovey dovey. Its like real stories are,  we’ve never really resonates with me personally and I think part of the reason why David and I have some success with the podcast because we come across with real people and we’re not just saying, “Oh you make so much money and just spend money and you’ll gonna do it.” And I think you’re the same way where you just come across really genuine, and it resonates with people I’m sure.

Steve P Young: Yeah that’s why I like your guys podcast too, I mean you do, it feels like were just friends hanging out and were talking about apps and what not. You know I try to be vulnerable as much as I can just because I think yeah I want to show the human side, you don’t wanna pretend like your superman and be like, I never feel down, or I never feel side about anything. So yeah I think its valuable.

Chris: O you know speaking of which, before, I’m sorry I keep pushing to Odesk, not Odesk, Osnap conversation but David and I had this theory and we’ve got a couple of people on board that we want to do a failure series. I’ve had a just a terrible app thing I did that cost me like 10 grand in 3 months and it is now out of the app store. You recently had a podcast episode I think of like your biggest failure. Why don’t you do a little teaser on that and then we can dig in to your app experience.

Steve P Young: Yes so I didn’t say this in the podcast episode, I should have because late at night when I actually was recording but I was on a different podcast and he was asking me about failure moment and I was struggling to come up with one. And I was like giving this really blanketed answer like you normally get, Oh you always went into failures, blah blah, I’m like, but its why I was like  thinking about, no here’s my biggest failure, I left the corporate job once in 2009 and I didn’t have a plan in place like I hated the boss so I left and I said forget it. Like I was really unhappy, it was really miserable so and its good reason for leaving but I left and I was trying to get into the app space a little bit more. Working with some co-workers at this job and I couldn’t figure it out like it took me, we,  tried the recombinator, we tried to get into, yeah we didn’t get in. They fizzled out because they’re like you know what we’re too busy with work, we don’t have enough time, making excuses excuses. And so I said, I had to find another job and then to make the long story short  like it lead me down the path where its my sisters wedding and we really couldn’t afford to go to this all inclusive resort wedding because we can only afford the flight but we couldn’t afford the stay and yeah luckily my parents said we’ll pay for your room because were paying for your brother so it would be fair, it was like okay cool thanks. But they didn’t know that I was like, Oh my goodness like what am I gonna do to pay for the room but luckily all worked out and now its like leaving this full time, this corporate job, like there was a runway. I had some consulting clients, I had, I was monetizing the podcast. I had this mastermind going and so there were ways out. I was monetizing, it allowed me to put a plan in place to leave my corporate job and not be like starting from zero again.

Chris: Dude that is hilarious. And you know I don’t think I’ve ever really recognized that maybe this is why this for me as well this is like my second try. Coz I did the same thing, on 2006 I just left the job. I couldn’t handle it, they offered me 50 grand on top of what I was making to stay 3 more months and I said no, I just walked out. That’s a lot of money, like I was making some money plus 50 grand. And like guys I just can’t handle it anymore. I walked out, try to start this consultancy thing that kinda fizzled out and thank goodness I got accepted like a full ride to an MBA program in my hometown no less.  And it kind of saves me out from having to go get another job but it made the second start here. That happened  like 2 years ago, more meaningful like there was no like tipping my toe in the water and making sure anything was okay. It was like no, you need a runway, you need to commit, its gonna take a while…and I guess it was like a more experienced approach because I had already done the half-ass quit and try to start something. Not that yours was half-ass but you knew how hard it was coz you’ve been through it once already.

Steve P Young: Yeah, now your right. And I mean congrats you man, that you said no to all that money.

Chris: That’s crazy.

Steve P Young: So yeah, its been a crazy journey. I think it was the key lesson to just really have a plan like I knew that I couldn’t make the income with just apps. I knew that, like I had apps in the App Store and I knew how much I could generate. I knew how launch process went so I knew I just couldn’t do it. And so, I said look I need some consulting clients just to help with the runway and there are other ways I can monetize and I figure things out. And now this May is my first month on my own with no like, real parachute. And I gotta be honest with you, like I’m scared so I might come back for your failure series and be like, you know May sucks, did you suck.

Chris: I’m in a failure right now. Its currently happening.

Steve P Young: Exactly

Chris: Hey whats your connection to Kissmetrics or is that a different Steve P Young Young?

Steve P Young: No, that’s me. Yeah, so I’m more known, that’s the crazy part. I’m more known for my content marketing stuff and so I’ve written, I’ve guest blogged on Kissmetrics, Unbounce, Social Media Examiner like all this different publications. So when I started the podcast it was like, how do I, I don’t wanna be known as the app guy or the marketing guy. I can do all this content marketing stuff and it took me a while to really get comfortable being known as sort of the app person than the app marketing guy and so I’ve gotten a few clients just helping them with their app launch and their ASO and things like that. And so it took me a while to kind of come to grips with this niche but then now I absolutely love being known as the app person too.

Chris: Yeah, oh that’s cool that you have that experience from before. Like Neil Patel is like referencing you on his blogs and its like, hold on I knew this guy.

Steve P Young: I didn’t read that one.

Chris: Yeah, I’ll have to find it and send it to you but you know I just kind of, I’m not an internet marketing background at all and to you know just getting exposed to Kissmetrics like just subscribe to Quick Sprout and some of this other things that both the podcast and some of the things I’m working on the side. They require real marketing, real internet marketing, like having a, you know in the App Store everything’s anonymous like its under BGB so no one knows its Chris Chidgey and I don’t even have to really find individual clients coz you make 0 to 99 cents you know. And so with having a product that you charge a 100, 200 dollars a month or something like that you have to get out there a little. And so being exposed to Kissmetrics, Quicksprout, Neil and he seems like a really interesting dude. But yeah I just thought that was funny.

Steve P Young: He’s a really nice guy like I’ve met him, we talked and he’s just telling me a bunch of different things in terms of marketing and yeah his site is awesome. Quicksprout is awesome, that’s one I religiously read.

Chris: Yeah. David do you know what we’re talking about right now?

David: No I totally tuned out, but that’s a, I need to do my research there I guess.

Chris: Dude you don’t need to, you don’t need to do a research. I got this part of it covered. Okay so Steve P Young I’m glad that you did not go and buy the 18th or 188th copy of Flappy Birds and go try to make another Flappy Bird Clone. You didn’t, well you might have done that but that didn’t make you any money I don’t think. Osnap, how does that going? Where we, like four days into it?

Steve P Young: Yeah, were, its Day 2 actually.

Chris: Oh okay, nice.

Steve P Young: I just released yesterday. And it was, you know I kinda, I’m writing this blog post but this is the app that was helped by a 150 app developers. 150 app developers help build it. You know like talking to you Chris, talking to the other experts that have brought on to the podcast just all from indies to just and to just Facebook messenger like I’ve learned a ton and I’ve put a lot of energy and passion. Now this version 1 is just like me kind of seeing sort of my like MVP, Minimum Viable Product and kind of see if there’s a market for people who want a really simple app and there’s some new features I want to put into it. But you know, I struggled with actually shipping coz I didn’t want to ship yet, like I’m not, if you asked me, are you super proud? I’m super proud of the idea and some of the core features I have in there but its far from perfect and so were already working on an update and I’m gonna do that but it was a lesson like I always say, you gotta get out there, you gotta do it, you gotta ship it and so the core features are there but there’s a lot of different things I wanna fix to and so the response has been awesome, most of people and so its been great like when you have a platform. People, you know download your apps and then they tell you what they feel about it and so I love that like just the reception has been awesome.

Chris: Yeah, David real quick. Osnap is – Steve P Young markets it like the best camera for your selfies.

Steve P Young: Yeah, I’m seeing it right now.

Chris: Okay, but what’s cool about it is you take a picture and instead of.. coz I suck at all this stuff. Like I suck it, I can’t even figure out how to make skype not, people don’t call me while I’m recording, right. I’m just not very good at this stuff. And so I can’t find, I take a picture and okay where does it go? Like how do I go look at the picture? Well Steve P Young solve that problem by putting the last three pictures you took at the top of the screen. And just like this little things that make using the camera so much more, its simple, fun, I don’t know. Its like perfect for me.

Steve P Young: Yeah thanks Chris. I mean its finally an app that I actually use. A lot of the apps I built were kids apps and I do have a couple of re-skins in there. Just I played around with it but yeah its actually one of the apps that I use all the time and actually like it. And so its different now, it feels good. Its like, I like this and I’m proud of the core features. And I just wanted something really simple.

Chris: Who’s the target market? Parents or kids?

Steve P Young: Personally I built it for parents because as a parent you always have something on the other hand and so I wanted this app to be, you love taking pictures of your kids but you typically have either another kid or something you’re holding in the other hand. And so literally, you can every all the different functions with one finger, one thumb. So you tap on the screen, it’ll take a picture. You can swipe for, just the flash, you can shake to flip the camera if you wanna do a selfie mode, or you can even swipe down to do. You know to see all this little gestures out kinda, I don’t wanna, now people are saying like , “You should have this tour of how to do it.” I said no, I don’t want to because its so simple like I want to kinda figure it out on your own too, right? Its not complicated, its like four features. Do you want to say Apple Camera App, and think, Oh you need a walkthrough, no, but I’m like, so I don’t know. I might do that in the next version just because everybody’s asking me to do it. But that was one where I kind of said no in the very start.

David: Yeah I can see that you’re doing a rejection there because its kinda like if your apps need a tour, its probably not intuitive enough.

Steve P Young: Right

David: So I can absolutely understand that from a developer’s perspective but maybe from a user’s perspective or marketing perspective it might as well be good to at least have the option.

Steve P Young: Right, I think that’s it. Have you skipped it or if you want to read it, then that’s fine too. Except I find them extremely boring but I wanna make it fun so that maybe I walk you through the tour as you actually takes pictures too. So I’m kinda figuring that out right now.

Chris: Do you have a, is there one of the features like a quick send or quick share?

Steve P Young: Yeah so you could tap on the photo at the top and Chris you might not know this coz I, you could swipe down from the top 3 photos and you see a gallery. And then you can tap on a new photo and it takes you to the share screen. So I wanted the app to really be like, there’s enough apps with filters, there’s enough apps with all these really hard core features. I want the app to be simple. You take it, then you leave and post it whereever you want to post it. There’s enough camera apps with filters so get out of my app and go use one, like Instagram or Facebook or whatever you want to put your filters on and make it look pretty and share it.

Chris: So what if in the tutorial, you have them as part of working through the process. Okay now you take a picture, okay now look at your three you pick one, okay now share it with your best friend.

Steve P Young: Yeah

Chris: And then you go viral, built in right?

Steve P Young: I love it. That’s a good idea.

Chris: Yeah and you’re kind of embarrassing me because I just finished building some Pirate App where you take a picture and then you put a Pirate Hat on. Its like the ultimate. How much more can you put on to a camera app? Like a, you put pirate sayings and stuff but anyways it does the same thing. It has borders and you send it off to Instagram to do filters and stuff. But you’re right, they’re over the top. There’s so much over the top stuff. So how long did it take you to build this thing?

Steve P Young: It took me so, I’m an eye from Affordable Dev. Another sponsor, you should too. He, probably about for months. And it was only because we started in November, like I just wanna sent over the specs but I had so many changes like it was so hard for me to ship. But finally did it. It took me about four months to build it. And you can ask me anything, I’m happy to be honest and in terms of cost, like people would ask me to, like how much should I pay for this? So I spent about $1400. But I spent about $1400 building this app and I don’t know how much the updates are gonna cost. So four months and $1400.
Chris: Yeah so $1400, four months Jesus. $1400, dude that’s a, I mean if I can’t do much for re-skinning like reusing the code, but to built out an app that could solve such a huge need for $1400 bucks that seems like a really good deal.
Steve P Young: Yeah, I was pretty happy with the price and so I think probably its gonna run. At this probably not, like a thousand or maybe 500 worth of updates that I want to do so roughly around 2000. And so I’m better coz I’ve built like 2-year faiure sorry series. I’ve built a breakup meter app where you take a picture with, let’s say you and David take a picture and we’ll calculate (this is like does nothing). We’ll calculate how much time you have left in your relatonship.
Chris: Compatibility thing. But its totally fake like its just a random number.
Steve P Young: Exactly. It used to do random number, now I put like funny phrases in it. I spend 1500 in total with graphics and all that stuff.
Chris: Oh my gosh, 1500 for that?
Steve P Young: It makes no money. And so..
Chris: 1500 for that, there’s the failure in the story.
Steve P Young: Yes, its ridiculous. And so now, I talked to people early on. I showed an early prototype to everybody and its using when I say: “Shake the phone” and the camera flips like, Uh oh that’s sort of like the magical moment when just talking to people when I see them in person, they’re like “Oh this is cool.”
Chris: Yeah. That reminds me of someone who gave you a review in your article about people beating you up over your blog post. Someone said like, like they’re trying to be photo journalist or something like that. I’m not of this group like I don’t know who this people are, but its like “What if you see a bear like juggling raccoons and its got a funny hat on, then you’re riding your bike and you hit a bump and you can’t capture that moment.” Like what in the world, that’s why you don’t want this app. Okay I’ll take the app, that’s exactly what I want. I’ll never see that app. So you know like I don’t get who this people are but..
Steve P Young:  Well sure Chris, coz they drove tons of traffic to that post. The reason why I wrote that was like, Layervolt was getting on my case. They’re like a design hackered use for designers. But the post was, this is a ridiculous idea and what am I.. yeah here’s why. Look I see Miley Cyrus or what if I see a monkey riding a elephant on the street and I’m riding my bike and I hit a bump and then instead of taking the picture of the monkey on the elephant, the camera shakes and so it takes a picture of my startled face. Yes a ridiculous example for a ridiculous idea.
Chris: That’s what we have. Word by work that’s not exaggerating me.
Steve P Young: Word for word, yeah. I remember it coz its so funny to me. It was like, yeah its funny man. I thought that was clever. There’s some other mean post on there, but that one’s clever like I gotta get a hand them those free phones.
Chris: Yeah your right. That is ridiculous idea. Hey you know what, I’m thinking if you had that Breakup app 3 years ago, you might be a multimillionaire right now dude.
Steve P Young: Exactly, you know what I broke, I wrote it because I heard about this guy who made Ugly Meter, have you heard about this?
Chris: Yeah coz I made Beauty Meter and he tried to sue me.
Steve P Young: Oh see, yeah. He had some success so that’s thing I mean that’s the lesson like I wouldn’t try to emulate somebody elses success. Like they did this, I can do that too. I’m sure they had some other things that went right for them, like he got  featured on our story.
Chris: Yeah that’s the thing I was gonna say. That’s the thing I went right for.
Steve P Young: Yeah exactly.
Chris: But I think Chad Mureta is a good example of like he, I mean the dude just seems smart in everything but he was making money off fake finger print scanners. Its just a different time where you just gotta step up your game to compete now, you know.
Steve P Young: Yup, agree man.
David: That doesn’t work anymore hopefully.
Chris: Yeah and that’s why a big reason, like we could have talked about a million subjects with you today but that was the big thing. Like dude its time. We got to get Steve P Young on the show because, you know, I still answer emails about which re-skin code and how you evaluate re-skin code and what code should I buy. It doesn’t, its not like that, that’s not how it works. Or it does work like that but I don’t think you’re gonna make a lot of money. Go solve some problems and take some risks. And that’s what makes it work in the App Store. I mean I’m not a millionaire and I think I’ve said that a bunch of times. Its not like I’ve got all the answers or David has all the answers or Steve P Young has all the answers. But we know, we spent some money and failed on a lot of stuff that doesn’t work and think about it. Like you got 2 grand and you want to spend it on a really cool camera idea, that you can keep growing and growing and building and improving and increasing your customer base and maybe hit it. Or do you want to do the Breakup thing. And a lot of the re-skin code is like that Breakup thing. Or its like really not that cool.
David: Because if you had a really hard problem solved, you wouldn’t share your code. You wouldn’t be like, hey let’s do this re-skinning because it would be (a) stupid; and (b) it would be dead tomorrow if everybody have the same code. Because the very well value is that you have created something unique and hopefully beautiful. Steve P Young another question that we have a lot on the podcast is the Freemium versus Paid kind of discussion. So how did you evaluate your options with OSnap?


Steve P Young: Yeah I did create an interview with Eric Seifert. I think that’s his last name but he did, hes wonga I think with, I forget what games it is but its a really big game company.


Chris: Oh, its something like. Have you seen Mobile Dev Memo? Eric Seifert, I think?


Steve P Young: Yeah he’s that. Uhuh.


Chris: Yeah, okay I followed his stuff.


Steve P Young: Yeah hes really great and he’s talking a lot about Freemium and I think the key lesson I learned and this is why I decide to charge for OSnap was, you wanna go Freemium when you can, when there’s unlimited amounts of money that the user can spend on your app. So let’s just say if, for OSnap what am I gonna do, make it free and then add features and you pay a dollar and that’s  the only think I can make off this, from you is just this dollar? Its now worth it, right? It has to be a consumable product that I can spend like Candy Crush or no, Clash of Clans where I could keep spending money so that my, as a game developer I actually make maybe $20 versus just the $1. The one in-app purchase. And so some of my apps,a lot of my apps are paid and they are more for kids, educational space. I would say Freemium, its for games. Like you got and there’s no choice like everybody is going that way. And so you have no choice but to go Freemium in games. But there are a bunch of categories where you can charge. Don’t fall into this trap that you have to go Freemium because I know from my educational game right now is number 18 right now? I don’t know if there’s an algorithm change. But this just couple of days I’ve seen a huge spike and you know its $1.99, its paid. And people still pay for it. Its not even optimized for iPhone 5, its still the iPhone 4 screens and everything else.


Chris: Oh wow.


Steve P Young: Yeah, like its horrible. I know.


Chris: That was like a year and a half ago.


Steve P Young: I don’t wanna update this thing.


Chris: David, have we heard that one before? Like we usually say, hey if you don’t have a way to monetize your virtual currency, or you know some kind of content. But I don’t think we’ve ever heard it so clearly if the most you can make is a dollar, just charge a dollar.


David: Yeah. That’s a very clear good statement and it cuts through all the noise and this. You know there’s also this statistical effect where you look at the data which we often do on the show and of course we do recommend in general that you would take a Freemium model. Because when you look at the data, that’s where a lot of money is being made. But that does not mean that you as an individual in a certain niche or with a certain kind of product should go that route. And you absolutely, every time have to evaluate what your options are and what I love the sentence is that its so clear and everybody can understand and remember it. If all that you’re gonna make is a dollar or two dollars or whatever its fixed price is, then charge it upfront and don’t try to go after it after the initial transaction which is then free, it has take a place


Chris: Yeah in fact that makes me think that we need to change our Pirate Gram. Because there’s three in-app purchases like different Piratey things but that’s 3 bucks. Just sell it for 0.99 cents and they download it.


Steve P Young: Or just sell it for 0.99 cents, you know just buy all for like 0.99 cents. That might be the better way to go. Make it free if you want but you can buy each one for a dollar or buy all 4 or 5 for $1.99. That’s where you’ll probably see people take that.


Chris: Yup. Alright I have a podcast question for you. Without alienating any of your previous guests and not including me of course, what was like the most interesting guest you had on? Or let’s say most interesting, not your favorite but just something where you’re like, wow I’m getting some really good insights.


Steve P Young: Okay, yeah. So I think, I mean they’ve all been great. I think the most recent one that I did where it was with an indie developer and I like the indie developer’s story  coz I think, you know its just a completely different mindset. It was with, I think its David Lao, its his last name. But they did AppWords and he told me this fantastic tool. Were just talking about app marketing, right. Like I feel like anybody can get any type of app developed. But how you gonna market it? How do you gonna reach out the press? How do you really generate some buzz for it? And so he was telling me about a step by step how they go about doing that. And he gave me this great resource called Banana Tag and I love this tool. And what you can do is Gmail plugin and you can actually just hit “track this email” and so Chris if I sent you an email, like Chris hey I love to do whatever.. I can see if you opened it or if you click any of my links and so I used this for a lot of the press outreach that I just had with OSnap where I just send a bunch of different emails and I saw which ones have better open rates, and if they’re clicking on anything or whatever and so you can follow up. I saw Chris open up my email, perfect. Hey Chris, can we schedule some time, you know getting clicked, I saw you open it. So it allows you to sort of when you’re doing some press outreach, really really makes it a lot easier.


Chris: Ah so its sort of like Marketo, its a big enterprise type. And then that’s something in Infusionsoft that’s available for small businesses to use. But this sounds like individual level which is really cool.

Steve P Young: Yeah sort of like you can use. Its an email marketing software  but its just for individual emails and you just hit this checkbox within Gmail and that’s why I love it. And it will track the links, it’ll track the opens and the other person won’t know that’s its being tracked which is the neat thing that I love the most about this thing.

Chris: Yes you can tell who you’re more likely to engage with your prospects and that’s really cool. I’ve done none of that. I’ve done a little bit of using PR Mac but gosh I just, I’m still in the throw it in the App Store and make sure the ASO’s great, screenshots are great, the icons are great, and the monetization is great. Then I prove the app from there but I don’t do a whole lot of press outreach.

Steve P Young: Chris, if that works for you, its for everybody too like not every game should be covered by the press, not every app, like I have a hard time getting people to cover OSnap. But with the medium post, it generate enough buzz for me that I built up a list of a hundred people just off that, “Hey Apple, I fixed your camera app.” So a lot of people signed up for the OSnap website and gave me their email address. But its not for everbody. I wouldn’t release my next if I had a game I might not even care. I would just focus on ASO, and like what you’re doing I would just focus on that. So it depends on what your app is. If there’s really people that want to cover it. So it was just a big strategy for me but I don’t think its a strategy for everybody.

Chris: Yeah, that makes sense. Did you do that for your Breakup app?

Steve P Young: No I didn’t. I didn’t reach out to anybody. Coz I’ve reach out to TechCrunch coz I knew somebody there and he’s like, nah I won’t. There’s no social features. He thought he might make it a weekend article but they’re like no social features and just silly. So that’s the only thing I did for that. But with OSnap, I work hard at it.

Chris: Yeah.

Steve P Young: I’ll tell you man. It was really hard to get. I know people are opening and I know that some replied. They said, “You know what, there’s enough for this camera apps.” That’s what they said at me. And so but at least you know, with Banana Tag you could see that they’re doing certain things. So your subject line’s working, things are working. Its just now, I mean the whole thing I learned was I didn’t want to rely on the press. That’s why I wrote that medium post. That’s why I’ve been doing all this other things around marketing the app. Because I didn’t want to rely on press. And if they didn’t pick it up, then at least I still had some momentum going in until the launch.

Chris: Yeah, and I’ll tell you what. That’s why I love indie dev. Because at the end of the day, were running little businesses but we do everything. You have to outsource this stuff coz you had so much more to do. This guys are doing, were all doing so much. Its really cool. Its a lot different than talking to an employee who all they do is deal with press at the company. Its just fun being in this group.

Steve P Young: Yeah, I love it too.

Chris: David, we kept Steve P Young for almost 40 minutes. What do you wanna do? Do you have another question for him or we let him go?

David: Yeah, ask him our famous guest question maybe.

Chris: Oh yeah. This is just, Steve P Young we started recognizing that we keep asking guest the same questions so the last guest we had, we said okay well I guess every guest gets this question. Okay so over the next 3, 6, 12 months, what are some of the bigger trends or just things going on in mobile that you’re monitoring or watching or interested in.

Steve P Young: Wow, I think iBeacon is one. That seems very interesting to me. That just seems like a huge technology. I just wrote this blog post about iBeacon and it says, I’ve got some knowledge in terms of what apps are out there but that just seems like something that’s gonna be. I don’t believe in Glass, it just thinks like people are huge on it but iBeacons seems very interesting. The fact that you can do different things so like children are, this is the app that allows children to have their attendance taken right when they walked in. And so that’s like mind blowing what you can do with iBeacon. And I think people are just focus on the retail shopping experience and not like the whole technology like what else you can do. And so that seems really interesting to me.

Chris: Yeah

Steve P Young: Really man I just focus more on whatever gets you excited, go with it. So that’s what I would say. Stop trying to chase everything like we all chase shining lights, just find something that your really, and people always say this, right? Its hard to find and you’re not gonna find it right away. Took me awhile to find out what I’m really passionate about. But keep searching for it and you’ll find it eventually. Once you find it..

Chris: And begin.

Steve P Young: Exactly.

Chris: I kind of went out with monetization 6 months ago and really just said, okay I’m gonna know everything there is to know about how you monetize apps. And you know what, it was super fun and my portfolio did so much better after I just kept experimenting and seeing what worked for me. And when I talked on the podcast, it comes across more genuine because, yeah I did know that on the first six months. I do know what I’m talking about.

Steve P Young: Yeah, I love that about here, our episode. You talked a lot about what was working for monetization’s end point so yeah I would pick your brain, like hey I need to monetize this app, what should I do? And then you became known as the app monetization guy. That’s perfect man. That’s a great niche.

Chris: Yeah, although I’m not doing anything with it but its cool. Its been good for my apps I guess. And its been good for the show. Cool man, it was really great having you on here. I think we have this little circle of guys that are obvious, like repeat guests, like Tyler Kessler would be one. Patrice Archer, I don’t think you know him but he’s been on the show several times.

Steve P Young: I know him a little bit.

Chris: Yes. So I think it would be fun to have you come back from time  to time and share what you’re up to. Coz you got your hands in a lot of different things and your experiences are always interesting. So when we see you next time, I’m hoping that OSnap is like wide success and version 1.3.

Steve P Young: I’m calling you from my jet.

Chris: Dude, I hope you’re picking me up. Yeah. I’m in Bogota. Come get me in Bogota.

Steve P Young: Alright.

Chris: Cool man. We really appreciate it. Once again its OSnap is the app. And then we’ve got Mobile App Chat is the podcast. And the mastermind is what?

Steve P Young: Go check out the free stuff. Like I love Chris’ podcast and I’m not saying don’t, stop and listen to this. Go check out the free stuff at Mobile App Chat and if you get interested, then look at appmasters. But check out the free stuff. Go check out OSnap, let me know what you think.

Chris: Awesome. Alright Steve P Young, appreciate it and we’ll talk to you soon.

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  • Valentine Okafor

    Great show guys, I really enjoyed this show and I think that what is setting both of you apart is that your experiences and commentary are genuine and relate-able. I discovered your Podcast last week, and I have listened to 13 episodes already. For this show, I appreciate your courage to ask and Steve openness to share the cost of building the oSnap app.

    Earlier in the week, I reached out to Affordable dev for a quote for what I considered a simple app, my first app which is a basic reminder app that I want to focus on just being a Reminder for bill due dates. I was told $2500 and that is after applying the 20% because I mentioned your podcast. I was expecting less, and now hearing Steve figures, I was wondering maybe it was because I am new in this space.

    So I guess, you can make a Podcast which will be more of prescriptive step for building your first app, should one continue trying to do it on their own in other to be exposed to all stages of app development from concept to the store. Should I create a just good enough version of my app on my own, and then give it to a developer to polish it and maybe bring the cost down. Should I do something like 99design project so I can get the design done and hire a developer to implement it,. I am a web developer (PHP – Magento specifically) and my goal at this time is to learn Android development so I was thinking if I have my first app built professionally then I can study the code and maybe be able to build my subsequent apps.

    Sorry for the long comment, great show and Chris by chance do you run any local meetup as I am in San Diego too.


    Val Okafor

    • David Pfahler

      Hi Valentine,
      first of all, thanks for such a great comment. No need to apologize for it’s length at all. I’d rather have good, in-depth discussions than only small talk. It’s good to hear you like the show and that you’d be interested in a “from start to finish” series, which coincidentally, is exactly what we plan to do. If you have web development skills in HTML, CSS and JavaScript and do not want to spend a lot on development at the beginning, you might consider creating web apps (using PhoneGap) yourself. It all depends on what the more scarce resource is for you: time or money.

    • Chris Chidgey

      Hey Val – I am in Bogota to spend time with Wife’s fam before I take her away forever! Where are you at? I went to Helix and have lived all over – from La Mesa to Windansea to PB near Kate Sessions to Coronado…

      Awesome feedback. It definitely keeps us genuine when we are in the thick of it!

      I agree with David – use phonegap and get the experience down from beginning to end – and then use what you learned to take next step – which may mean more phonegap apps, or maybe its better to hire a dev team. Moving to a dev team to polish up may be more trouble than worth as working with someone else’s code sucks (from what I understand). UNLESS you can find some good base code on chupa or apptopia… may cut cost down big time…

      Let us know what direction you go.

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