Hi Gang,

I am looking for advice on where I can go to get an app built. I am not interested in learning how to do this, but am looking for someone who can build me a app.

Also, looking for advice on what I should be looking to budget and what questions I should be asking the person as well as how do I "protect" what I want built when I am shopping around for a person to do this or don't I need to "protect" it because by sharing we all gain??


Live Beyond Awesome.


Tags: app, apps, costs, design, new

Views: 233

Replies to This Discussion

Hey Jen!! Welcome!

First, I have a guy in India who I work with, I have referred several people to him, and me and everyone I've sent to him have been thrilled with his prices and professionalism.  I have had multiple apps developed, from multiple developers, and since I met this guy in India through eLance, I've worked exclusively with him - he's that good.  You can look at some of his work - look up my NCIS trivia app and Andy Griffith Trivia. 

You can contact him by email - his name is Necixy, his email address is necixy@hotmail.com - just tell him Michael Jones sent you, he will take care of you.  You are welcome to seek out some other programmers on elance or odesk, as well.

As far as protecting your idea, I suggest getting ANY programmer to sign a non disclosure agreement (NDA).  It won't be ironclad, since most affordable developers are in India, Pakistan, and Russia, but it'll protect you and give you some peace of mind.

Cost is going to vary greatly depending on what you want.  Before I started making my own apps, I did a lot of research, and found that the hyper inflated prices you read about, like $20,000 or more are just extreme - think Angry Birds.  Most apps can be created for under $1,000, but it also depends on how robust the app is - does it use GPS, have frequent updates, rely on heavy graphics?  The more of these, the higher the cost.  But, Necixy has given me by far the most affordable prices.

One thing to bear in mind about apps is that you likely won't make a fortune from an app, unless you have a significant amount of money to spend on marketing and promotion.  A fantastic app can go unnoticed, while a mediocre app, if promoted, can get thousands of downloads.  Keep your breakeven point in mind when getting a quote for an app, and remember your $99 annual developer fee to Apple. 

Good luck, and let me know if you have any more questions!!  If you want to discuss something in private, just send me an email here on Dan's site!

Michael....thank you!!!

Hi Michael,

Do you know if Necixy is still working on app development? I'm looking for a developer right now.



Hi Sarah - I'm not Michael obviously, but am glad to help if I can. I designed an ios app on a bit of a whim last year (as much to learn something new as anything), and it's been an enjoyable experience. Michael has talked so highly of his developer that I would probably start there, but if you need a second resource the group I used has been really terrific to work with as well. I also found them on elance (I first heard of elance on Dan Miller's podcast...). Their prices were great, and they were so patient with a 'first timer'.

I enjoy talking about what I've learned (and there was lots to learn!), so feel free to ask any questions. Maybe I can help you take a little straighter path than I took.
I'm working on an idea for another unrelated app now - I miss being in the development phase!


Hi Lynn,

Thank you so much! I would love to pick your brain about your experience :) I added you as a friend but if you want to continue the conversation here, that's fine with me. What do you wish you would have known back when you first started? What's a good price for development? How is your app doing now? What did you do to market it? Do you own your app or did the developer list it under his/her company?

Thanks for much for replying to my "reply." I look forward to hearing more from you.



What I wish I had known... Well, there is a lot of 'paperwork' (digital paperwork....forms...etc) to do in order to be established as an iOS developer. I'm actually glad I didn't know this as it might have been discouraging, but it's just a matter of one step at a time (and I don't regret doing it). We complicated things for ourselves by deciding to publish as an LLC rather than as individuals, so there were several additional steps. It's easier by far just to do it as an individual, but we preferred to have a company name rather than our own names appear in the App Store.

We own the app completely. We really are the developers (and have a developer account with apple). The "developers" we hired actually just did our programming. After every update is programmed, they upload the source code onto elance and we download it to keep. At any point I could hire another programmer to work on it, but have had no reason to do so.

Our app is $1.99 in the store, and a couple of weeks ago reached number 237 out of all paid apps in the business category, which made my day :)
Those rankings fluxuate by the minute - on a normal day it can be any where from 250 to 1500 depending on sales that day/hour/minute... All in all I'm pleased with its ongoing performance. I didn't do this to make a fortune on apps (probably not going to happen!), so I didn't even know what to expect. I just hoped it wouldn't fall into the abyss!

Marketing - not much! Wish I knew better how to do this... I introduced it on a forum, it was well received, and now is discussed sometimes. By far the best thing we did was make a 'lite' version so people could try before they buy.

Wow this has gotten long - sorry! I will pm you tomorrow with more specifics about what it has cost us if you are interested.

I would love any information you can give. I did post it on elance and have invited a few of the freelancers to consider the job. How long did it take to be programmed? Also, could you give me the name of your app? I'd love to take a look at it. How did you pick the price point? Thanks Lynn.

Hi Jen-

I'm a professional Web developer. (I've played with Mobile, but I'm not necessarily proficient yet.)

Most prospective clients who come to me really don't understand what it takes to make software. That's usually fine, just keep in mind that there are probably considerations in the budget that you won't understand. So, if it seems high, just make sure you ask what they are. You can always also get a second opinion. 

As for budget, you need to figure out whether or not you want a fixed-bid or hourly work budget. Hourly work guarantees that you get what you pay for. (Their time). Fixed bids, if they're low enough can get you a great deal, but may also burn your developer out if they're too low. Again, just ask questions about how they reached their bid or hourly estimate.

If you get an hourly estimate (the project will be about X hours and cost you Y per hour) just keep in mind that NO ONE is 100% accurate. I'd be ready to pay up to 25% more if your developer is experienced (50% if he's been programming less than 5 year) unless he tells you that's worst case or puts some sort of cap on your costs in the contract.

Finally, I'm not convinced that keeping a business idea secret is THAT beneficial. The people with the initiative to build what you're building will do it. Most people won't. There's that (extremely) narrow band of people with the interest and initiative to do what you're doing and they're probably busy with something else.

I suppose that's a little more than 2 cents. Let me know if I can help.



Chuck...thank you for this useful advice!!!


Hi Jen!

Just wondering how things went with this app development project.  Can you update us?  Is the app out yet?



Hi Henry,

thanks for the note and for asking!!

I need to put it on the docket for next year's goals to see if it is worth doing. I am wanting to do a Live Beyond Awesome app that combines time management with goal setting. It would include having the option to track whatever you wanted and then have a overall pie chart to see where exactly one is spending their time and efforts.

With our book coming out and launch of our new website and speaking career, I figure it is okay to wait a bit on it and see if it is something the market wants. I think it would go nicely with our LBA (Live Beyond Awesome) challenge we will be divine into later this year/next year.

Are you doing an app?

Thanks Henry!


Hi Jen!

I love the concept for your app, and I think it fits perfectly with your brand.

Yes, I have an app that's in the works as we speak.  It's geared for folks who have published in the Kindle Store.  Nothing fancy - but it's an app I searched for and never found.  So I'm having it made.  Hopefully, it will be ready by month's end.  I'll be sure to let everyone know when it's done.

All the best!



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