When I first started app development over 3 years ago, I had big plans.  Like many people I know, I was hoping to bring a lot more freedom and flexibility to my life by making some extra money.  I didn’t set out to be a millionaire - even though I wouldn’t complain if it happened!  I primarily wanted extra money so that I could pay the bills, and extra freedom so that I could spend more time doing the things that were important to me.

Well…it didn’t turn out exactly how I had planned -  it has turned out even better.  Let me explain.

First, let me clarify things right up front – I’m not a millionaire. But I do finally make enough money with my apps that I’m beginning to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that I had desired for many years.  App development is my primary source of income. I work from home, and have the time to do the things that I enjoy, like spending time with my family, church and friends.  I wear many, many hats and app development is just one of them.  My life isn’t consumed with app development, but I won’t lie, it has taken a lot of time and work to get to where I am now.  And the industry has changed dramatically over the years since I first started.  

For instance, my original goal was to launch a physics-based app in the same type genre as Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, etc. and sell it for $.99 and make a ton of money.  Well, it took me over a year and half to develop and release my first game called Crazy Play.  And even though it was really well received and I still think it’s a great game, we hardly made any money on it.  Less than $500 total on iTunes app store and a little more with ad revenue.  Well, that sure wasn’t going to fund my retirement!  18 months of development and $500 plus some ad revenue!  Wow, what a let down.
Crazy Play
$500 + Ad Revenue ≠ Retirement!

Over time, we learned a LOT.  I say “we” because this entire journey has been a family affair, especially with my boys (I call them my "boys", but they are actually young men in high school & college and avid gamers).  They have helped design, test and sometimes code, which has been great.  I never anticipated that developing games would allow me to spend time with my kids in the way that I have.  Not what I expected, but definitely a surprise!  It’s been great!

Over time we learned that freemium games is where the industry is heading.  These are games that are free, and get monetized via in-app purchases and/or ads inside the game.  We also learned to create what I call “low-tier” games or single A titles.  Low-tier games required less time to development and made more money. Less time & more money. That works for me!  We introduced our flagship game called Crazy Poppers in Spring 2012 and then the money started to slowly come in.  At first it was just $5 to $10 a day, then it would turn to $20, then $30 and on up.  Not bad at all.  

Re-skinning: An ingenious idea

After achieving some success with Crazy Poppers we thought to ourselves, “If Crazy Poppers is a successful game, then why don’t we change the graphics and re-release it as another game?” As a result, Crystal Crusher, Popper Mania and Zombie Zap were born.  And more revenue came in.  This idea of re-skinning or “flipping” an app isn’t new, but it was new to us, and it worked!

Later we developed our second most popular app, What’s the Pic? (later changed to Name that Pic, then What’s that Pic? due to a legal dispute – don’t ask), and we also “flipped” it (along with a few modifications) and created several other spin-offs including Iconics, Silhouettes, Name that Person, Name that Place and Name that Animal.  All of them have made us money.   

How you can benefit from Flipping an App

So by now you are probably wondering, what’s up with the title of this post “$3650 in 24 hours with App Flipping!”?  Well, we decided it was time to move beyond just low-tier games and move to mid-tier game development too.  We needed some money to help make that happen.  So, we thought about selling Crazy Poppers or Name that Pic!  I really, really wrestled with the idea of selling my games to someone else, but felt that I had no choice, since we needed some additional cash.  Then I realized that I had another alternative.  Instead of selling my code, I could license my code.  After researching it, I found that there were several sites that focused on selling source code licenses.  These sites were specifically targeted toward people that only wanted to re-skin apps and flip them.

Basically the concept of flipping an app is this:
1)    A person licenses the source code of a quality, popular app or clone of one
2)    They find a designer to help them change all of the graphics and “re-theme” or re-skin it
3)    They change all advertising and in-apps to point to their accounts
4)    They flip it back onto the App store

Some people do this entire process in less than 1 week!  What took me initially 18 months, people now can do in a week or two.  Crazy.  So, I decided to join in and make it a win/win and start selling licenses to Crazy Poppers.  What’s the result?  In one 24 hour period I made $3650 in Crazy Poppers source code sales!  Not bad at all.  Crazy Poppers has great reviews (over 2500 4.5+ star reviews in the U.S. alone), and has proven to be a popular app to flip.  Soon we will be releasing What’s that Pic? source code for license too. 

Flipping software is turning out to be HUGE.  It is a great way for people to dive into the app development business – having little or no knowledge about it.

Not HOW, but WHY?

The real question isn’t HOW did I make that money, but WHY did I make that money? And why did I make it so fast?  It’s all about opportunity and timing.

So why did I make that kind of money just for selling licenses to my code to other people?  Because those people realize that the flipping software ship has started to sail and they want to be on it.  2013 is the year of app flipping – no doubt about it!  Have you ever wanted to be apart of the beginning of a movement in business?  Me too.  Rarely in history do we have the opportunity to see something happen, and also have a chance to be apart of it.  All too often we are only able to look back at something and say “I wish I could have been apart of that!”  Now you can.

The opportunity is finally here, and I’m excited to not only be apart of it, but I’m also excited to help others do the same thing.  My company, Trippin’ Software, has officially crossed over the 700,000 download mark for all our games, and we expect to cross 1 million downloads before the end of 2013.  Over these last 3 years I’ve learned a ton, made some mistakes, and realized more efficient ways to accomplish things.  And I’ve decided to give back and help others pursue their dream in the app development business.

That’s one reason why I’m excited to let people know about a new service that we are starting called AppBusinessStarter.com (launching late Oct' 2013).  It is a one-stop shop for people to get into the app business, especially if you’ve never done anything like this before.

I believe for many people, flipping software by re-skinning a popular app, is one of the easiest and fastest ways of not only getting into the app business, but also to start making money the fastest way possible.

Things are moving fast … really fast right now in the app development industry.  The timing is right, especially before the holidays.  Did you know that last year we saw a 10x increase in downloads starting around December 15th, and it lasted until around the end of January?  This is very typical in the app business.  The Christmas holiday is HUGE!  You still have plenty of time to get in on the benefits of the holiday season.  I’m not kidding about it.  If you wanted to, you could literally release 1, 2 or 10 or 20 apps all prior to the holiday season.  

Historically, this used to be impossible.  But now with app flipping, it’s possible!  If you ever wanted to start a new business, now is a great time.  If you want to start by flipping one of our popular apps, then buy a license to the source of Crazy Poppers.  Just click one of the buttons below.

Regardless of whether you flip one of my apps, or someone else’s, it’s definitely the right time to consider diving into app development!

Enjoy the journey,