Elementary / Primary / Junior, International, Private education, Publishers, Required, Startups, Students, Technology - Written by Elbert Chu on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 9:30 - 1 Comment
Education Apps: Seven Steps for $200k income with iPad and iPhone Development
Inspiration for nimble startups and independent education app developers:
Pierre Abel made apps he thought would help his kids learn, and in the process made over $200,000 so far this year. The app has been reviewed by the New York Times and Moms with Apps. The French developer, with a PhD in computer science, and his wife homeschool their children and developed a profitable educational enterprise called L’Escapadou.
Our main takeaways from Abel:
- Identify a need: Chances are there are many kids around you can get to know and talk with. If you can’t relate to the tots, try their parents.
- Start small: Building iOS apps is not rocket science, and certainly does not require a PhD.
- Take time to learn: There are lessons along the way that can help, but you have to pay attention especially when you feel like you failed.
Here are the seven things Abel does each day, in order of descending time commitment:
- Development: Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. If you’re stumped, try Codeacademy.com
- Product Definition and User Interface Design: (See identify need) He’s a father with a captive audience and focus group, so he could watch his kids interact with the app and iterate as needed.
- Graphic Design: Make it look good.
- Promotion: Abel was very creative and explored many ways to share his product.
- Participate: Find related forums and other hangouts online to get product responses from a wider audience than two kids.
- Support: Respond to those feedback emails and bug reports quickly.
- Administration: Track the progress of your app and read reviews to see if there are changes needed.
Abel shares how he turned innovative ideas into apps that help kids learn, and pay him handsomely:
I worked hard on Word Wizard for 5/6 months, lots of design, testing, graphics to find the right balance, and I was really excited by the innovation inside this app, and feedback from beta testers. When it launched, it did get noticed by teachers, educators and people involved in chidren’s technology but it lacked a very good promotion to be visible. Then everything gone wild, Children’s Technology Review awarded the app, there was an article in The New York Times online and then in the paper edition (this the huge peak), in Wired Geek Dad blog, Apple mentioned it on its Facebook page and selected it as “New and Noteworthy” for iPhone and iPad in the US and most of English speaking countries. Then after one month sales went down surely because I did not promote it afterwards – this is a good lesson, even with a lot of good press you need to continue to promote your app. Now I’ve just released V2.0 (adding all users requests – more than 20 options and features), things are getting better and I’m publishing a costly press release on PRWeb to see if it has some effects.
He started small
I started with a small app (did it in 2/3 weeks) to understand how the App Store worked and after some brainstorming we decided to create Montessori Crosswords because one of my kids was doing this Montessori activity and it seemed perfect to put it on the iPad. Actually, at the beginning we wanted to do something bigger, Montessori Crosswords only being a part of it. However, I soon realized that I had – as often – underestimated the resources needed, so I decided to release Montessori Crosswords as a standalone app. After releasing it, I realized that I had a lot of promotions and support to do, and eventually the big app was never developed.
Abel’s company is called L’Escapadou.
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