Taking Control—An Incredible and Inspiring Success Story ($2,325.91 in a Day!) with Benny Hsu

Photo365 Success Story“This wouldn’t have been possible if I never found your blog. Thanks Pat!”

This is the type of message I aim to receive from every reader of SPI, and recently Benny Hsu from Get Busy Living sent me this very message, along with a success story that had me smiling from ear to ear.

Benny is a personal development blogger whose message can easily be summed up by this quote from his blog:

“To me it means taking control of our lives, instead of waiting for something to happen.”

And he’s definitely living his message.

His recent success story involves publishing an iPhone application, which is something he’s wanted to do for a long time.

“I’ve wanted to create an iPhone app for over a year but it wasn’t till I found your blog in November 2010 did I think I could do it.”

His new app is called Photo 365. It’s an app that allows you to document your daily life by taking one picture a day, and it organizes the photos into a sleek little calendar so you can easily get a snapshot of where you’ve been and what you’ve done.

The concept isn’t new, and Photo 365 isn’t the first iPhone app of it’s kind, but he did something right and within the first 11 days Benny has earned a total $6639.32, and he’s on track to earn a lot more since Photo 365 is now the #4 paid photography app in iTunes, and the top 44 overall app in the entire app store!

Yesterday, for example, his $0.99 app was downloaded 3,343 times and netted him a total of $2,325.91!

This was so incredibly inspiring to me, not only because of the income or because he’s been able to rank higher in iTunes than any of the 26 or so applications that my own iPhone app company has published (which is awesome and I’m definitely proud of him for that!), but mainly because he wanted to do something, saw an opportunity, took it, and is now being rewarded for his hard work and execution.

I responded to Benny’s initial email and asked him if he’d be willing to share more details of his story with the SPI audience, and he kindly agreed.

A 4-Question Email Interview with Benny Hsu of Photo 365

1) How did you come up with the idea for Photo 365?

photo365-screenshotI had been using an app similar to the one I designed. It’s also about saving a photo a day. I started using it in April 2010 and used it for a few months. However the app was very basic. No graphics. White background with boxes and a number for the date. You could tell it was created by someone who knew how to code and did a great job but it didn’t look polished.

Even before that, I thought it would be so cool to have my own app in the store. I did a little brainstorming of ideas but that was about it. I had no idea how to even get started. I didn’t think it was possible for me. I put that dream away. It wasn’t until I found your blog around October or November 2010. Immediately, I was hooked on your story and your content.

You wrote about creating apps as a side project and I thought to myself maybe this is something I really can do. Your story inspired me. So in December 2010, I got started. I knew I could make a better photo app.

I did a search of the App store and didn’t see any other apps besides that one. Because I saw so many reviews, I knew there was a market for it and I knew I could really make my app stand out with little competition.

Also I had seen online many people do 365 photo projects. Most display it on Flickr, their blog, or just post it to Twitter. So there were people interested in saving a photo a day in one convenient place.

I learned that if you try to market your product to everyone, then you’ll reach no one. I knew this app would target a specific niche.

What I did was I looked through the reviews and looked at the average or bad reviews. I read their feedback. I took notes. One thing they wanted was to be able to see the days of the week. You couldn’t see that in the other app. People also asked for a realistic looking calendar.

I looked to other apps I loved to see how it handled photos. I studied design elements that I liked.

I just took an existing idea and improved on it.

2) How did you create the application and how much did it cost to build?

I followed your suggestion to use Elance. I had never outsourced anything before but you had great experiences using it. I also bought the book you recommended. It gave me a blueprint of step by step what I needed to do from an absolute beginners point of view. (Editor’s Note: As of 2015, Elance has combined with oDesk to create Upwork. The links below still work, but the company name has changed.)

(Pat here with a really quick disclaimer. The how-to guide, How to Create iPhone Apps without Programming Experience, is an eBook that I promote, and I do earn a commission if you make a purchase through the links on this page. If you have any questions about it, please let me know. It has all of the information one needs to turn an idea into an iPhone app and put it into the App Store. BUT – it’s important to know that just because you publish an app doesn’t mean that it will become successful. The idea and the application has to be good, and even then it’s not guaranteed. Okay, back to Benny!)

In January 2011, I posted my job on Elance. I had proposals from $730 to $4000. I couldn’t understand how there could be such a huge difference. I pretty quickly eliminated the ones that sent a proposal without emailing me about more specifics about the app.

The others one I looked through their portfolio and feedback. If I was interested I would email them to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) first and then give them specifics about the apps. This was my first time outsourcing anything so I took my time to find the best I could.

Once I found my team, we got started. The project started on February 7. I sent them my mockups of what I wanted. I told them about the functions. What was great about them was they also did the graphics for the app and the icons. I didn’t have to look elsewhere for that.

The first phase was working on the GUI (graphical user interface) and the icon. They asked how I wanted it to look and would come back with what they did. I sent my notes to them and they’d do what I asked. I was amazed by how it looked.

Then they started on the coding part. The first time I got to see the app was in a video they sent over. They sent videos over until it was ready to be tested on the iPhone. That’s where the ebook came in handy, as well, because using Xcode can be complicated.

I thought the app would be done in three months. The testing phase took longer but that was fine with me because I wanted to make sure the features were working right.

Throughout this whole time I emailed them. I never got on Skype but didn’t really need to.

The app was finished on August 4, almost seven months from the start date. The total cost was $1892. That price also included the work for an iPad version. That was the price they gave at the beginning and it never changed, even though I wanted to add more features than I said at the beginning.

3) How did you market the application?

I know I’m not the best person to ask about marketing my app because I didn’t do any marketing. But I had one key that really helped my sales that first weekend.

I setup a Twitter and Facebook fanpage to try and get people interested before I released the app. I didn’t really get that many followers and fans.

I created a website from a $10 theme from Themeforest.com that I slightly customized.

I also became a reader of the forum http://www.iphonedevsdk.com/. I thought marketing would be such a huge part of the app. Instead I learned that marketing is a small part of your app. How many ads have you seen for Angry Bird, Cut the Rope or Fruit Ninja? Probably none. It just spread through word of mouth. You’re better off spending the money back into the app.

I didn’t do any pre-marketing. I just posted on the app account for Twitter and Facebook that my app was available. Again I didn’t have that many fans. I also told all my friends about it on Twitter and Facebook and some were great enough to share it with their friends.

Then once my app was released, I got an email the first day from Appadvice.com who wanted to do a review.

Then I got an email from a couple other smaller app blogs that reviewed my app. A guy from Poland actually emailed me and wanted a promo code to do a review. He told me he had 45,000 devoted readers and about 170,000 pageviews/month. Sure, why not?

I will tell you, what I believe to be the key to my marketing. I released my app on a Thursday. In the forum, there was discussion of the best day to release an app. You can choose any day. The consensus was either a Wednesday or Thursday because the weekend is the busiest time for downloads. So I went for Thursday.

When your app is released it will show up under “release date” in your category. I knew I would get some exposure from that. I read that was important because people will browse to see what’s new.

I couldn’t tell how many people found my app through keywords so I just assumed most downloads for that first weekend was because it was seen in the new category.

From Thursday to Sunday my app was downloaded a total 1,325 times at 99 cents. Completely amazed! I had reached as high as #47 in the photo category.

However Monday-Wednesday my app was moved further down in the release date section so not as many people saw it. I had 219, 114, and 93 downloads respectively. I didn’t know at that point what I should do to get my app back up. I imagined I had to start asking for reviews on blogs. To be honest, I felt dejected to see sales declining after a great first weekend. I knew it would get lost with all the other apps and only be found if people searched for it.

Then on Thursday, I hit the app lottery.

photo365Thursday night I was checking the App store while at work. I looked to the featured page and couldn’t believe what I saw. I saw my app on the screen listed right below ESPN Fantasy Football! I’ve never won the lottery before but I imagine I would react the same way as I did when I saw my app there. I was stunned and I called my sister to ask her to check to make sure it wasn’t just my phone showing it.

Why was I so excited? Because from my reading, I knew being on the featured page would be a huge boost in visibility.

Not only was it on that page but above the fold. We all know how important that spot is on a website.

If you look at the App store in iTunes it’s called “New and Noteworthy”. The only way to get in that coveted section is to be selected by Apple. There’s nothing you can do at all. They look at the quality of the apps and number of downloads I assume. I saw apps that had no reviews or ratings, so that’s not a big factor.

Apps are featured on that page from Thursday—Wednesday only. I knew this was going to be huge for my app. I literally could not sleep Thursday night because I kept thinking of checking my sales figures Friday morning.

I woke up and checked right away.

I had 982 downloads! The day before I only had 93. Apple keeps 30% so my cut would be $658.10. I’ve never made anywhere near that amount of money in one day online!

I knew the weekend would be even better. I couldn’t sleep Friday night at all When I checked I saw Friday had 1,767 downloads and Saturday I had 1,712, and Sunday 3,343! Even seeing those numbers now leave me speechless.

Since I’ve been on that page, my app has gotten to #4 in the photo category and now #44 in the whole app store! On Sunday the App store Facebook fan page featured my app. They have 2.5 million fans.

Through the first full 11 days I’ve earned $6,639.32.

Photo 365 after 11 Days

So the key to my marketing was to put all my money into the app. To make it the best I could and make it great for the users. If I hadn’t done that, no matter how many review sites I submitted to, or money I spent on ads on blogs, I know for sure I wouldn’t have been featured by Apple.

4) What’s next for Photo 365? Are there any updates planned?

Well now that my app has turned from a small project into something that could last for a long time, I’m thinking about what’s next. First I have to be ready for what’s going to happen after I get removed from the new and noteworthy section. I really want to keep this momentum I have going.

I’m definitely thinking of adding more features. I’ve gotten emails about certain features they would like.

However when I created this app, I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. You take a photo, you add it for that day and you do it again. You can share your app on social media or email it to yourself.

So I know whatever features I add, I don’t want it to take away from the simplicity of it.

My developers said they are working on being able to sync photos between the iPhone and iPad with the upcoming iCloud. I know if they can do that, that will definitely be an added feature.

I had some bigger goals in mind but I’m taking this one step at a time.

In closing, I just want to say thanks to Pat. If I hadn’t come across your blog, this never would have happened for sure. Just reading your story inspired me to take action. I’m just a regular guy with a full time job still but with a goal of making money online. Apps aren’t the only way but one of many ways I am planning.

Lessons Learned

Before I finish up, I just wanted to thank Benny once again for sharing his amazing success story with us.

You can get to know Benny even better by checking out his blog at Get Busy Living.

Being a part of the app store market for nearly 3 years now myself, I can tell you that success stories like this do happen every day, but at the same time—and I’m just being honest here—there are a lot more apps that are built that never even come close to this kind of success. Many get published, and within a week disappear to never be seen again.

Benny, of couse, had a lot of things working in his favor: a very sleek and well-designed application, one that people were happy to share through word of mouth and social media (which is built into his app—smart!) and it’s one that caught Apple’s attention. He also had great immediate exposure by giving himself the most visibility in the Newly Released section on the first day, which I’ve learned to be pretty important too.

He hit the jackpot, but the most important thing is this: he gave himself a chance to hit the jackpot.

Now, I’m not saying you should buy lottery tickets and hope for a miracle, but what he did was he made decisions, took action, executed, and gave himself the best chance to succeed.

Did this happen overnight?

It might seem like it, but remember—it took him 7 months to complete the application to his liking, and a lot of hard work and probably a lot of frustration too. Things like this don’t happen overnight—there is almost always some kind of work involved for a long period beforehand.

Am I saying you should go into the app market?

No—that’s not the point of this post, although you can if you want. I’m in it, and Benny proved that there’s still room in the App Store for more success stories, even today.

My point is that whatever it is you want to do, do it! Why wouldn’t you try?

Congrats Benny, you deserve it my friend!

“To me it means taking control of our lives, instead of waiting for something to happen.”

  • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

    Really thanks again Pat for the inspiration to get up and do something about my situation!

    I hope it inspires your readers that anyone can do this too.

    I’ll be happy to answer any questions!

    • http://www.sparringmind.com Gregory C.

      What was it like working on an outsourced for the (I assume) first time?

      Did you have a payment plan set up with the team that you worked with?

      Did you do all communications by email?

      Lastly, if you care to talk about this, what were some mistakes that you made during the process that you would correct in your next app endeavor?

      • http://www.sparringmind.com Gregory C.

        *working on an outsourced PROJECT for the first time

        Sorry, can’t type at the moment apparently.

      • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

        Hey Gregory,

        It wasn’t too bad the first time I did it. Because in that ebook I bought, they teach you how to use Elance. So I had an idea of how to approach it.

        Yes in Elance you put money into escrow. The developers will set milestones and when they finish a milestone, and the work is good, you release that portion of the payment.

        Mistakes? I know I made some but honestly I can’t think of any right now. Must not have been major mistakes.

        Great questions and hope those answers help!

  • http://www.theuglykoala.com TheUglyKoala

    Awesome Benny!!! Just Remember I want that Day in a Life of a Restaurant worker you promised me. You better write it quickly before it turns into a Day in the Life of Benny”the Millionaire”Hsu

    Nice work mate:)

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      You’re right Jim! I’m glad you reminded me. Will get that to you this week!

      Thanks so much!

  • Christian B. Mueller

    I think the idea behind the app is pretty solid, so i’d say Benny really deserves this kind of success! It’s really cool to see a 350% ROI after just 11 days of it beeing online…
    Thanks for sharing this Pat!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Christian. Appreciate that! I’m amazed at the ROI. I never expected it go spread so much so quickly! It’s been quite a ride and I hope it keeps up!

      Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

    This is GREAT!

    I know Benny, he’s a good guy, and a very, very SMART guy, too. Our conversations over Twitter and my blog have always been enjoyable and inspiring.

    Congrats to you, Benny… And thanks to you, Pat for putting this post live. Excellent read, bud.


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much Chris! You’ve definitely inspired me to step up my game from reading your content to listening to your interviews!

      I hope to one day actually have a need for a VA and I know where I’ll turn to get one!

      Thanks Chris!

      • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

        Good man!!!

        That’s what I like to hear…. :-)


  • http://aphototaken.blogspot.com JP

    Wow, this is a great story! I’ve actually seen the app a few times. It’s great to see what’s coming out of the SPI community. Keep at it!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      That’s cool you saw the app JP! It’s spread faster than I imagined but I’m loving it.

      Thanks for reading!

  • http://themileshighlife.com Andrew

    Damn Benny, that’s awesome. I’m mirin’.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Andrew!! Got your email and will get back with you!

  • http://mikeforshort.com Mike Moyer

    Great story. That’s one thing I’ve found with elance is you get a great price, but whether it be the time zone difference or language barrier, it takes a long time to get a finished product.

    I also love that you just made an existing app better. Everyone thinks their ideas need to be revolutionary. You’re the proof that quality work will get rewarded.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks for reading Mike!

      Yeah I didn’t reinvent the wheel and that’s okay. There are so many products out there that exists but someone came along to make it better.

      So that’s what people should keep in mind. Great point!

  • http://live-your-love.com/ Brankica

    Pat, I am so glad you featured Benny today (and Danielle yesterday). I consider them both friends and I am so happy about their success.

    I talked to Benny yesterday on G+ about this, when he shared that his app was the featured one, and it was the first time I ever actually wanted to own an iPad. Fortunately it is my Bday in less then a month and I know what I am going for, I just have to have this app :)

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Brankica for reading! Thanks for all the kind words since I’ve released my app!

      I appreciate that. :)

  • http://grindandthrive.com Torrey

    Benny is a great guy so this is fitting that he’s been successful with his app. Just goes to show you that getting your butt off the sidelines and into the game is key!

    Thanks for sharing Benny’s story, Pat!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks for coming by Torrey! I’m working on my grind so I can thrive!

      Talk to you soon man!

  • KimP

    Way to go Benny! Way to go! That was 7 months well spent; better to get quality than to rush and get results.

    I hope this post prompts other people to come forward and share their success from your “teachings”, Pat. You could do a series of success stories!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      I’m sure Pat has inspired many people online and could feature many of them!

      I agree I’m glad it took longer than I expected. A rush product would not have great.

      Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.breakingzero.com Brian Yang

    So inspiring. Apps are a great way to get an idea launched.

    The idea of looking at the bad and moderate reviews to see what features were lacking is really smart! I’ll remember to do things like that for sure.

    Thank you so much for this interview, I loved it!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      I don’t know what made me think to do that but I’m sure I’m not the first that has used bad reviews to improve on an idea. I’m glad I did think of it though. Really helpful in the preplanning process!

      Thanks for reading it!

  • http://www.strayblogger.com Nate @ Strayblogger

    That’s incredible- and awesome. That just proves what taking action + a little figuring it out for yourself can do. Congrats Benny.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you so much for that Nate!

      Yes it took action and some figuring out on myself but that’s where Google came in handy. :)

  • http://www.jeffgrantfitness.com Caleb Galaraga

    Awesome work, Benny! Best of luck in the updates.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you! Definitely need to make the updates great for sure.

  • http://adriennesmith.net Adrienne

    I knew the boy had talent, I just had no idea how much.

    Congratulations Benny, I’m so happy for you my friend. You deserve this and I’m so thrilled that your small little idea brought this full circle. I’m so happy to hear of the success you are having and I see this as just the beginning.

    Best to you my wonderful friend.


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hi my friend! Great to see you here!!

      Thank you so much! My life has changed so much even since we just met when I started blogging! It’s been a great journey so far and look forward to doing more!

  • http://www.salmanahsan.com Salman Ahsan

    Good stuff Benny! I completely believe its possible :)… Good luck and I guess ill hit you up when I need some tips, cheers!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you so much! Yeah if you have questions you could definitely ask Pat or myself. Come find me at my blog.

      Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.UnderstandITNow.com Tom

    Outstanding Benny! You took an existing idea and made it better. Congratulations on sticking with the project too. I know long term software projects can sometimes be shelved. Way to stick with it! Thank you for sharing your story.


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Tom! Yes I do admit I didn’t create a new niche but found a need for something better in it.

      My first time working with software so I didn’t know any better than just be patient. :)

      Thanks for reading my story!

  • http://www.mypassiveincomejourney.net Kelly

    Pat – I love the skepticism at the end of the post here. It’s really important to realize, that even if it you are outsourcing, it’s so important that the app store is quite an expensive venture. Even though there are success stories, more often than not, that won’t be you. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Congrats to Benny for taking action!

  • http://www.gaurano.com/2011/08/how-bad-do-you-want-it.html Jonathan

    Benny, I’m so happy for you! As an adamant reader of your blog and someone who has inspired me (thanks for the e-mails). I think this is well-deserved. One of many success stories – soon to come!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Jonathan! I’m glad to have helped you out! Thanks for being a reader of my blog. That’s awesome!

  • http://www.themadhermit.net/ Mark

    Extremely inspirational! I’ve been watching Benny and to see him hit one out of the park in such a short period of time is an awesome sight to behold.

    Keep those success stories coming!


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hey Mark! Thanks so much for your support along the way. Really appreciate seeing your comments on G+ when i talked about my app. Means a lot!

      I will have more in the future. Stay tuned. :)

  • http://lyndsysimon.com Lyndsy Simon

    I just bought the app and tried it out – it’s slick. You’d better keep that programmer to yourself, or they’re going to have more work than they know what to do with :)

    Congratulations Benny, and kudos to Pat for posting this. SPI seems to be growing from “blog” to “community”, and I think that’s a great thing. I’d love to see the SPI forums – particularly if there is a $30 or $40 membership fee to filter out the spam and noise. I’d be first in line.

    • http://seleema.com Personal Growth @ Seleema.com

      I second that Lyndsy! I was actually wondering the other day. “When is pat gonna have a membership forum.” I guess great minds think a like lol.

      – Seleema

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much for downloading my app! I got really lucky finding them. Their portfolio and how they responded to emails sealed the deal for me. :)

  • http://moviescrunch.com Manikandan

    Wow what an inspirational story…Great job Benny. You really deserve on your success. I keep saying myself that “Take Action”…Because whatever we think n imagine, Taking Action only leads to Success. All the Best for your Future projects. Cheers :)

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much for reading and the kind words! You’re right about we can think positive all we want but taking action is needed for any success. Glad you understand that! Many people don’t.

  • http://hotblogtips.com/ Brian D. Hawkins

    Wow, what an inspiring story. And it says a lot about how important quality is for success. You choose to make the best app when others might have cut a few corners to put toward advertising. It certainly looks like you took the right path. Congratulations Benny, I hope this is only the beginning and things getting even brighter and brighter for you.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Brian! Yes I know none of this would not have been possible if I didn’t focus on a quality product. I honestly didn’t think “I’m going to make so much money” while working on it. I kept my focus on the function and the design. That’s all I could control at that time.

  • http://www.upgradereality.com Diggy

    Damn Benny,
    That’s amazing! Congrats on your success! You deserve it:)


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Diggy! Appreciate that!

  • http://www.commonsensemarketing.net Sarah Russell

    Very cool, Benny! Congrats on your success :)

    One question I had – as a first-time app developer, did you find that your original concept for the app changed a lot throughout the development process or is the final product pretty much what you envisioned?


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Sarah!

      The design ideas I had in mind changed a little with their suggestions.

      However the final product is very similar to what I envisioned it at the beginning! They were really good about listening to my ideas and making it possible.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hi Sarah!

      I found my concept to be very close to the finished product. Just a little changes in terms of button lay out but for the most part, it looks like what I had sketched out when I first started!

  • rban3

    Truly great success story. It makes me want to get off my behind and start working on my online business. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Do it. Get started. Don’t wait or put it off. There is never a right time to start!

  • http://ufo-invader.com Matt

    Contgratulations Benny.

    It really is a stroke of good luck (but also hard work).
    I’m especially impressed with the unsolicited response you got from various review sites and blogs. I released an iPhone game into the store 2 weeks ago and haven’t gotten nearly the same response – even though the app reviews were pretty positive.

    I hope you can keep the momentum going. the iPhone app business is a fun thing to be in.

  • http://www.profitworks.ca Chris R. Keller From Profitworks.ca

    Great story.

    I don’t know much about the apps industry so this was really interesting to read. Thanks Pat for posting.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Chris for reading it!

  • http://www.profitworks.ca Chris R. Keller From Profitworks.ca

    another idea for the product might be to allow each day to be clickable to a photo album for that day.

    You could store the albums on flickr or something.

  • Remco

    Great story, and once more proof that it is possible !!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Remco! It is possible!

  • http://www.marylandstinkbugs.com Maryland Stink Bugs

    Awesome..I’m happy to read about this success story…I have an idea for my own app as I’ve noticed on GA(Google An.) that more folks are coming to my site via iPods, iPads and Android devices..there is a market to make my information more interactive. Anyway I need to get busy..Stay Tuned..!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Great! You could make your app like Pat did with SPI. Readable on the iPhone! That would be really cool. :)

  • http://www.lifepathunlimitedmentors.com Randy

    Congratulations Benny! Excellent story of believing in yourself and doing instead of just dreaming! Thanks Pat for sharing his story.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Randy! Love that image on your website! Looks fun flying in the air. :)

  • http://www.smartbrandidentity.com Andrew Richardson

    Incredible story! I myself have been inspired by the app development posts on SPI. I am still in the process of brainstorming and coming up with ideas for app ideas (as well as saving money to fund the project), but this will certainly help me keep going on my ideas! I love the fact that you can put all your money into a great product and have your hard work recognized by apple!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hey Andrew!

      Thanks! I actually had a comment from an iPhone developer on that forum I mentioned. He read this story and said he was surprised how good my app looked for being outsourced.

      Keep those ideas flowing and get started on one when you have the funds! When you start it, let me know if you have any questions about it and I can try and help. :)

  • http://www.honestibizreviews.com/ Jonathan McShane

    Great post – because I’m not a programmer I never really thought that creating an App would be a viable option for me. Nice to see that I can do it and that someone has been so successful from scratch. Keep up the great posts and congrats Benny!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Pat is not a programmer and neither am I. It is an option because you can outsource it. Otherwise, I would have never been able to do it. Thanks for your comment!

  • http://www.englischtestonline.de Englisch Test Online

    More case studies like this, please.
    Although it looks like an overnight success at first glance, it shows that lots of work and control is necessary to come up with results like these.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much! i would definitely enjoy reading more stories like this from his readers!

  • http://www.myboxingfans.com Edgar

    awesome story. I too want to thank Pat, I build an iphone app cause of Pat, he inspire me to do so. so far I have over 2,030 dowloads is not alot but its something. and I make about 30-50 dollars in Adense so its a win win.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Edgar that’s awesome!! To make an app and make some money off it is better than 99% of the people because many want to do it but haven’t. It’s definitely something for sure. Be proud of that win.

  • http://www.probaseballsecrets.com Mike Lawrence

    Very inspiring story. Just getting started here but really enjoying the blog and learning a ton.

    Next up: Starting a mastermind group in NJ.

    Thanks Pat and nice job Benny.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hi Mike, you’ll love it here. It’ll be one of the best blogs you’ll read. Be sure to go through the archives because there is so much great content. And listen to the podcasts. Amazing content!

  • http://seleema.com Personal Growth @ Seleema.com

    Wonderful post Benny! Your patience, go getter attitude and hard work has really paid off, and will keep on paying. I’m proud of you my SPI brother!

    Thank you Pat, for sharing such an inspiring success story among others. I really enjoy reading them.

    – Seleema

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Seelma!! I appreciate your support. It means a lot!

      • http://seleema.com Personal Growth @ Seleema.com

        You’re welcome!

  • http://www.diamondguidehq.com Richard Scott

    Very very cool. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Congrats on the app Benny, I’m sure you have more up your sleeve that we’ll see in the future. And I’m also sure that putting this up on Pat’s page will give you a nice boost as well. :) Cheers!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much for that Richard! Been great seeing you at my blog and sharing in the comments all the time!

      Yes having my story here has been such a huge boost! Been almost as wild as my sales. :)

  • http://cjstott.com Chris Stott

    The main thing I took from this interview is a personal kicking for not taking action myself. And I need it. Regularly. I’ve wanted to build apps since the day the app store has launched, but I haven’t. Benny, who is a super cool guy as well as an action taker, deserves all his success and more, not only for taking action but for persevering.

    Thanks for sharing Benny and Pat, great stuff.

  • http://www.101things1001days.com simply paul

    That is a great story and very inspiring .

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you Paul!

  • http://doublestrollerreviewslist.com Lela

    Excellent post. Very inspiring. I find it very interesting and smart that you took the existing app and made it better. This is an excellent way to create an app.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      It’s the only way I knew to make an app. It just came to me because I was using another app but felt it could look better with some different features. Sometimes the ideas are right under our nose but we don’t see them. :)

  • http://www.igiftblog.com Missy (from iGiftBlog.com)

    Hey, Pat:

    I follow Benny on my Twitter stream and he’s a cool guy, had to come over and see what took place. Congrats, Benny. Well done.

    Am going to feature your cool app on my iPhone gift blog right now.


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Missy for following along! Saw your write up. Thank you for that!

  • http://chrismentormereviews.com Joshua Zamora

    WOW this is an absolutely AMAZING story! Congratulations on ALL your success Benny!

    Way to see an opportunity and run with it. I will be looking for unpolished apps :)

    Joshua the ZamuraiBlogger

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hey Joshua! Definitely look for those! If it’s an app that you would use, then that’s even better cause then you would know what features you would want.

      Thanks for reading my story!!

  • http://learnnichemarketing.com David Tong

    Congrats Benny!

    Not that I’m jumping on the App bandwagon (don’t know squat about it yet) but damn this was a nice pick-me-upper story to read in the morning (yes, it’s AM here in Singapore)… Great job and as usual, Pat, see what you’re doing to us??? 😀

    Dave Tong from David’s Simple Photography

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks David! I appreciate that. Thanks for sharing the story with your followers too!

  • http://www.sbrownartblog.com Michele Brown

    Hey Pat,

    I follow Benny on my twitter stream, and he mentioned his app was in development. This is so exciting that it has taken off! He is an inspiration that lots of perseverance pays off! Well done Benny!

    Warm Regards,


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hey Michele!

      Thanks so much for following along on this ride. I appreciate your support along the way!

  • http://lifeinthegrid.com Cory Lamle

    Another great success story! It’s stories like these that make everyone smile. Way to go Benny on your application! Haven’t seen your site yet but I’ll definitely be adding you to my watch list…

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you so much Cory! I’m happy to share my story here. Thanks to Pat for the opportunity!

  • http://www.carolineelle.com.au Caroline Elle

    Congrats Benny! I love reading these kind of success stories. As David Tong wrote – it’s a nice pick-me-upper, especially on those hard days where it feels like you aren’t getting anywhere!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hi Caroline,

      I enjoy stories of people doing great things, no matter what area it’s in. It definitely helps to inspire!! I like it when it comes from regular people who have done amazing things.


  • http://twitter.com/ryanbiddulph Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Pat and Benny,

    Thanks for sharing the inspiration!

    You can accomplish wonderful things only if you believe you can do it. Believe is not just saying it, it’s doing it. Spending time painting a mental picture of success than hustling like heck to get your name out there, network, and connect with influencers so you can become an influencer yourself.

    Thanks again for sharing and have a powerful day!


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Ryan. You are so right. It’s not enough to plan and visualize it. It takes getting out there and taking action and working towards your goals.

      Thanks for the kind words!!

  • http://www.kidsiphoneapps.net Pavel

    Congrats! What an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing Pat and Benny!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you so much Pavel!

  • http://theaveragegenius.net James Hussey

    Bloody genius – just read the story at Benny’s site GetBusyLiving.com, and recommend anyone read both this post and his own for a full, 3-D version. Pretty inspiring, it only gets better the more you read it.

    Hat’s off to Pat – you inspire a lot of us in the industry, happy to include myself in your fan club (although I don’t play a good sycophant). This has to be totally rewarding as a blogger to read for you – WTG at raising the bar.

    And Benny – best of luck to you, you’ve already beat your mentor – how’s that for having your cake and eating Pat’s ice cream? 😀

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks James!

      I may have got Pat beat in the iPhone side but he’s got so much more going on. I’d love to trade places with him. :)

      Yes Pat’s an inspiration for sure! I hope there are many more stories to come from his readers.

      Thanks James!

  • http://www.asbestos-watch.com Cory Buckles

    Very inspirational story, Pat, and congratulations, Benny!

    Anyone else have a sneaking suspicion that the number of iPhone apps being released will be making a jump a few months from now? ;^)

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hahaha….that may be true Cory. Still there are hundreds, if not thousands released everyday!

      There could be the next Angry Bird in there somewhere. :)

  • http://www.wasimismail.com Wasim Ismail

    Amazing result, and a great idea for the app.
    Very inspiration, it goes to show that if anyone really want to achieve something, it can be done, you need patience and patience with allot of hard work and determination. Congrats on the results.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you so much Wasim!

  • http://www.akilbrown.com Akil

    Thanks Benny and Pat,
    I think one of the most important message of this post is this:

    Did this happen overnight?

    It might seem like it, but remember – it took him 7 months to complete the application to his liking, and a lot of hard work and probably a lot of frustration too. Things like this don’t happen overnight – there is almost always some kind of work involved for a long period beforehand.

    A lot of people see other individuals becoming successful what seem to be over night but fail to realize that it probably was after many failures or many mistakes they have made and realize this way doesn’t work so try another way.

    I think most bloggers or non blogger who because successful in any endeavour should shield some more light into what didn’t work and what work so that people can see it takes working smart and hard to get what you want.

    I am in the process of creating such a site that showcases similar stories online because I think people should see that its not an over night success stories and realize hard work is involved. If they are not prepare to work smart and hard then dont bother wasting their time or money.

    As Tony Robbins says: Decide on an outcome, take action, notice whether its working or not, repeat the process if it is and if its not then try another option.

    As bloggers there will be time when things don’t go your way but you just have to keep pushing forward.

    Benny the results are amazing and congrads and what I like most is that you took action.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Well said Akil! Too often people see bloggers like Pat and think he did this so quickly. They had no idea how much work was put into it just to get to this point.

      These days we want everything fast. Fast food. Fast download speeds. Fast reply.

      In the case of creating a product or idea that is good, it takes much longer.

      Thanks for sharing Akil!

  • http://www.tradingsimply.com David Thomas

    Awesome result. This is such a powerful story it was exactly what I needed for a boost of inspiration and motivation!

    The message is clear: take action to create the best content you can create, no skimping on quality.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Yes David. Take action. Create the best quality you can. Don’t cut corners. That’s the part you can control. Once you have it out there for the public, it’s in their hands.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!

  • http://www.theinfopreneur.net TheInfoPreneur

    Benny, congrats on the awesome reward from perseverance! That is awesome!

    Pat, Thanks for taking the time to provide a great review of the story also. I’m sure you loved every second of it as the inspiration for Ben.

    Awesome job.


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much Brandon! Definitely perseverance was a key. It would have been easy to get frustrated cause it was taking so long. Luckily for this time, I kept on going and didn’t give up!

  • http://www.rojaweb.com/website-design Philadelphia Website Design

    congrats on success of the app!

  • http://thedigitalpost.co.uk Jose Jimenez

    Thanks Pat and Benny for an excellent story/case study. Inspiring but also incredibly helpful. The app was created for a very competitive price too which was interesting to know.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Jose!

  • http://www.ebook-websites.com Tomalley

    Benny, you may have specified this already and I missed it but is there ANY chance you’ll divulge your programmer?

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hi Tom,

      Not right at this moment. Gotta talk w/ them first to see if it’s okay. They are a small company so want to see if they can handle the number of requests I’ve been getting!

  • http://www.precinctpress.co.uk Therese

    This is such an inspirational story! It makes me want to buy an iphone so I can use the app :-) The app looks beautifully made. I wish there was a software program like it that I could use on my netbook.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Therese! If you can’t get an iPhone you could get an iPod touch. :)

      Thanks for the compliment and reading my interview!

  • http://www.seobasicsandstrategies.com TomL

    I wouldn’t call that winning a lottery… maybe if you add a couple zeros at the end. This is pretty normal income for (I would hope) most internet marketers.

    What I am curious is how the sales continue to go a month / 3 months / 1 year from now for this app.


    • Pat

      $2000+ a day is normal income for internet marketers?

      I don’t think so!

      For the app store, definitely not normal.

      • http://www.seobasicsandstrategies.com TomL

        I’m talking about the monthly income.

        Daily is hard to say, mine was $1700 yesterday… lol… no lottery.

        As far as the app store, not sure. The way I see it though is there is an initial influx of cash and then it dies off.

        That’s why I am curious to see how it turns out.


      • http://www.seobasicsandstrategies.com TomL

        It’s not like this guy is making $2,000+ per day either… so not sure where you got that?

        He did it one time… lol.. should I write a post ever time I hit $2,000 in a day?

        I was talking about monthly income

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      I didn’t say I won the lottery. I said my emotions felt as if I did.

  • http://www.musicadigitale.net matteo

    Hi Berry hi pat.
    I had a few questions for you, since i want to understand something I’m missing.
    1) which criterias did you use to find the best team on elance?
    2) why did you set the price exactly at 1dollar?
    3) when you gave the commission to the app team, did you have a society? Do you have it now or when are you planning to open it?

    Many thanks for your answer and your story, it has been really inspiring for me!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hi Matteo. Thanks for the questions.

      1) I looked at their portfolio. I wanted to see what kind of apps they had worked on before. If I could I wanted to download it and test it out. I looked at feedback. Very important to see how others rated them. I looked at how quickly they responded to my emails and how their english was. Very important for communications since some are based overseas.

      2)I thought about pricing it at 1.99 but decided on 99 cents because it’s a simple app. If you price is at 1.99, you will probably have less downloads. It’s not much money but in the app store, 1.99 feels like a lot. 99 cents more people will buy, so that means you have a better chance to be ranked higher in the store. That’s important because more people will see your app.

      3) I’m sorry Matteo, I don’t quite understand this question. Please ask again and I can help you. Apple does take 30% commission of each sale. They keep it and they will send the rest of the money every month.

      Thanks for reading!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      1) I made sure they communicated well in english. Very important if they are based overseas. I wanted to see their past work and past reviews. If I saw bad reviews, I wouldn’t go with them.

      2) making it 99 cents makes more people buy it. You can set it at 1.99 but may not get as people people. I wanted more people to download it to increase my rankings. Plus it’s a simple app so I felt 99 cents was the right price for it.

      3) I don’t quite understand this question. Could you please clarify and I can answer it for you.


  • http://www.internetentrepreneurconnection.com Hector Avellaneda

    Whoa Benny! Super proud and excited for you my man. Dude, you’re another great testament to ACTION, man. One simple word that has such a profound impact on the possibilities that it can open in your life.

    I definitely look forward to what’s to come from you, Benny! Congrats to you on this great milestone reached. It’s only the beginning for you. I’m sure of it.

    Talk to you soon!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much Hector! I took action but easily quit when I lost interest in it. This time I found something I was really interested in.

      Thank you so much for the kind words Hector!

  • Joe

    Congratulations Benny on your success and wish you have many more splendid runs like this.

    I wonder if you will be able to tell us if this was a fixed cost project or was it on hourly basis? I mostly see iphone app developers working on hourly basis.


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Joe!

      This was a fixed cost project. When I put up my proposal on Elance it was all fixed based prices. I believe my developers calculated their price based on how many hours it would take but for me it came out to one price.

      If I had a new idea while they were coding it, they would tell me how much extra it would cost, if I wanted to. I didn’t add anything extra. Will do in future updates.

      • Joe

        Thanks a lot for your reply, Benny. Some follow up questions if you don’t mind, how did you do your mockups? Did you test on your own regular use iphone or did you buy an iphone for testing apps?

        I don’t know if you had a look at this site :

        They provide creative resources: images, sketches, stencils etc. Not my site but was thinking of getting a membership so I could provide the developers with some resources to help them along.

        Another question that may have already been asked, but here goes anyway, are you letting the cat out of the bag on the developers? Seems like they delivered a good result, would you mind sharing their details if not in public may be in an email on request basis?

        Thanks again for your responses, you are a great inspiration to all of us. Keep us the good work!

        • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

          I did my mockups my drawing them actually. I saw some people bought wireframe tools or did them on the computer on a website. I just drew it by hand. I made sure to use my iPhone so I had the right size of the phone and the screen.

          That looks like a great site. If you’re outsourcing it, you may not need it. Just depends on if they do the graphics and coding. Sometimes you might have to get people to do it separately. Just have to talk to them to see if they need graphics or will create it themselves. If they need graphics, then maybe that website will come in handy.

          I tested on my own iPhone. I have the iPhone 4. In Xcode you can test on a simulator but it’s best to test on an actual device.

          I haven’t said anything about my developers. I’m asking them first to see what they think. I know they’re on Odesk now. They were on Elance but for some reason not there. Not sure why. Just emailed my guy to ask if it was okay to share their company. I’ll be honest, I’d love to give them business cause they’re great but I also want to make sure they can update my app! :)

          You can send me an email through my blog. When I find out I can let you know. Thanks!

        • Joe

          Thanks a million Benny, will get in touch through your blog. Gotta go and sleep now …zzzz!!

  • http://www.jonathanleesmith.com Jonathan Lee Smith – Internet Marketer

    Benny, that is AWESOME!

    I hope for your continued success. I think I may give this a try. I will post about it when I actually get it going.

    That is just cool how you got your success. It was a great story and you should write a report on how you achieved your success. Just a thought.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much for reading! You should try! Just understand my results are not normal.

      Do it cause you’re interested in it. Don’t expect to make money from it. Do it cause that’s what you want to do.

      Good luck!

  • http://www.youcanworkless.com Dean Soto

    Wow, great job, Benny! That is so inspiring and such a great idea. I think the main takeaway is that you actually did something and made it work. I am glad that the post also showed that it took you a long time and a lot of hard work to make this happen – and that it wasnt a get rich in a day scheme.

    Can’t wait to see how you continue to monetize off of this success.


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you Dean! I hope to use this momentum and continue on to bigger things! Yes it did take a long time. I had to be patient and not get upset when it took longer than expected. Definitely not a get rich scheme at all!

      Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.musicadigitale.net matteo

    In my third question i just wanted to know if you opened a business to declare your incomes, and if you started it before the app hit the market.

    Now a technical question, since i don’t have an iPhone and i can’t check by myself: where are uploaded the photos that the users share via facebook? Are they uploaded to a website dedicated to the app?
    Thanks for your answers!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      I didn’t open a business to declare my income. I didn’t know what to expect so I didn’t. Now I’m thinking about opening a business for apps. Will have to look into it.

      No when users upload a photo to Facebook, it’s posted on your wall and into an album called “Photo 365”. So Facebook hosts the photo.

      Hope that answers your question!

  • http://www.micro-sim.biz Kad

    WOW awesome! Congratulations! Even I get excited when reading it! And thanks for Elance, never knew that site before!

    I´m happy for you, was great to reading it.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you for reading! Pat has had a lot of success on Elance. That was my first time using it. I would recommend it for sure.

  • B2mfnk

    @Pat Flynn

    When are we going to get an update on your iOS dev venture?

    We know things “have been cookin” since you been talking about getting aggressive in iPhone app development over the last few months.

    When are we going to see an update in the form of a blog post, podcast, or video?


  • http://www.smartyoungminds.com Kim|Smart Young Minds

    Congratulations! Thanks to Pat and Benny for transforming lives by showing that success can be achieved through perseverance and delivering quality products. May the successes continue!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you very much Kim! I hope to inspire others with my story!

  • http://www.savingtoinvest.com andy

    great story (inspirational indeed). I had a similiar kind of success – spike in income – with my site last year thanks to a conflux of events that resulted in my site traffic going from 100K per month to about 450K per month. Revenue’s almost tripled and for a while I thought about giving up my day job.

    Luckily (or unfotunately from my perspective) I did not as the traffic ebbed away following google’s panda algorithim. But the point is that I am now trying to find my second “big” idea or strategy – which seems much harder than the first one, and harder to motivate oneself. But Benny’s story got me thinking about the smartphone channel and perhaps opens up a few new options. Thanks.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hi Andy! that’s a huge spike in traffic. Wow!!

      Good luck with your second big idea. You have so much experience and knowledge to pull from cause you succeed in growing a site to 450K per month. That’s impressive!

      The App store is huge but with a nice app, you could make some nice passive income from it. Pat has done it!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      That’s a huge jump! Wow!!

      The App market is huge. Especially the iPhone. People say Android users are growing but just from reading one thread, the sales in IOS vs Android don’t even compare. If you’re looking into the smartphone channel, go where the users and the money are. That’s Apple.

  • http://www.paulcaparas.com Paul Caparas

    Wow! This is a great success story. Benny, what you did is very inspirational. Also, the app looks very good and useful. I have to download it myself. Congrats, you earned it.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you Paul! I’m happy to share it here. Thanks for downloading it!

  • http://www.peprepme.com Greg

    Great and inspirational post!

    It seems like lots of people want to know the name of the programmers you used, but I’d be interested in hearing about how you composed your ad on Elance. It seems like a well written post to attract the correct type of programmers you’re looking for is key to a successful project. Any tips on writing proposals, especially how to give enough detail for an accurate quote but not too much detail in order to preserve your idea?

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Greg!

      I believe I used the example ad that was in the ebook in the interview. I’m not 100% but I know I copied an ad from somewhere.

      This is my exact ad. I just copied and pasted it.

      In the ad you don’t give too much detail about the app. Once you get them to sign a NDA, which basically says we won’t steal your idea, then you give them the full details of your app. Then they can give you a proper proposal.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Sorry, some reason it didn’t copy.
      I’m looking to get my iPhone app designed and created. It’s my first venture into this area. I have an iPhone and love it.

      So I’m looking for someone who is professional with a lot of patience because I’m new into this field. Must be able to answer a lot of questions. I’m easy to work with I believe so am looking for someone like that as well. My mantra is to treat people the way I expect to be treated.

      Will take a look at portfolio and see if style fits what I’m looking for.

      If the first app is successful and goes well, there is potential for more projects in the future.

      I’m looking for a fixed rate. Not looking to spend too much because it’s the first app. Once I understand the process, the next one can be more detailed.

  • http://iwings.net Cal

    This is such an awesome story. Much props to Benny for taking an idea and running with it!

    Good job Benny. Keep up the good work!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Cal! I feel like I created a a viral video on Youtube with the way this app has gone the first two weeks!

  • http://pawelbialecki.pl/ Pawe? Bia?ecki

    THAT was VERY inspired. That much, that I’ve created in 3 days Android version :) Benny, I heard you don’t like Android, so you don’t have to make version for them – I’ve already done it 😉 If you wanna see – please go to Android Market: https://market.android.com/details?id=pl.pawelbialecki.a365photoapp

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Nice job! In three days? Impressive. To be honest I don’t know much about Android but I have some friends who love it. Good luck with your app!

  • http://www.buildinternetbusiness.com Yayson Potter | Build Internet Business

    Very nice job Benny! A very inspiring story and very cool app! Thanks for also explaining how long it took, how much, and how you approached creating your first app. This is a great story and info for anyone that may want to follow in your foot path with an app of their own.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hi Yayson,

      Thanks very much! I’ve learned the hard part has yet to come. Now with the app being successful, there’s going to be a lot more work involved. :)

  • http://www.buikvet.net Justin

    wow! Very, very nice! Very motivating. Directly I starting thinking of what app to built:) since ive been thinking about building an app but never knew where to start.. This helps me big time.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Yes I learned from Pat that you can outsource all the work. It worked for me!

  • http://ThompsonNewMedia.net Dwayne Thompson

    Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on your success.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Dwayne!

  • http://www.deauxmaingroup.com Bruce Soileau

    I love it when someone hits a home run…congrats on your big hit Benny! It’s great to hear about the success of others. I’d love to get into the app business, and have been racking my brain to come up with an idea that is different. You definitely made me want to keep thinking. Great job!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Bruce! Keep on thinking. You may get an idea when you least expect it!

  • http://lyndsysimon.com Lyndsy Simon

    I just pulled up the AppStore and saw Photo365 as App of the Week! Congrats Benny! That’s huge!

    You’ve got to update us and let us know how that impacted your sales 😉

  • http://www.modeltrainhobbyist.com Lionel Bachmann

    Awesome story! Congratulations Benny. I actually read a summary of your story on another blog that linked to this interview, and I had to read it. May you continue to improve upon your success.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you so much Lionel!

  • http://www.mikecheck.ca Mike Greig

    Inspiring! Thank you Pat and Benny for sharing this story. I’m sure you will continue to succeed with your apps!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Mike! Pat was awesome to let me share my story here.

  • Alexander G

    Magnificent post Pat. We, your SPI readers, love success stories from you. Mine is on the way…

    Keep doing what you are doing.


  • http://dollartemplatesandfonts.com/blog/ Allyson Stewart

    Hey, Benny! Congratulations! I just read the post on your blog and wanted to check out your app some more. Wow! It’s really a neat invention and looks easy to use. I can see why you’ve had so many downloads. I am ecstatic for you!! You are truly an inspiration! I know someone who would love this app and I’ll be sure to share it with them.


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Allyson! Always great to hear from you! Thanks for sharing my app with your friend!

  • http://st726.com victor

    i have done couple of apps but with no success ,really inspiring story hope to share my success story soon thanks pat ,god bless u and your family

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Keep at it Victor. You don’t need one big app. You can have a library of good small apps and still make good income from that.

  • http://www.passiveincomediary.com Tung Tran

    Your success story really inspires me! Found new idea to make money :D. Thank you Pat and Benny!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hi Tung! Yes try it out but do it cause you want to and not for the money. It’ll be more fun that way. :)

  • http://www.millionaireacts.com Millionaire Acts

    Hey Benny! Congratulations! What background do I need to study if I were to develop an iPhone app? Which specific programming skills perhaps?

    • Pat

      Actually, you don’t need any programming skills at all! Benny and I both outsource our application development.

      • http://www.breakingzero.com Brian Yang

        I think an ebook on how to most cost efficiently hire app programmers, would be great.

        Spending $2000-$5000 is a lot for people starting out!


        • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

          It is Brian. Plus it just depends on how complex your app is. If it’s just one screen then that’ll be less. If you have more screen and more functions, it’ll take more hours.

          You may find a computer engineering student who’s good but just starting out so his rates are lower. Sometimes you have to take a chance.

          But don’t just go for the cheapest. You may get what you paid for.

          For my developers, they had done some apps, great reviews, but in the seven months since I started with them, they’ve had more experience so have raised their rates accordingly.

  • http://certainstrings.com Justin Tucker

    Benny, You’ve probably already noticed, but your app is app of the week right now. Good work!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Justin! I jumped and scream when I saw that!

  • http://InternetiZarabianie.pl tomek


    it’s amazing story.

    Simple way but very effective.

    regards from Poland :)

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much Tomek!

  • James B.


    Glad to see people have success in the ocean of apps that are out there.
    I have made a few apps myself and they have done ok but starting new to help rebrand.

    I bought your app to help support and was toying around with it. One thing I did notice is that once you leave a comment on a particular days photo if i went back in to look at that day and by mistake clicked the message box it would automatically delete the message without prior warning or anything. This maybe intended I do not know, just thought I would let you know.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks James!

      Yeah I heard from other indie developers who were happy to see indie apps get some recognition instead of just from the big boys.

      As for the comment, thanks for letting me know about that. I’ll look into it.

  • http://indiespot.tv Misa Garcia

    congrats on the success story, amazing, I’m definitely inspired and will begin the process soon. Also just wondering, what are you’re numbers looking like now. I know it’s only about a week later, but really interested in keeping up with your story.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hi Misa,

      Thanks so much for reading. Sorry for the late reply to your comment! I hope you do come back and see it. Well after this post I actually got featured App of the Week, which was even better! I averaged $2,000 a day for the seven days I was App of the week.

      Good luck on creating your first app! Seeing it in the store will be pretty exciting.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much Misa! Sorry the delay in your response! Well after this post I got featured as App of the Week that Thursday! That took me by even more surprise. That week I averaged $2K a day. Now that I’m not featured, sales have gone down like I expected. Still a great ride. However I’m putting back money into adding new features.

  • http://www.jeffthecareercoach.com Jeff F.

    That is really awesome. I do have a favor to ask that I think everyone here would want to see. Is it possible for you to come back in a month, three months, a year and repost the graph of your sales as well as how everything worked out long term? It’s obvious you are killing it right now but I think a lot of us are curious to see how much staying power your app has. We want to know what we can hope to achieve if we hit it out of the park like you did.


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Sure Jeff! I would like to do a follow up post in maybe 6 months. I’m curious to know how it will perform moving forward as well. :)

  • Franklin


    Congrats on the success.

    How is AdWhirl? Is it better then using Admob or iAd’s directly?

  • Franklin

    So sorry, I forgot that you had a paid app! That question was for Pat actually…in regards to his post about Paid vs Free apps…my bad :)

    • Pat

      Hey Franklin, I like AdWhirl, a lot. The reason is because both Admob ads and iAds do not give you a 100% fill rate, meaning ads will not show up each time an ad is called for by the application.

      What Adwhirl does is allows you to integrate more than one ad network (there are a lot more than iAds and Admob actually), so that if the app calls for one, and it doesn’t come up, it’ll go to the next and fill it with that one. This ensures your fill rates are as 100% as possible, thus you make more money.

      • Franklin

        Thanks Pat.

        Does Adwhirl offer some type of dashboard to view fill-rates, eCPM’s, etc? What networks are you seeing better eCPM’s with? Also do you recommend using many networks, or just like 2 or 3 main ones?

        • Pat

          The total impressions of each ad network are reported in Adwhirl, but that’s it. The eCPMs and fill rates are shown at the at network site.

          I’m seeing better numbers from iAds, however the fill rates are WAY low compared to Admobs (like 22% vs. 90%). I usually fill iAds first, and then the backup is Admobs.

          I usually just stick with those two, but there are plenty more to choose from.

  • Franklin

    Ever checked out http://www.burstly.com/? I’m interested in trying out both solutions and reporting my findings. Still in the process of getting the app done though 😉

    Thanks again bro. Love your blog!

  • http://www.aboutmyway.com Chukwuka Okwukwe Chukwuka

    Congrats Benny!

    It’s so nice you made it and I pray God keep you going to achieve more. Amen.


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Chukwuka! Thanks so much for the kind words!

  • http://lemoncupcakes.net krista

    Wow, this is so inspiring. I’ve never even considered the possibility of creating an app since I can’t code, but after reading this I feel motivated to give it a try one day. Thanks so much for this post:) I am considering purchasing your app!

    By the way, I love your blog Pat…I come here everyday to check out for new posts..You seem so down to earth, and such a family man…okay enough from me:P

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hi Krista,

      Pat is as down to earth as he appears. No ego around here. :)

      Pat and I have no idea how to code. I’d love to learn but that would time consuming. So hiring others to do it is the best way. :) Thanks for your support!

  • N. Lee

    Such an inspiring story!! Thank you!! Its one thing when you hear a success story– someone’s business that boomed, etc– and perhaps if you give it a google you’ll find it. But there’s the app, right there on apple.com or on your iphone- living proof! Inspired me to take a first stab at earning passive income as well!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much! Take a chance and get started on creating your first passive income stream. You’ll find great resources how to do that here.

  • Sam

    Benny, its really very motivating.
    BTW did you developers from India?

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks Sam! No I used developers from the Ukraine.

  • Sam

    Benny, its really very motivating.
    BTW did you hired developers from India?

  • http://bestmemoryimprovementtips.com Jane

    This is definitely an inspiring story….congratulations Benny! I’ve been checking out some of the applications currently available in my own niche and there’s definitely some opportunities to explore. Wish you much continued success with your app!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much Jane! That’s great you’ve explored your niche and found potential opportunities! If you do make an app, I wish you the best!!

  • http://www.mudrunmaniac.com Paul Philips

    Congrats Benny on your awesome app! I actually downloaded it quite a few months ago and really enjoyed using it…I didn’t make it the whole year, but my wife and I just had a baby girl, so I’m actually going to start using it again to record her first year on the planet!

    Great job and as always, thanks Pat for bringing Benny’s story to our attention!


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Congrats on your new baby girl! I get a lot of emails from new parents. I love how they’re using it to track their kids.

  • http://www.bluecrystalwebdesign.com/blog Joe S

    Congrats Benny! I’m hoping to get my iPad app together by the end of this year as well. I have a couple of Android apps out there but apps for the iPhone/iPad definitely appear to be more profitable. Well…it you have a great cool idea like yours anyway :)

    BTW I have been using Mobclix for the monetization of my free Android apps and it has been more profitable than AdMob for me. Haven’t tried Adwhirl but I’ve heard good things.

    Anyway, congrats again!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you so much Joe! People are die hard Android fans, and the market is growing, but in reality the money with apps is with Apple. Good luck on getting your iPad app done by the end of the year!

  • http://www.great-photography-tips.com Terry

    Great success story Benny! I’m glad the app worked our so well for you. As a photography buff, I love apps apps like this. Great job and keep up the good work!!

  • Peter Palumbo

    Thats cool , I mean the whole app idea . I have a great idea , but scared to share it any thoughts

  • http://lifechangingyear.com Tracey

    Just bought this app. Love it, love it, love it! Will be amazing on our 12 month career break next year!!

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thank you so much Tracey! What an exciting adventure you have planned next year!

  • http://www.learnbloggingsecrets.com Glenn


    Its amazing that you can come up with something so simple that is a winner,

    Pat you are with out doubt an inspiration for providing us with the opportunity to understand what Benny has done

    Many Many thanks,

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      It truly is. Sometimes the best ideas are right in front of us. It doesn’t take reinventing the wheel. Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.startyoungfinishfirst.com Tram Tran

    hi Pat and Benny, this post is so awesome, just like you two. I’m on the infant stage of creating my iPhone app ( which is the idea) and this post has come so handy. Please keep up the good job and good luck to you both.

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      I’m glad to be able to share my story! Good luck on getting your iPhone app made. If you ever have questions, Pat or I would be glad to answer them for you.

  • http://financiallyeliteblog.com Financial Freedom

    Really inspiring story there Benny, congrats on your success. I really want to do an app down the road but like you, working on the research for something that will be useful and spread with word of mouth.

    Dwight Anthony

    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Thanks so much Dwight. Definitely do your homework before you make an investment in an app. But then make sure your execution is great. Ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s all about how you execute your idea that will make an impact in your niche.

  • Mike

    Hi Benny! I love the story, makes me happy to read these. Congratulations. I’s just curious, would it be ok to ask who your developer from elance was?


    • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

      Hey Mike!

      I don’t mind sharing. They aren’t on Elance anymore though. Feel free to contact me at bennyhsu at gmail dot com and I’d be glad to share with you.

  • http://moneyonlinetalk.com Ceejay

    This is the best success story i have read. Congratulation man.

  • http://freebrowsinglink.blogspot.com Legendkid@

    I have an idea on how to build a software also, but i need the fund to make it come to pass.

  • http://www.lavdinapp.dk Philip

    Hey Legend you can share your idea to perhaps get some investors.

  • Caleb

    I was just wondering if you gentlemen know of any success stories like that for Android Marketplace. I am a programmer that is just starting out and I am pretty good with java. I will admit that I prefer to use the App Inventor MIT is providing now over straight coding. But since it still allows me to integrate a lot of intricacy into my apps, I still use it. I want to build my apps and utilize the marketing techniques that I am reading about on here. If either of you can help me to get started, please point me in the right direction.

  • Caleb

    Hey Legend, I have heard of a site called kickstarter.com that provides funding for creative projects. You should try them.

  • MartinF

    This app is not worth of 0.99 in any way. It crashes all the time, cannot use the share button.

  • Adam

    Benny, is there any success for apps which are free to download? How do they generate a passive income if they are free to download?

  • http://getrelationshipback.net Sandra from Get Relationship Back


    What’s next? Are you in the process of developing more apps? Are you planning on cross-promoting?

    Now that some time has passed, are you still making money from this app?

  • http://www.techmadoo.com Yash Sehgal

    Hi Benny hope your app is doing well.Can you share you app sales graph with us,since its been long since you had posted your initial sales report.

  • http://www.danielwinther.se Daniel Winther

    Inspiring story! Very nice to read and congratulations to you :)

  • Sonya y

    Hi Benny
    Congratulations on your success ~
    Thank you for the inspiring story :)
    It’s been a few months now can you update us on your stats?
    Would love to hear how it has come along :)

    • http://www.danielwinther.se Daniel Winther

      Couldn’t agree more! Would be very interesting to see how things are going today!

  • http://appsmillionaireschool.com/ Raphael@how to make money with iphone apps

    I would like to thank Pat and Benny for this interview,I love it.

  • Shadi

    Benny’s “Photo 365 article” lead me to Pat’s awesome encyclopedia,thank you Benny!
    Pat, u deserve a Nobel prize, it is good to see people who spread knowledge these days for free, time to start reading & learning from you.
    Thanks a lot Pat
    good luck guys , God bless!