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AP 0823: I Purchased an App. As a Non-Developer, How Do I Serve My Audience the App?

AP 0823: I Purchased an App. As a Non-Developer, How Do I Serve My Audience the App?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 823 Episode Transcript

Pat: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 823 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.

We have a great question today from Kris, but before we get to that I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is FreshBooks, one of my favorite companies because they help me manage my business finances and they can help you too. They help me with keeping track of my expenses, which they can do automatically, income of course and especially come tax season, which is about a month away at this point.

Just makes it really easy to have all those forms and also just a way to check out your business and how healthy it is. They also help with invoicing. I’ve been doing a lot of invoicing lately, which is great. With FreshBooks, in under 30 seconds, you can create an invoice that’s very professional looking; it’s awesome. If you want to check this out for free for 30 days and give it a trial run, head on over to and make sure you enter “AskPat” in the how did you hear about us? section. All right, now here is today’s question from Kris.

Kristin: Hey Pat, this is Kristin. I just had this crazy opportunity to buy an app that is already existing for the fraction of the price that it would cost to develop an app. I took that opportunity because, yeah, I’d researched the prices to develop the kind of app I was looking at and it was way, way more than what I paid for the app that is already up and running in the iTunes store. Problem is, I’m of course not a developer now. My question is, what do you suggest? Do you think I should just go and hire a developer on Upwork or something like that, or what’s the best way for me to grasp the basics to kind of get to, so that to the place where I can do something to my app, even if it’s just if somebody reports a bug or so? What do I do? Thanks Pat, for everything you do. Would love to hear your answer. Cheers.

Pat: Hey Kris, thank you so much for the question, I really appreciate it. Congrats on grabbing that opportunity, I think it’s kind of cool. If it is something related to something you’re doing already, you just saved that much money. That’s awesome. However, there is going to be an issue here related to the development because you don’t have any experience with that. It is going to be hard to serve your customers here, and apps are software.

When you get into this business you need to have or know someone who has development experience to be able to assault bug problems and to keep up with the updates, even if there are no problems in one version, when Apple comes out with another version of an iOS or something, there could potentially be problems. I’ve run into that before. Personally, just being honest with you, if I get a bug question I don’t know how to solve that. I have to rely on other people. When you do that, it adds a whole another element and level of things, like management and paying people for their time in that regards. You may be saving money up front, but I just want you to be cautious about, well what’s this going to mean in the long run.

There’s a few options that you have here. You can hire people on sites like Upwork, and there are other app development websites and places where you could find contractors and whatnot to help you support your app. The difficulty with that is because it wasn’t built by them, they’re going to have to learn how a person coded it, or whoever coded it, how they’re doing it. You might want to reach out to the person you bought it from to see if actually they were working with somebody, or if it was them, maybe they could come on to just service it every once in a while. That’s probably why they were selling it, because they didn’t want to do that anymore, so maybe that’s not a good option. Again, just trying to talk through this with you here.

The problem is, people have different ways to develop the same thing. It’s even the same with websites. People don’t really know how it’s developed until you go into the back end and the source code, and sometimes it’s clean and sometimes it’s not, even though in the front it looks fine. Hoping that it is something that’s well built and not a mess. I’ve gone onto projects, not app projects but website projects where we get into the back end of their websites and it’s just an absolute mess, where we literally just have to start over and that being the easiest solution. Now, hopefully that’s not the case there.

I would offer next time to recommend that you or anybody do due diligence in thinking about these things ahead of time to make sure that you have systems in place to make sure to keep things updated and whatnot, because software especially just changes quite quickly. With the next iOS app that comes out, or the next iOS, it could just be that like that, your app could just die, and that’s happened to me before and we’ve had to find people. Now, I’ve had people who have developed my apps sort of on call in case there are any bugs, but you might be able to find somebody on Upwork.

If not, what I could also recommend is you go out there and hunt for a partner that can help you who has development experience who can help you serve and service this particular app at the time that it’s needed. You can potentially share parts of the revenue and the profit with this person in exchange for certain amounts of time to service these things per month, for example. Those are your options. I don’t know where to find people like that, except starting with your network and going out there and doing that. You might also want to find potentially other players in your industry that may have some development experience that could offer to sort of partner up on this, and that could be a good way to help spread the word too. Getting those JDs and getting partnerships involved too. Kris, hopefully that gives you some help and some things to think about.

In terms of, like, if your question was, “Hey, let’s learn this language to build these apps,” it’s going to be a little difficult. There are coding and app courses that you could take. I would start with places like or even Udemy to help you find courses to just understand how it works. Even having gone through some of those myself, it’s just still, going into the code it’s just like, you don’t even know where to start sometimes if it’s something you haven’t started yourself. Hopefully this helps and gives you some inspiration and some ideas on how to begin to tackle this.

Kris, thank you so much. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to and you can ask right there on that page. Thank you so much. Thanks again also to FreshBooks for being awesome and their 30 day free trial for those of you who are listening. You can check that out at Make sure you enter “AskPat” in the “how did you hear about us section.” Then lastly, I want to offer a quote to you to finish off the day. That is from Plutarch. The quote is, “Character is a longstanding habit.” Short and sweet. Thanks guys. Take care, and I’ll see you the next episode of AskPat. Bye.

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