Mike39 said: Awesome! Very nice of you to drop in ans say hello, there are tons of guys on here that are "thinking" they want to develop apps, you should have no shortage of? There are a few guys who actually have apps developed myself included and a few who are in the process of getting theirs made, I know I have a million and 1 things I could ask you about your app marketing strategies, but I will save that for another time and after I read the book. Glad to finally get to speak to you, I have heard about you for quite some time now, you have some major fans on here, please stick around!

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But how many of these are truly successes? Meet Allen Wong, a very successful app developer who shares his insight and tips in the elusive world of app development.

Meet Allen of Rego Apps… Tell us a little about where you got your entrepreneurial mindset and motivation from… My life story starts with my parents, who were born in the slums of Hong Kong and China.

Before they met, they both came to the United States with just the shirts on their backs. My father told me that he was so poor that he resorted to sleeping at a YMCA. Both of them were too poor to afford a decent education when they grew up.

Meanwhile, my father taught himself how to administer herbal medicine, and treated sick patients in Chinatown. Eventually my father and mother met through mutual friends and got married and had my older brother and me. Like my brother, I went through the public school system and studied hard.

I did not want to disappoint my parents, because they worked hard to give me this opportunity. It would have been foolish and irresponsible if I wasted it.

Although my father worked from 8 AM to 9 PM, he still spent the night either studying his medical books, teaching me important life lessons, or challenging me at chess. My mother always made sure that we got to school on time, signed us up for extracurricular activities, and limited the amount of TV we watched.

Because of this great parenting, I was able to attend a top college in California majoring in computer science and computer engineering. I spent my spare time in college creating and selling computer programs as well as developing websites for different businesses. After I graduated from college, I started my career at a big tech company. However, a few months after I had started work, my father passed away unnaturally. My mother suffered from severe depression because of this, so I moved back to NYC to be with her and started working at Columbia University.

This was around the time when the iPhone app store started accepting new apps. At the job, I asked them if they could give me a MacBook as my work computer, because you needed an Apple computer to code and submit apps at the time. As soon as I got my MacBook, I learned how to code in Objective-C on my own by reading books and playing with the code. Ever since I was young, I had a fascination with learning new skills and using those skills to help people or create things that helped people.

My father was the same way, and as you can see, he was a great role model for me. As I mentioned previously, my father was my role model, and he had a great impact on my life. He was dealt a bad hand when he was born into a poor family in China. He did not let this unfortunate upbringing deter him from striving for a better life, and most of his life lessons came from this hardship. He taught me how to draw pictures and take photographs, which taught me how to be creative and eventually helped with my graphic design talent.

And most importantly, he worked long hours at work and taught himself how to do everything on his own. This was the type of attitude that influenced me to persevere during stressful times, and to take my education onto my own hands.

His passing was unexpected and gave my family a burden that no family deserved. Since I was the only one making money at the time, I had to step up as the breadwinner for the family, despite being only While my peers were slowly eased into adulthood, I was pushed into the deep end of the pool without warning. I went from being a dependent to an independent to an independent with dependents within the span of a few months.

So, his passing fast-forwarded my life, and the burden, responsibilities and stress I received strengthened my character. What did you study at college? I created my first website in junior high school and learned how to build my own computer even before that. As a child, I was always curious about how things worked, so I would take things apart and put them back together. That is how I learned to build my own computer, and why I also majored in computer engineering.

I was also one of the first people on the internet back when I was still in elementary school and one of the first people in my school to have his own website.

Because our family used to be so poor, my brother and I used to go around the neighborhood during trash day and pick up computers that people had thrown away. We would salvage parts from the computer and either use them as spare parts or add it to our existing computers.

I did not even get to buy my own computer until high school. To this day, I still build my own computers and try to stay on the cutting edge of technology by learning and adopting new technologies on my own. You mentioned that you created programs and websites during college, what kind of work did you do? My college and several other companies hired me to be a web developer while I was attending college there.

They were all part-time jobs that paid well. By the beginning of high school, I was already making animated and interactive websites using Flash. This was my first crack at beautiful user-friendly interfaces for users. I eventually taught myself other advanced languages, such as PHP and SQL, to further develop my web developing skills.

My two college majors did not focus much on web development. Since I was a major gamer, I used to code programs for games like World of Warcraft. During my freshmen year, I was selling these programs and making more than what my father was making.

By the second half of my freshmen year, I was starting to pay off my own college tuition. How did you pick up all the knowledge and skills? How did it lead to iPhone app development? I am a quick learner, so I learned how to code Objective-C in less than a week. You just need to learn the differences between the two languages, because all the basic logic is the same. Most of my profitable skills designing, coding, web developing, and etc.

Even though I only made a few bucks daily in the beginning, I was not deterred by the small profits for my hard work. I was determined to create better apps for several reasons. Firstly, I was the only one in my family with a job.

My older brother had trouble finding a job, because nobody was looking to hire a newly graduated PhD during a recession. So, I took every opportunity to convert my free time into extra cash, because every dollar helped. Secondly, it was always my dream to create something useful that would help people. It was less about the money and fame, and more about making this world slightly better than it already is. Apps have to click with the users.

The litmus test is to see if even you will use the app yourself. That is the test I do whenever I code a new app. If I am not using the app myself, then I think it is a failure. The challenge was that there were not many iPhone developers at the time, so you pretty much had to learn everything on your own without the help of anyone. Nowadays, you can just search on the internet for your programming question, and there will probably be a dozen developers who would have posted an answer to your question already.

It was a gold rush in the sense that there was not much competition at the time. The big companies had not yet stepped in during the first year, so you were mainly competing against other independent developers.

Since I knew how to do graphics design, web development, user-interface creation, programming, and marketing, I was basically my own company. Most developers were either great at coding or great at graphics design. But rarely were they great at both. And for those who were great at both, it was even more rare for them to know how to market their apps.

Thus, I had an advantage over the rest, because I could do all of those things. Nowadays, apps are created by a team of people, and you will rarely find apps created by just one person in the top charts. What were some of your first few iPhone apps? My first app was a browser that removed the toolbars, did not save your browsing history, and allowed you to view websites while offline.

It was a great alternative to Safari. One of my first successful apps was called News Feed Elite , which was the 1 news app back in Using the technologies I developed from my browser app, I made an app that made it easy to view various news sites.

It basically paved the way for the other popular news apps you see today. All of my apps were paid apps, so I made money from satisfied customers who used my apps. Your most successful app to date is your Radio Police Scanner… Radio is currently and has been the 1 police scanner app for the iPhone since it was created in To date, it has been downloaded by at least 10 million people.

It currently is the 1 news app, and at its peak, it was in the top 10 paid apps in various countries. People had many uses for this app from monitoring crime in their neighborhood to getting live alerts about hazards in the region to keeping in touch with family members who were in the force.

People have used this app to get early tornado warnings, hurricane warnings, flood warnings, and other news before the radio and TV broadcast them. It made it to the top charts after I added internet radio stations to the app and created a free ad-supported version of the app. Other copycat apps have since popped up and saturated the market. Where do you get the inspiration and ideas for apps you develop? It was never about luck. News Feed Elite was one of those apps that I put a lot of time and effort into.

By making an app that people want to use, the app promotes and markets itself, because users will tell their friends and family to download the app. I grew up in New York City, where an emergency vehicle blares its sirens every few hours.

There was a curiosity as to what was going on, so I did my research on police scanners.


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Start your review of Lifehacked: How One Family from the Slums Made Millions Selling Apps Write a review Shelves: non-fiction The book is actually a collection of essays or short stories about the events in life, the decisions he's made, and the outcomes of both. It runs in a chronological order, but it does skip around between present day and past, because he applies what he has learned in past to his business decisions in the future. I found out about this book after a friend of mine commented on the author's blog entry that he posted on Facebook. If you're unsure about this author's business acumen, I suggest that The book is actually a collection of essays or short stories about the events in life, the decisions he's made, and the outcomes of both. If you're unsure about this author's business acumen, I suggest that you browse through his Facebook to get a sense of who he is. But it's hard to argue that the author doesn't know what he's talking about.


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Lifehacked: How One Family from the Slums Made Millions Selling Apps


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