The successes and horrors of Android

The successes and horrors of Android

I’ve been wanting to have a guest post from students of mine for a while now, and we’re kicking it off with a wonderful tale showing the rise and demise of a profitable Android business.  I’m a big believer in teaching what makes you successful as well as what didn’t work.  Each time I’ve failed (which has been often) I’ve learned more than any book could teach.  Like Larry Elison said, “I’ve had all the disadvantages required for success”.
This post is from Alejandro De la Parra Solomon and it’s great… check it out
– Trey

The Successes and Horrors of Android

The fact that the mobile apps business has become one of the top achieving businesses worldwide, surpassing 800k apps for Apple’s iTunes App Store with 40 billion downloads as of  january 2013, and their counterpart Google Play skyrocketing at 800k apps available in their catalog with over 25 billion downloads as of february 2013, has gotten many people rapidly jumping in and changing their lives for good, including myself. ;)

Taking in consideration that every business has its pros and cons, a business that can be run almost entirely from a mobile device is most certainly appealing for many. But, even when everything might seem perfect once you get your awesome apps in the stores, you might want to give some extra thought to what you put up in the market before anything else, so your hard work won’t backfire on you.


Now, to let you know a bit about myself and put things together. I am from Mexico City and I’m 30 years old, completely in love with my wife and my two uncanny kids. My professional background is in multimedia production and been pulling off some cool knacks in the entertainment industry since 2003 with over a thousand music placements in film, TV, radio, and play, alongside other credits for sound design, video editing, visual effects, web design, graphic design, and also ventured into the editorial and publishing world of printed and digital books. My skill set has obviously led me to digital marketing, since most of my work is made with a computer, and have turned myself into a digital architect, creating and implementing digital strategies in order to boost exposure and, of course, sales. I have always loved technology and when i got my first iPhone 3G, I knew I had to get into that picture as well.

My App Journey

So, I started searching online for answers on how to make it in the app world, coming across incredible options like Appcelerator, where you can learn how to code for different platforms and even manage your app repertoire within their software. But, by looking at the stats and analytics and knowing the fact that this business moves so fast, I figured that if I didn’t speed up, I would be left out of the big game, just like in the Internet Marketing boom. So, I made up my mind to find more options to speed up my efforts, coming across lots of software for app creation and tweaking. Although I was not surprised to see many things that were just not right for my strategy, I did find some interesting options that were definitely worth the investment (of course, these were not cheap).

I began my journey in the app world in July 2012, creating my iOS and Android accounts and uploading some apps to see what happened. In the first half of the month I came across the fact that Apple was much more strict in accepting apps than Google Play. I had over 20 apps rejected by Apple but got all of them on Google Play, slowly but constantly getting more downloads every day. So I focused on Google Play at that time and created many reference apps in many different subjects I loved including my favorite writers, like Edgar Allan Poe. It all started coming together and rapidly achieving many of downloads per month which led me to create other apps that I knew could do better from my previous experience and began creating other accounts for my companies. Of course, all my apps were published for free, so that everyone could try them out, no strings attached. So, my monetization strategy was focused entirely on advertising, joining forces with AdmobAirpush, and also smaller companies like Everbadge and Tapgage.

It was amazing for 5 months, my downloads were skyrocketing as well as my income, pushing over 500k downloads and still climbing! I was shocked to see the results coming through everyday with people from all over the world contacting me and asking for features to be added to my apps. I was very happy to provide with the apps that people liked but wanted to get more revenue. That is when I lost my ground and started creating more apps that  crashed my business almost for good.

Going Downhill

One thing you have to be clear about is the content guidelines for any store you submit your app to. I thought I was doing great stuff but needed more income and knew that if I made apps for subjects that already had a big name, I could triple my income. So I started making more apps, just like many other developers that do apps for currently famous artists and other public figures, and I was contacted by different attorneys asking to take the apps down, all of which I did, but by the time I figured out that I could get shut down for DMCA, I went down hard and got suspended, losing most of my income and the ability to publish apps in those accounts for good. So, I desperately started searching online to see if I could appeal to Google and get my accounts reinstated but learned that they have the last word when it comes to DMCA shutdowns, and also that I was lucky enough that I did not get sued for publishing apps with trademark or copyright I did not have the permission to use.

Back on Track

So my advice to you is this, check content guidelines thoroughly before publishing a good idea, use content you have the rights to only, never use trademarks or copyrighted material without permission because even if it is giving you the right traffic, you will get shut down. You can get more information about DMCA, it’s process for noticing and takedown here.

Today I had my head up and looking at my future take another path in the app world, and the good thing thing now is that I’m in Trey’s team as a student or “padawan” to learn the ways of the “force” and get back on my feet and this time make it happen like it should. I’ve learned so much with Trey (whom I thank very much for his patience and guidance) and now have awesome apps on both Apple and Google doing great and looking forward to achieve more in my business!

You can check out my apps  and see where I come from and where I’m going to here.  I’m starting over and would love to hear your thoughts and share experiences to crush it together!!

alex Alejandro De la Parra Solomon is a student of Trey’s and guest poster for the blog.  He’s had over 500,000 downloads in the app store and currently working on releasing games for iOS.  You can find out more about Alejandro here, and also follow him on facebook.



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