This week

So, this week I left my full-time job. It’s been 2 days so far and i’m loving it! No commute, get to spend more time with my daughter, it’s great. Highly recommended.

I’ve been working hard on the freelance job I picked up last week. The end is in sight, which is good, then i can focus all my time on my own projects. I did lunch yesterday with an old friend who is the business development manager for a local IT firm, who gave me a list of apps he’d love to pay me to make. Needless to say, i was scribbling notes furiously! And lastly, i got a call from the government department i had applied for a grant to months ago, telling me that it was progressing, and i may find out if i am successful in early august.

Marketing

My core idea is that i really need to talk face to face with as many small business owners as i can, to get a feel for their problems, and narrow down on the problems that i could help with. But firstly, i need to overcome the obstacle that i don’t actually know any local small business owners! So, to get started with that, I’ve come up with the following marketing ideas to pursue:

  • Local chamber-of-commerce events
  • Write a local business directory / blog, and approach local businesses offering to feature them on it
  • Email all my friends, individual emails, telling them about my quitting-to-start-a-business, and asking if they have any problems that i could make an app to deal with. Who knows, worth a try?

Later on, once i’ve got a product which works well for the locals that i hope to meet, i’ll turn to online marketing to ramp up sales, through SEO, adwords, and the like.

Product ideas

Since last week, i discovered Pivotal Tracker which seems to be exactly what i wanted to create as far as a simplified agile project management system. So i’m considering leaning away from that idea now. I’ve now distilled it to the following ideas:

  • Agile project manager
  • Memory training app that utilises Spaced Repetition
  • Web app that makes it easy to author a blog/website, and uploads it to an S3 host for you
  • Something for personal trainers to manage clients. Clients could use an iOS app to log their workouts, the PT could check up on them, and use it to give them reports and graphs, and use it to manage and book clients
  • Something for photographers to easily create galleries for clients to choose which ones they like
  • Skinnable promo-app and website combo for restaurants and cafes
  • Teachers lesson programming app. All the teachers i know complain about how many hours they spend creating their lesson programs!
  • Time tracker mac app that integrates with harvest and freckle
  • Server monitoring system with a dashboard, iOS app mini-dashboard, easy configuration.

Now, of course, i’m not planning on acting on those ideas until i’ve met with a few small business owners to get an idea what they’d prefer me to work on. But it’s good to toy with ideas in the meantime maybe? If you’ve got any opinions on those ideas please email me and let me know!

Featuring projects

I’d love to write about a project by someone on the mailing list once a week. If you’re interested, by all means email me to tell me about it! It’d be great if we could form some kind of community around people starting their own saas/app businesses in that way.

Thanks for reading! And if you want to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you: chris.hulbert at gmail.

Chris Hulbert

(Comp Sci, Hons - UTS)

iOS Developer in Sydney.

I have worked at places such as Google, News Corp, Fox Sports, NineMSN, FetchTV, Woolworths, and Westpac, among others. If you're looking for a good iOS developer, drop me a line!

Get in touch:
chris.hulbert@gmail.com
github.com/chrishulbert
linkedin
my resume



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