Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Journey

Welcome to AppBrood

This is where I record my journey on building a sustainable Android app business and making money with it. I am still in the really early phase of the journey and have no idea if it is going to be a success or failure. But what is crystal clear to me, I want to do it, now. 

I hope you could accompany me in my journey and in return help you to start your own journey as well.


I got the inspirations from many people sharing their experience online. The most important includes
  1. Johannes Borchardt -
  2. David Webb -
  3. Kreci -
I want to thank every one of them. Their willingness to openly share their early experience, including their income figure and growth along the way, really helps me and others alike. I have some more concrete idea on what is realistic, what is achievable, and more important how to make it.

My Journey

On 28 July 2010, I downloaded the Android 2.2 SDK and started my journey. On that particular day, I also had the realization that Android would surpass iPhone. The realization isn't as obvious as you had known it today. iPhone was still the king of the hill and people were totally insane with iPhone. I was one of them. I had been observing the iPhone market and ecosystem. I nearly started with iPhone but gave up because I didn't want to invest in Mac, how ironic. If Apple provided a development environment in Windows, I think the situation would be different now. Ok, that was just me.

From September 2010 to May 2011, I picked up Android programming through self learning at a part-time pace. I have a day job working as an R&D engineer at a multinational hardware company. I had to make use of mostly night time to learn, experiment and code Android. The pace was slow, however I could feel the momentum once I gathered sufficient critical mass in my Android programming knowledge and skill - thing just gets easier when you know more of it.

Back in May, I had the plan to publish my first Android app, LuckyStar. The objective was real simple - I wanted to apply my Android programming knowledge, picked up over the past few months and obtain the experience of Android app publication. Therefore I tried to make a simple app with a funny usage. I didn't expect it to be a big-hit, but I was interested to know how far it could go. LuckyStar simply loads your contact and calculates a 'luck index' and 'lucky number' out of the contacts.


Here is some numbers on LuckyStar. These numbers are in fact very negligible to many people, but they carry significant meaning to me. Before this, I had never ever had the similar experience before. These are eye openers for me. And I truly believe every person would have gone through the same phase, even if he or she is now a big player.

LuckyStar went online on 21 June 2011, almost a year after I first downloaded Android 2.2 SDK. The numbers were based on 11 September 2011, 3 months after the first release.

Android Market
11 Sept 2011 (since 21 June 2011)
Total Install: 402
Active Install: 97 (24%)

Can you imagine my response to these humble numbers? I was like, wow! I had never written any software used by that many people before. After the first day of publish, LuckyStar immediately got 26 active installs. Imagine 26 persons installed and kept LuckyStar only after the first day. And maybe many more people had downloaded but decided to uninstall it.

I thought I would only get the first download after, maybe a week. In 2-month time, LuckyStar acquired 400 downloads and nearly a quarter of the people decided to keep it. Those numbers just blew my mind off. Welcome to the new economy. It is just beyond my old mindset. I had to adapt myself to the new economy. Lots of new thing to learn.

I didn't do much after that, except to release Version 1.1 for bug fix and Admob advertisement on 31 August 2011. Everyday I would just log in and find out the status of install and advertisement. The growth wasn't explosive, in fact kind of slow. But it set my mind and expectation to a new benchmark everyday. I now knew that I could do it, and I need to do much better than this.

11 September 2011 (since 31 August 2011)
Revenue: $1.60
Request: 275
Impression: 157

Again, another set of negligible numbers which carry significant meaning to me. The data simply showed that users use LuckyStar only once, then either uninstall it or keep it without using again. This doesn't help income growth at all. Another good learning for me.

Next Project & Goal

My learning from LuckyStar for the next project
  1. It has to be an app which people use it more often - an easy casual game
  2. It has to have encouragement on users to give good rating and share with their circles
As with others, I am setting my goal for the next project
  1. Active Install: 1000
  2. Admob Request: 5000 per month
Wish me good luck!


  1. I can tell you: Everytime you publish a new app, feedbacks, bugfixes, new stats - its just great!

    Good luck on your journey!

    Best regards

  2. @Johannes, really thanks for your encouragement! I still have a lot to learn, especially from you.

  3. Thanks for the mention, and all the best with your development. I'll be following your blog and hopefully we can share some knowledge and experiences along the way :)

    No matter how negligible the numbers might seem compared with others, it's an amazing experience to see people start using your app for the first time. And you can only move forwards from here! Just the experience of getting in and "doing it" is worth so much.


  4. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

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