How 23 y/o making $740,000 a year with Mobile Apps

24 Apr 2024
$740KRevenue ARR
Mobile AppsCategory
Apps FlippingBusiness Model
React NativeTech stack
Descriptive Alt Text
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👀 Growing Up

> I was, admittedly, a computer addict growing up, and I absolutely loved video games! Somewhere along the line, I found out about and grew an interest for finding cheats and hacks for video games.

Towards the end of 2013, a series of exploits for the game ‘Roblox’ came out which allowed you to run scripts within game servers/instances. This is when I first started to learn how to program. I became obsessed with creating my own scripts, and I was eventually able to write ones wayyy more powerful than anything publicly available at the time. I grew my skills a ton during this period - this was probably my most eye-changing learning experience in tech so far in life if I'm being honest 👩‍💻

I was programming on and off for a few years after that, but nothing too significant until high school in 2016/2017 when I started looking for freelance programming jobs. No one took me seriously as a self-taught teenager who never set foot in college before, but I started to ramp up my skills anyways.

Fun fact and my biggest regret: I was known as a developer throughout my school and I often had friends pitch me ideas! I never took any of them seriously, and one friend told me about his idea of a “digital business card where you could just share a link instead of an actual business card”. I told him that “that’s exactly what LinkedIn is and it already exists”. What he was actually pitching wasn’t LinkedIn, but Linktree. He also pitched it to me months before a single line of code of Linktree was ever even written, and I had the skills to make it at the time. Linktree is a $1.3B company today… oops. 🤦‍♀️

📖 The Start

I learned how to create mobile apps after my school offered to waive my community service requirements (went to a private school) for the rest of my years there if I made a landing app for them.

I started working on more and more personal projects since no one would hire me as a freelancer, and in 2018 I released the first version of a dating app for a specific niche group which I knew were hesitant against joining ‘standard’ dating apps like Tinder or Bumble. The group made up a huge percent of the population yet there were no good dating apps specifically serving them.

Think, for example, of the Muslim population who don't usually date outside of their religion and who have their own standards and norms for dating (and thus wouldn't usually be on Tinder). Ignoring economic differences, would you rather fight to get the 6 billion non-muslim people in the world if you had hundreds or thousands of potential competitors, or would you specialize and fight to get the 2 billion muslims if you only had a single digit number of potential competitors?

That app was semi successful, and then I thought to myself “okay, there are many other groups that are hesitant to join Tinder and I already have the core code and functionalities of a dating app. Why not just reskin the app, add a few minor changes to the back end, and just release it as a new dating app for a different niche group which wouldn’t take too much extra work compared to starting from scratch?” 🤔

Close terms for this is 'white label app' or 'app templates' if you wanna look into it further. An example of this would be if someone made a generic baby phone game app and then released a 'Police Man', 'Fireman', 'Ambulance', or even 'Justice League', and 'Avengers' versions after reskinning, thus casting a wider net.

Since then I’ve released a total of 14 different dating apps. I’m projecting a return of just over $740k after expenses this year combined across all of them. My most popular one makes ~$178k/yr, and my least popular one makes ~$14k/yr.