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How I got started making apps

(Special Thanks To KD For The Best Idea Ever!)

by Michael Dowell

Where do the best ideas come from? Some people might answer that they get their best ideas while sleeping, in the shower, or driving.

But for me, one of the best ideas actually came from my son — when he was 7 years old.

One day in June 2012, he looked up from the iPad and said, “Dad, we should make an app business”. Then he said: “I want 50 cents of every dollar. And I want to buy a house.”

Wow. Just wow.


When I was about his age, I remember asking my poor single mom for $100 to invest in the stock market.

And I remember feeling frustrated because my mom wouldn’t help me follow through with my ideas. Her responses were usually, “Please don’t ask — we can’t afford it”. In my mind, I was giving her a money-making idea so we wouldn’t have to be poor. But she didn’t see it that way.

Please note: as an adult, I completely understand my mom’s thought process. I don’t blame her for not wanting to invest in the financial ideas of a small child. But at the time it was very frustrating!


So when my son said, “Let’s make an app business”, my response was not: “Sorry dude, we can’t because I don’t know how to make an app business”. Which would have been the absolute truth. But I didn’t say that.

I also didn’t say, “Well there is a class on how to make an app business, but it's expensive. I’m a single dad and we can’t afford it”. Which was also true at the time. But I’m glad I didn’t say that, either.

Here’s what I actually said:
“Ok buddy. Let’s do it.”

In hindsight, I would say I definitely took a leap here.


I didn’t know how I would afford to pay for the class, but I signed up anyway. Thankfully, there was an option for a payment plan!

It took about six months for our app business to become profitable. There were definitely times when I almost gave up completely. Fortunately, I stuck with it and it all worked out.

As I write this, it has been 2 years and I have published over 100 apps with almost 2 million downloads. I’ve consistenly earned a six figure income — more money than I ever made before. The app business has allowed me the freedom to work from home, so I can attend my son’s school field trips. We've had the good fortune to take family vacations to the Bahamas in 2013 and Japan in 2014.


All because I listened to the small voice of a 7-year-old child. I took action based on his words, and our family has prospered as a result.

Sometimes my son says to me, “Wasn’t it a good idea when I told you to make an app business?”

And I tell him, “Yeah man, that was a great idea. Keep ‘em coming!”


1.5million dls

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