It’s all very well stating that I have less than a gut feel for the effort involved in developing my first iOS application, but there will come a time that I’ll need to have a more concrete idea. This is necessary because I expect to make a career doing this, and whilst an application is in development1 (particularly the first one that I plan to release) that development needs to be funded.
At present I’m in the process of reviewing guaranteed and prospective income for the next six months from my existing clients, and therefore making a judgement on additional funding that is required to take me through my learning period and the subsequent time to release of my first public application.
One funding option is simply to use my own savings. This is the approach I took when starting my business full-time back in 2001. Another option is to seek funds from friends and family, but I’m unlikely to do so because of the potential strain it then puts on such relationships. Nor would I seek loans from banks or enterprise agencies: these require ridiculous things such as business plans and spreadsheets (lots of spreadsheets) and in the latter case our local organisation doesn’t consider the internet age to be a priority2.
If I conclude that my preferred choice of self-funding isn’t appropriate, or indeed feasible, I therefore need to consider more novel alternatives, of which I have two at present:
- Assuming that existing cash-flow can take me through this initial learning period, one idea I have is to contribute to the open source community during that phase, and then use this real evidence to get a foot in the door for iOS contract work. This could be bolstered by attending an industry-recognised training course. Any savings accrued during this contract work could then be used to fund development.
- I might be able to take advantage of the new growth in crowdfunding. It’s a pity that since I’m not a US resident I’m unable to use the services of Kickstarter which is arguably the most popular and visible mechanism at present. There are, however, other sites that might still serve me well, but this is something that needs considerable research.
These two options, plus the self-funding route are what I’m going to investigate in the coming weeks.
- As far as this post is concerned I’m using the term “development” to cover all aspects of seeing the application to market, and not just the software engineering activities. ↩
- Preferring instead to concentrate on indigenous businesses, such as home crafts, that make the Highlands appealing to tourists. ↩