What is this - is anyone making money?

Randy Hengst iowahengst at mac.com
Thu Aug 20 16:14:18 CEST 2015

I am not a programmer in the vein of Todd, Richard, Simon or many others on this list… I’m a “scripter.”  

I like LiveCode because I can easily create the simple things I do and develop them quickly. My target audience is elementary schools and children (so, ages 5-12). I’m a prof in a small liberal arts school (in the US, Rock Island, Illinois) where I work with elementary education majors. Our majors use the apps in their field experiences with elementary students and make suggestions for apps that I create or the make suggestions to modify the existing apps I’ve already written.. It’s cool when they can make a suggestion and I can get a version out to them within a week or two for them try with “real” students. That way our majors are developing a true sense of what makes a “good” app and begin getting a sense of how apps are made.

I’ve been making “apps” since HyperCard and moved to HyperStudio for manny years because of its scripting and cross-platform capabilities. Now I only develop in LiveCode and have 33 apps on the iOS app store. All are “utilitarian” in nature… none will win a design award… much of the art is made within LiveCode. The coolest art I have is my logo (thanks to the talents of Scott Rossi).

Given the focus of my app development I don’t have to worry about making money… I do need some income to defray expenses since we are not receiving any form of grant money for this project. I’ve had over 1.5 million app downloads… only 3% are paid apps… schools, as you can image, like “free.” I have no doubt that if my apps were all paid (99¢) that I would have far fewer downloads… maybe a total of 100,000.

One thing I really like about the list (and the forums) is listening to the folks who talk so far over my head that I can get a sense of what is possible even when I don’t understand how to get there.

be well,

Randy Hengst

> On Aug 20, 2015, at 6:10 AM, Todd Fabacher <tfabacher at gmail.com> wrote:
>> As many of us I have paid for the licenses, put money out for free
>> development expecting some wanted features, continued for Indie
>> advancement payments (hope to live beyond the licenses expire),
>> I have to ask my colleague developers, are you making any money with
>> the apps you develop (with LC)?  Or is it just fun?
> This is the question that is on the lips of so many developers I meet in
> the LiveCode community in the last year since I have started to use LC as a
> development tool. The real critical problem is many expect LC to be a genie
> in a bottle and grant you three profitable apps.
> Mostly, it is lack of experience that has created this illusion. The lack
> of profitability is more related to a void in understanding how to develop
> profitable business apps vs. LiveCode. I have been working with dozens of
> developers from the class to help them on their journey.  But that is a
> small amount of the 500+ who are taking the class. Many do indeed purchase
> LiveCode like they do language software and thing the will learn to speak
> French simply by osmosis.
> At DP have been like elfs, quietly toiling away for a year, but are about
> to launch 5 very profitable Apps in addition to the 16 Apps [we still have
> 4 to go] that we helped LiveCode with for the "Create It With LiveCode"
> class. Granted I have more resources than most, but here is what we have
> done in a year:
> *UBook24-7*: A management App + online scheduling website which allows
> people to book appointments online, and the owner uses the App to manage
> the business. The main focus is barber, hair salon, sports instructors and
> personal trainers. Price $229 / year including a website and hosting.
> *Express Event*: A management App + online eCommerce website for Events and
> conferences. It provides a complete solution including event ticket sales,
> speaker management , class registration, multi-locations for event "Tours"
> and lots more. We also have an option for the event to have their own App.
> Price $299 / year including a website and hosting. Plus another one time
> fee of $299 if you want an event App.
> *Build a Tour App*: A management App + online website + Custom App Tour App
> designed by them for self guided Tours. We are in Full beta with cities,
> universities, a wine area in NZ and a cruise line. A desktop app allows
> them to manage and design their tour app [text, images, audio, video and
> languages]. We take their data and match it agains a pre-build LC App
> template, charge them $499 for the App and $29/ month for a website that
> promotes the App and acts as a central server to update the app data and
> advertising on an ongoing basis.
> *MenuMania*: A management App + online website + Custom Menu App designed
> by them with the desktop management app. For many hotels, restaurants,
> airports  or other places where language and speed are an issue, we have
> developed a simple "menu maker". So instead of giving them a menu, a tablet
> is provided or is attached to the table. You see this in many airports now,
> but will begin to move to all food services. You can order and pay on the
> device and the food comes right out. Several New York restaurants are
> interested more in using this as a wine list as it can make suggestions
> based on the menu, and will provide a more information on the winery which
> people are always interested in. We have just started connecting with
> the Culinary Institute of America to try and make this not just about fast
> food. $499 for the App and $29/ month for a web server. Also we are looking
> into a kitchen management system to go with it, but that is 2016.
> *PlayLand Armenia*: The team in Armenia what to do this, so I said OK. No
> it is not profitable and in actuality I am loosing money on it, but it was
> a great team builder and help teach some critical skills. It is an app
> where Armenian kids 5-10 around the world can play online games together,
> become friends and learn Armenian. This was the teams contribution for the
> memory of the 100 year Genocide. So rather focus on the negative, they
> provide a way for the Armenian kids around the world to still feel
> connected.
> *3 large Contact Apps*: We are doing 3 apps on a contact basis. These have
> helped us learn new technology and provided the revenue to teach new people
> LiveCode.
> So my point is, I could do these in any language, but LiveCode allows me
> several critical advantages. Multi-platform, ease of use so I can hire and
> train people who have never even coded before and get them up to speed in
> 4-6 months, seamless connection between the app and LC web server using
> revIgniter and a great interface with WordPress which we use as the website
> for many of the web portion of the apps.
> I hope this answers your question.
> --Todd
> _______________________________________________
> use-livecode mailing list
> use-livecode at lists.runrev.com
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-livecode

More information about the use-livecode mailing list