5 Guys Who Created iPhone Apps Without Knowing How

by Tim Jahn on November 30, 2011

Programming iPhone AppsWhat do a software engineer, an ESL teacher, a student, and two guys who worked at a bank have in common?

They all had ideas for iPhone apps but had no idea how to program for the iPhone.  But they didn’t let that stop them.  They learned how to program for the iPhone and turned their app ideas into realities in the App Store.

I’m a champion for the people that go out and do it.  The folks that have an idea and figure out how to make that idea a reality, even if it means learning brand new skills from scratch.

Jack Eisenberg (the ESL teacher)

When ESL teacher Jack couldn’t make it to a Cubs game and had trouble finding last minute buyers for his tickets, the idea for MapDing was born.  He wanted to create an iPhone app that allowed people to see what was for sale right now, right around where they are.  He built the initial version of MapDing himself.

That idea morphed into Goshi after Jack and his business partner Chad Lomax participated in the 2010 class of the Chicago-based Excelerate Labs startup accelerator.

Check out my interview with Jack and learn how he went about creating the initial version of his iPhone app.

Brandon Williamson and D.J. Grant (the guys who worked at a bank)

Brandon and D.J. are big sneaker enthusiasts.  They’ve been around the world to tons of boutique sneaker shops, so many that their friends would ask them what stores were the best in each city.

Brandon did some Googling and realized there weren’t any iPhone apps out that solved this problem. After getting some expensive quotes from development shops on building the app, the duo decided to hunker down and learn how to program an iPhone app themselves.

Check out my interview with Brandon and D.J. to learn how these two guys built their app SoleSearch with no prior programming knowledge.

Rob Matthews (the student)

Rob was taking an iPhone development class but failing it.  His professor said he needed to come up with some sort of app or he wasn’t going to pass.

So Rob decided to take his idea of letting people deliver anything to anybody and make an iPhone app called AirRun out of it.

Check out my interview with Rob to learn how he saved himself from failing his iPhone development class.

Jerry Shen (the software engineer)

While getting his masters degree, Jerry took an iPhone development class, where the main project was creating an app.  After he finished the app, Jerry’s professor convinced him to submit his fantasy football app called FantasyMonster to the App Store and sell it.

Check out my interview with Jerry to learn how he quit his day job to focus on his iPhone apps full time.

(photo credit)

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  • http://tomordonez.com Tom Ordonez

    I think back in the days it used to be so hard to develop a software app. C++, data structures, pointers, etc. Specially when teachers did not encourage you to like that stuff. Nowadays there are more resources for anybody without a software background to go ahead and build something. Thanks to lean methodologies we are able to follow a step by step of how to improve our product development process and a lot of people are available to give you advice.

    • http://www.EntrepreneursUnpluggd.com Tim Jahn

      So true, Tom. There is a plethora of resources out on the net nowadays for anybody who has the determination to seek it out.

      Great point about the teachers. I think programming and web technologies are becoming “cooler”, so society as a whole is more receptive to people working in these fields today.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vladislav-Rakov/100000313410890 Vladislav Rakov

    Different web services can offer a great number of various apps which can be used in the field one needs. For my apps I used Snappii web service and truthly speaking I got pleasure. Did anybody have the similar experience? Unfortunately I’m not a programmer and find such services a real and probably a single low cost possibility how to make an iPhone app.

  • Bmeader

    Great article… still requires a lot of discipline and logical thinking to make something work. But the resources are definitely out there.

    • http://www.EntrepreneursUnpluggd.com Tim Jahn

      Definitely! Thanks for the comment.

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