Emerald Sequoia LLC is the outgrowth of my 20-year friendship with Bill, the other half of the company, and a similarly-long appreciation for Apple products (Bill had one of the first Macs in 1984, and I joined that train in 1989). When Apple announced the iPhone development kits in early 2008, we decided to have some fun and write an app for it (that was Emerald Chronometer, released the day the App Store opened in July 2008).
In case there was any doubt, we’re not getting rich doing this. The difficulty of turning an iPhone app into a revenue stream when there are over 150,000 apps competing for users’ attention is well documented elsewhere. Even on its best day ever Emerald Sequoia made me less money than my average daily income over the past five years from my “real” job (and a more typical day earns the company about $40 before tax, which we split).
So this is a hobby, let’s be clear. But we’re trying to run it like a company, with professional customer support, solid testing, good development practices, etc., etc. We have 55 years of development experience between us, and we try to apply all that we’ve learned. And we’ve put in the hours, as well; typically about 20 hours a week for me over the past 2 years.
And the end result is that it’s been the most satisfying development project I’ve ever worked on, because we’ve gotten to work on a product we use ourselves on a daily basis, and we’ve gotten to control all aspects of that product development ourselves. And most importantly for me, we’ve gotten to interact directly via email with customers who love the product. I guess this is something all small business owners are familiar with, but it’s a refreshing change for someone like me who’s previously been at least one level removed from the customer (although, truth be told, that has, at times, been a good thing…).
So thanks for making it all worthwhile. 🙂