103: Public Coaching Update: App Development Headaches and Brainstorming a SaaS Business

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In this episode we’re catching up with Wellington, my public coaching volunteer in New York. Where we left off, he was in the midst of developing a travel hacking app.

He shared that he’d previously only ever made $0.07 online, but has the goal of earning $2500 a month by the end of 2015. One of the biggest challenges for Wellington is time; he’s been working 12-13 hour days for his day job, and making the most of his limited evening hours and commuting time.

When you met Wellington, he was working with an outsourced app developer to finalize a beta version of his travel hacking app for the app store.

I’m openly nervous about the monetization of this app. Even though there is a lot of interest and money to be made in the travel hacking space, primarily through affiliate or referral fees on high sign-up bonus credit cards, Wellington so far hasn’t been able to get approved as an affiliate for those offers yet.

As a workaround, he’s got kind of a joint venture set-up with ExtraPackofPeanuts.com, which could turn out to be a big win if he get some of that built-in audience to become users and advocates for the app.

Last time, we also briefly touched on another business idea,  a tool to help homeowners with their renovation estimates.

Since we last spoke, Wellington ran into a few back-and-forth snags with his developer over some bug fixes and features of the app. That in itself isn’t unexpected in a software project like this, and it sounds like he is well-versed in dealing with contractors and being detail-oriented enough to be a good QA tester.

Still, it’s always a frustrating part of the process because you just want to launch and get the thing out to the world.

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In this call we talk about:

  • How Wellington’s demanding day job has him hungry to make this side hustle work, and also to maximize his limited hours.
  • The back-and-forth process of bug-fixing and testing a brand new app.
  • Monetization opportunities as an affiliate and with an ad-supported freemium model.
  • Building and launching a lean website to support the Getaway Geek app.
  • Why I think businesses would be a better target than homeowners for a renovation estimator tool.
  • Some ideas on how it could be validated, positioned, and sold. “How much profit did you lose last year from underbidding or mis-estimating jobs?”
  • Goals for the next few weeks.

Wellington’s goals for the next 2 weeks:

  • Finish The ONE Thing.
  • Finalize bug fixes with the app developer.
  • Launch GetawayGeek.com website.
  • Talk with contractors to uncover potential pain points for possible SaaS business.

Links mentioned during the call:

What do you think? Think there’s a path to consistent income with this app? Or would you go full-bore into a service-based business in the travel hacking realm, or tackle the SaaS idea?

If you have any feedback or questions for Wellington, please leave a comment below!

Stay tuned to follow along with Wellington and Kathryn as we continue their journey throughout this year.

8 thoughts on “103: Public Coaching Update: App Development Headaches and Brainstorming a SaaS Business”

  1. You guys were talking about freelancers on elance who like to maybe try to “rush” to get payment when not everything is done… I’ve definitely experienced that. Sometimes it’s hard to stay strong and say “no, it’s not done yet” but you gotta do it. Stay strong. Fire ’em and move on if you have to. Better to move on than waste time with a freelancing who isn’t working out.

    • Thanks David — this is definitely a lesson I learned the hard way. And by hard I mean expensive :(

      But at the same time it’s tough to cut losses and rip off that band aid, when you’ve already got so much time and money invested in it.

  2. Great podcast, I also work in the NYC construction management and would love to connect with Wellington about some ideas i have similar to the project mentioned on this podcast.

  3. Hello Wellington,

    I know your website is not operational at this point. Any development help, hit me up. I will provide you access to my developer and ensure your version 1 is online.


  4. About the SAAS idea…

    I think it is a big mistake to start something new before completing the current project. This is super important since your time is so limited with your full time gig.

    I know there is that aspect of wanting to pursue the new ideas, especially with the strong entrepreneurial spirit we can hear in your voice.

    Let me know what you think about my comments…

    …then finish The ONE Thing. I am curious if it will change your point of view.

    Thanks & looking forward to the next session.

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