Welcome to another Small Business Update – with Andrew Donnelly, who creates apps for iTunes (see the link at the bottom of this piece). I originally interviewed Andrew back in August 2011 and then followed up in September 2012, and the last one was in October 2013. When I asked him then where he wanted to be in a year’s time, he replied “I have work planned to take me up until 2014 at the moment, so my focus is on that, and I expect that to last into mid 2014. Working alongside a global brand on strategy and producing apps for them is an enjoyable experience so I hope it continues.” At that point he was working with just one company, giving them exclusive rights to his experience and expertise – now things have broadened out and shifted for him, as happens in fast-moving industries like technology. Let’s see how he’s getting on.
Hello again, Andrew! So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
2014 was another good year for me as a business. The demand for iOS app work has increased dramatically from businesses, however with this has come a a shift in what I do slightly. I have found myself working more on what are called Enterprise apps (which means they are not delivered through the App Store but direct to the device). With this shift, also my main focus has been working on iPads, which has brought its own challenges, too.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
I was hoping that the work with the Global Client I mentioned in last year’s interview would continue, however this didn’t materialise, Ive learned that the App Development market changes very quickly and keeping up with the new trends has required a lot of work outside of normal working hours. However, that has brought its own rewards with a greater knowledge of the technology.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
This year, I wrote my first game Red Dot (give it a go, it’s free, it’s a pretty simple one but quite addictive). It was built using Sprite Kit – I wish I had done this sooner, as I’m eager to make another one now.
Any more hints and tips for people?
“Not my circus, not my monkeys” has been a good mantra to follow, as in concentrate on what you need to do, not what’s going on around you that doesn’t concern you.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
Looking forward, I can see a lot more App work in the world of connected technologies and home. I think this is going to be a year where the game changes dramatically in the sense of what we can do with smart phones in a number of areas
1) connected home – controlling central heating, lights, garage doors, kettles, to name a few, are all out to market already.
2) Wearables – watches, fitness devices, gaming controllers, smart clothes all seem to be in the pipeline.
3) Beacons – like a personal GPS, you can set them up to detect based on proximity and action apps on the back of that, e.g. shop store fronts can offer discounts to customers who have the app installed.
I see the business looking into these technologies in more depth and producing apps to support them and make everyday life a little easier and smarter.
That’s all very interesting – we’ve been dabbling in the world of wearables here in Libro Towers, and there’s a lot more talk about that sort of thing even permeating into the less techy worlds. It must be exciting to be at the forefront of technological development like Andrew is, but then again, “Not my circus, not my monkeys” can be applied very generally!
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.