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 October 2013. and most recently in February 2015 – so while we haven’t spoken exactly every year, Andrew’s one of my original interviewees! When I asked him where he wanted to be in a year’s time, he replied “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.” Phew, that was a lot. Let’s see how he’s getting on …
Hello, Andrew, and thanks for being one of the longest-standing interviewees! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Just over a year ago I was predicting that connected home and wearables would become a bigger player in the app market. They seem to have taken off, however what I didn’t quite get right is that it would be more connected car that would be the path my work would take me on. I’ve also released a fairly successful Photo app on the App Store, which allows the user to take selfies with both front and back camera at the same time.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
In the world of App development, things move very rapidly, so nothing really stays the same. I have expanded into Apple watch apps this year and have been playing around with the new iPad Pro, too. However the biggest impact is that Apple released a language called Swift just over 18 months ago and I have been learning that, as it’s become quite a common skill required in my line of work.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
That the planned month off you had would turn to 3 months as it took a bit of time to get the work pipeline up and running again after the initial month off.
Any more hints and tips for people?
Get the work life balance right and make sure you enjoy what you do as it shows in your work.
BONUS NEW QUESTION: What question would YOU like to ask other small business owners?
If you could plan the perfect week at your business what would it be like?
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
Hopefully continuing the trend of growth, having worked on a number of projects this year and also moved into the automotive area of industry hopefully that can be a door opener for more opportunities in that area, A lot of how my business will operate will also depend on how Apple does and any new devices or changes to environments can impact my business as well.
It must be exciting to be in an ever-changing world where you need to react to the latest technology and keep up with everything, although I think I’d find that quite stressful. Andrew’s changed what he’s doing several times since he joined the interviews way back in 2011, and I’m sure that will continue in the future.
Note: Andrew went into full-time employment in 2017 and closed his business.
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.