Your app is not a lottery ticket

Many app developers are secretly hoping to win the lottery. You know all those horrible free apps full of ads? I bet most of them were hoping to be the next Flappy Bird app. (The Flappy Bird author was making $50K/day from ads for a while.)

The problem is that when you are that focused on making millions, you are not focused on making a good app that people actually want. When you add ads before you add value, you’ll end up with no users no matter how strategically placed your ads are.

So, the secret to making millions with your app?

  • Find a need or problem that people have that you can solve.
  • Solve the problem.
  • Make your users awesome. Luke first sent me a pointer to Kathy Sierra’s idea of making your users awesome.  Instagram let people create awesome pictures. Then their friends asked them how they did it …
  • Then monetize. (You can think about this earlier but don’t focus on it until you are doing well.)

If you are a good app developer or web developer, you’ll probably find it easier to do well financially helping small businesses around you create the apps and web pages they need than you will trying to randomly guess what game people might like. (If you have a good idea for a game, that you are sure you and your friends and then perhaps others would like to play, go for it!)

Why you should figure out what you love to do while you are waiting to win the lottery

I’ll start by saying that I play the lottery.  And I like wondering what I’d do for the rest of my life if I win.  I actually think that helps me figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life whether I win or lose!

But if you play the lottery, cross your fingers but don’t hold your breath.  My Financial Journey put the odds in perspective. Here are a few of the examples:

  • You are more 208 times more likely to be struck by lightening this year than win the powerball (Source: National Weather Service)
  • You are 16 times more likely to get killed driving 10 miles to
    claim your Powerball ticket than actually winning it in the first place
    (Source: CNN)
  • If every single person alive on the planet (6.5 Billion) bought a powerball ticket – only 44 people would win (Source: Google Search )
  • You are 18,038 times more likely to have triplets than win the power ball (Source: BabyCenter and Storknet)  (I know somebody that won this one!)

You can read  My Financial Journey for the rest of them.

Photo by bingbing.

Winning the lottery isn’t all it’s cut out to be

Why do we all play the lottery when it’s been proven that winning the lottery won’t make us any happier?  Lottery winners are no happier six months after they win the lottery than they were before they one.  Many of them are considerably unhappier.

I wrote a few days ago about how money isn’t evil.  The flip side is also true – money won’t solve all your problems.   I think we play the lottery because we don’t want to go to work everyday and we think we want a new car, maybe a new house and fancier vacations.  The real problem is that we don’t know what we want – we don’t know what would make us happy.  While money is certainly an enabler and I believe having money is a good thing, it won’t help you figure out the purpose of your life.  Money won’t help you figure out what makes you happy.  It won’t tell you how to spend your day. 

The key to happiness isn’t winning the lottery, it’s figuring out what makes you happy.  I guarantee that if you know what makes you happy, what you enjoy doing every day, you can find a way to do that and pay the bills.   But no matter how big the jackpot is, it won’t tell you what to do with the rest of your life.

Free ride in space?

This guy turned down a free ride to space because he realized he’d have to pay $25,000 in taxes on it.   My SO suggested that he could sell his space clothes for $25K on eBay afterwards!