“When you combine ignorance and leverage, you get some pretty interesting results.” – Warren Buffet
We all want to know what the “next big thing” is.
I’m not just saying that for us, appreneurs + entrepreneurs, I’m saying it for everyone out there. It’s natural to wonder where we’re going and what’s next. It just so happens that in the context of business, knowing that can make you a TON of money.
Being in San Francisco has some awesome perks – the outdoors, smart people and great culture to start. But the most incredible thing about being here is watching the tech and mobile boom unfold. My office is one floor below Twitter, next door to Uber. The conversations I overhear are nothing short of mind blowing.
I also make sure to spend a lot of time in places like New York and Los Angeles. Not just because they’re great places to be, but because there is something distinctly different about those cities: they’re lagging.
Meetings with multi-billion dollar companies that have no idea why they’re losing millions of readers a year. 9 figure liquor distributors who don’t have one app in the app store. Marketing companies that spend over $750,000 to develop mobile apps that….SUCK.
All located in the heart of the biggest cities in America, drowning in their own wealth.
Where There Is A Loss, There Is An Opportunity
A lot of you email me with questions, feedback and insights. I LOVE IT. Not only is it great to see the community coming together, but you are super smart and see things that I might miss.
One of the most common questions I get is about reskinning apps and how to win in the app store. That’s a big topic, but an important one.
Often I’ll get into the details of how to really kick ass with reskins, but not today. I want to share something else.
Something that hopefully will pull the veil back for a few of you…and you’ll see why this is a BIG idea.
Because app reskinning isn’t always about being INSIDE the app store – it’s about using a model to produce products that solve problems. As we all know, the bigger the problem you can solve, the more money you will make.
Let me explain.
There are companies all over the country and the world that are freaking out. It can be your neighborhood video store or a global car manufacturer – they’re unable to keep up with the sheer speed at which things are changing.
Mobile phones, mobile apps, social media…it’s all dramatically changing the way users interact with products and with brands.
Traditional marketing doesn’t work like it used to and traditional companies are having a really hard time dealing with this.
What do they do?
Well, most of the time they’ll do this:
- Allocate a lot of their budget to “Digital” which can go almost anywhere
- Hire an overpriced agency to create something for them
- They end up spending millions of dollars and years of time trying to create something that really isn’t that complicated
An example would be if a mid sized casino wanted to have an app. They might go to an agency or development firm and pay $500,000 for a custom made game that takes 6 months to build, not including bug testing and all that other good stuff.
When a lot of these products are finished, they’re either outdated or have a very small impact on the company. The ROI is just sort of…blah.
Big companies WANT to be in the app business…but the have no idea how to do it.
They still think you need to build everything from scratch or spend millions of dollars on a custom solution that takes a year to create.
Which is where reskinning comes in.
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Swimsuits Get Remembered, Models Never Die
From the day I started talking about reskinning, I’ve always stressed that it is a MODEL. It’s like owning a franchise (think Subway Sandwiches) – you follow a plan with a template and make it great. Over time you start to win. Sometimes you win BIG.
The difference between a “model” and a “blueprint” is that models are scalable. Blueprints show you exactly how to capitalize on one opportunity RIGHT NOW. An example might be “Here’s how to drive 400% ROI with Twitter Ads for Pet Store Owners” and they have a series of videos that show you what buttons to push and where to type in your metrics.
While this may work, eventually it will stop working. It’s a one time thing. It’s a “point in time solution” whereas a model can be done forever. An example would be if someone told you “Here’s how you can become an online advertising guru” and they taught principles that could be applied to any ad network.
When you think about app reskinning as a model, you start to see the bigger picture. “Why do I need to JUST reskin apps for myself? Why do I have to JUST think about app store downloads and ad networks? Why can’t I use this EXACT SAME KNOWLEDGE to create something that solves a bigger problem?”
You start to realize that this reskinning thing can be used to solve BIG problems. That’s BIG money.
How This Would Work
This concept dawned on me because of the SF – NYC dichotomy. Companies in NYC simply don’t know how to get into the app business. Because we all are familiar with casino apps, let’s use a casino as an example.
MightyGold Casino (fake name) owns and operates a sizable operation in Atlantic City, NJ. They are making about $100M a year but are seeing numbers starting to slip. After a board meeting, they realize they need to get some digital presence, specifically apps.
They get two proposals dropped on their desk:
- Development Agency out of Florida. $700,000 custom development, 9 month timeline, $25,000/mo maintenance, dedicated managers. The whole shebang. Custom designs and comps within 3 weeks of contract signed.
- AppSolutions LLC. $125,000 to reskin 4 proven winning casino apps + add 10 new features. Done in 2 months. $5,000/maintenance, dedicated project managers.
Corporate BS aside, this is a no-brainer (assuming the pitch is solid).
What’s happening here? AppSolutions LLC is using the model to “leverage” themselves.
In other words, they’re using the SAME solution they usually would to solve MUCH BIGGER problems for someone else.
Let me re-iterate this:
Our problems, as reskinners, are on a small level. We want to make $50-100/day. We want to pay our bills, take care of our families, go on a vacation or two, quit our job. Our systems are built to solve these problems for US.
MightyGold’s problems are way bigger. They have employees, stockholders and overhead. Because their problems are so much bigger, they deal on the $10 million a month level.
….but why can’t the solution be the same thing? Why can’t we use our app reskinning skills to provide enterprise mobile solutions for HUGE problems?
We can. And we should.
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Corporate App Stores
Now, let’s take it a step further and look at companies that need to publish proprietary, in-house enterprise apps to their employees. If a company has its own app store, you better believe that it has some money to spend.
These large corporations want their employees to have secure, fully customized apps. Gartner has estimated that 25% of enterprises will have their own app stores by 2017. Apple has an Enterprise Developer Program, specifically for this purpose.
For example, let’s say that MegaCorp needs to distribute an internal messaging app. For the most part, it’s a very basic app. It just has a little extra security and is restricted to the company directory.
Sure, since MegaCorp has their own enterprise app store, then they probably also have an in-house team that can create apps. But consider this…
Corporate app stores generally cost a company money. They are not recovering their development costs because they are not selling their apps.
So it is in MegaCorp’s best interest to keep costs as low as possible. They can basically choose between these three options:
- Hire a whole new team and start from scratch every time they need a different type of app
- Outsource the entire process and have their internal team verify app security
- Purchase the source code and have a third party train their internal development team to customize and maintain it
If you are a messaging app expert who owns a solid source code, then you can provide a solution for 66.6% of their options. The cheapest ones, no less…to MegaCorp, of course.
You can still make a boatload of money as a consultant.
And if MegaCorp needs a messaging app, then you better believe that another company could use one too.
The Wild West Is Expanding
While the app reskin business is alive and well (check out this article for proof, published Feb 18, 2015), there are new and exciting opportunities with it. You are learning SKILLS and MODELS that can be applied to solve problems of any size.
As the money begins to pour in from big companies, they will begin to look at this as a very viable option.
Guess who they’re going to call?
This will show up in every industry – health care, finance, food, sports, you name it. They’ll all be asking why not just re-purpose a source code instead of building something from scratch. They’ll have billions of dollars to spend on and market these projects. This is REAL and this is happening…we’re just at the very beginning of it.
In the meantime, keep your skills sharp and start thinking bigger. There is an ocean of money out there.
The best place to start is to be sure you’re on our source code/reskinning list to stay up to date on the most powerful and lucrative models out there.
Click here to join.
Rock and roll,
Just at the right time with exact information, my heart wanted to hear 🙂
I am new to this industry, app-world and reskinning in general. Had lots of inspiration and enough amount of doubts side by side, this made my inspiration side very heavy, thank you for that.
@Hitesh – glad you liked it. Always good to get perspective on a particular topic – it can open up the possibilities which is the fuel that is required to make it happen!
Corporate reskinning – I like where your head is at, Carter!
I’ve already seen some corporate-friendly codes for license on various websites. I’m with you, the fast eat the slow. Speed to market is key and reskinning allows you to incorporate that pitch into your value proposition.
Keep up the hustle my friend!
@Leo – Haha I love that line “fast eat the slow”! So true, especially in tech and business. I can’t tell you how many businesses LOVE this concept…they simply don’t know it exists. Hustle on, brother!
Opportunity is everywhere, you could not say it better. You just need to get out there and start asking people to give you their money.
@Robert – Yes. Always be closing 🙂
The thing I’m wondering now is, how do I deal with the fact that they would prefer to give their contract to some agency or IT company instead of just some random reskinning guy on the street?
I mean, we could present a really nice powerpoint and all, until it comes to the point when they find out you’re a 1 man team 🙂
@Chris – I closed website and marketing deals for 4 of the biggest DUI Law firms in the entire country, amassing $45,000 in contracts within 6 months of launching my business. I had no employees, no creditability, and absolutely no chance by all measures. Yet, I still closed them.
Instead of explaining how I did that, I’d say this: you’re not a one man team. You would call up a bunch of developers/designers or even the IT company you mentioned and hire THEM, then just take a cut. And you’re not just some reskinning guy on the street. If you’re sitting at the table with them, you’re somebody worth doing business with. Period.
Do you think that email marketing helps in app downloads? Nowadays, from my experience, people tend to uninstall my app within 5 minutes if I cannot provide value on the first look.
And, do you think that affiliate marketing make faster money than mobile apps?
@Jason – email marketing only helps if you have a HUGE list of very very specific people for a very specific app. Even then it’s tough. A good example would if I built a Bluecloud App, it would make sense to mail people about it.
Why are they uninstalling your app? More importantly, what are you doing to fix that? What have you already done? What’s your plan?
Affiliate marketing and mobile apps are equally lucrative – it always comes down to the people, the process they use and the products the sell/create.
I picked up on this during last month’s BCS Select Q & A videos.. and I’m so glad you wrote about it here. I was telling my wife about this very same idea, to not fight the app store and provide solutions for 3rd party companies that want/need an app on the app store. Help others to help ourselves.
To stop thinking small, get out and cut through the fear. Because thats whats holding us (ME) back, is FEAR. I’m out of my comfort zone approaching large companies by myself, or even simply going to small companies.
We all just want to hide away in our office or bedroom and wile away the evenings trying to rank up on the app stores. We need to think bigger to be bigger.
Thanks for the great post!
@Chris&Joe :this vid might help with selling yourself https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tsJ_-yINxs It’s Ramit Sethi explaining to Chase Jarvis (photographer), especially the briefcase trick is a good one 🙂
@Joe – Great to hear from you and you’re right. Fear is more powerful than people give it credit for. It’s not just the sweaty palms and anxiety, it’s actually burned into our brains. It takes a LOT to re-wire those paths, but it’s 100% possible.
@Fred – Ramit is the man and has terrific content. A very wise man for someone his age. Thanks for the share!
Hi Carter, what are the concrete next steps for making a solution available for re-skinning? I’ve got a beautiful Enterprise sales management app but no sales yet. Funds are limited too.
Appreciate the article. Thanks.
@Matt – Can you elaborate? Sounds like you should be pitching your app to potential customers, yah? That’s free to do, just requires a ton of hustle.
You are such one intelligent dude who chose to impart the world around him by sharing your wealth of knowledge. you always have one interesting and educative message to share. Many thanks!
I will like to know more about these two options you outlined above in your article:
1. Outsourcing the entire process while the internal team verifies it.
2. Purchasing the source code with a third-party training
I am currently working on a viable idea for a mobile app with 2 colleagues and we don’t have enough money to commit to starting from the scratch, as a matter of fact, we are in the final phase of our MBA program. I’ll like to hear from you on how we can work with you to see this idea to fruition especially on “reskinning/source code”.
@Roseline – Thanks for the kind words. Hearing about people like you who are working on a business plan with NO FUNDING + completing an MBA program FIRES ME UP! These are the success stories that I read in blogs and news sites all the time.
Firstly, keep reading blogs and learning as much as you can about app development. Then start recording SOPs for everything you and your colleagues are working on. Think of it as creating your ‘business manual.’ When you outsource all the work, it’s your job to tweak, analyze, and seek new business opportunities.
Purchasing a source code with 3rd party training is the BEST decision you can possibly make. You will save tons of time and development costs by getting your hands on an ‘App Template’ that already has the groundwork taken care of. Get your first app or 2 in the Store as cheaply and quickly as possible. Focus on learning during this stage and not ranking in thousands of dollars or getting on the top charts. After you’ve gotten an app in the Store, start thinking about tweaking and customizing the code to your specific goals. Pumped to hear more about your story and idea! Email support for any info you’re looking for.
Just a man trying to learn how to re-skin here. I was wondering if your company does private lessons or tutoring for beginners in the business. Some type of training wheel program so that I don’t just invest some money into this and lose it all.
@Yves – did you take this: bluecloudsolutions.com/app-reskinning-welcome-to-bluecloud-reskin-course/
I also do consulting/coaching for BC people. If you’d like to explore that shoot Jess an email at support and she will get it to me.