Maybe you’ve had a great idea for an iPhone app. You’ve nailed down the concept, outlined the look and feel, and even figured out a catchy name that’s sure to stand out from the 140,000 or so other apps competing with yours for attention. The only thing standing in your way? You don’t have a lick of programming experience, and you’re not sure where to find someone who does.
Gregg Weiss thinks he can help. He’s the founder of iPhoneAppQuotes.com, an online service that connects businesses and entrepreneurs with developers and programmers who’ve had experience building mobile applications.
Weiss got his start in the optimized lead generation business, helping connect customers with kitchen contractors and pool builders. So he immediately saw a need in the mobile market. “There was no similar thing for mobile apps,” he told me last week on the show floor at Macworld Expo, where iPhoneAppQuotes.com had set up shop in the Mobile Applications Showcase. “There was no place to find screened developers that were experienced and reputable. So why not apply that model to this?”
Anyone looking to create an iPhone app—whether an individual or a Fortune 500 company—can fill out a form on the iPhoneAppQuotes.com Website. The company will then contact them to answer any questions about the app development process and to tell would-be app makers what they can expect. From there, iPhoneAppQuotes.com passes on that request to three developers from its pool of prescreened programmers. The developers take it from there, coming up with proposals and bids for the project. “We’re out of the loop at that point,” Weiss said.
It’s easy to submit a bid through iPhoneAppQuotes.com, but developers who want to join the service’s network have to go through a more rigorous screening process. Developers who apply to iPhoneAppQuotes.com need to be based in the U.S., have at least one app already on the App Store, and have a Website with a portfolio that illustrates their work. iPhoneAppQuotes.com will review a developer’s work “to get a good sense of are these good companies to work with,” Weiss said.
Developers pay iPhoneAppQuotes.com on a cost per lead basis, not commissions. They can also put a pause on getting leads from iPhoneAppQuotes.com—a handy benefit for small development firms and lone programmers who can only take on a few projects at a time, Weiss said.
One of the developers using iPhoneAppQuotes.com to get leads on projects is ArcTouch, a San Francisco-based firm that’s built apps for Merck, Footlocker, HarperCollins, and ANPAC. “We like to say we’re the ‘app developers to the stars,’” said Adam Fingerman, vice president of products and solutions for ArcTouch. For Fingerman’s company, iPhoneAppQuotes.com provides a more efficient way to get leads than buying e-mail lists or search-engine ads. Because iPhoneAppQuotes.com screens leads before passing them on to developers, ArcTouch doesn’t have to spend time making sure the customers have a budget and an understanding of what the project entails.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Fingerman, who adds that ArcTouch has gotten return business from customers who came to the company through iPhoneAppQuotes.com.
iPhoneAppQuotes has been in business since last Mach. In the fall, it expanded beyond just the iPhone app market to offer it services to the Android and Blackberry platforms. There’s been some activity there, Weiss notes, but the iPhone remains a major source of business for his company.