What It's About
An instructor takes flight into the future by building his first flight app...without ever owning a smart phone.
Words of Wisdom
If you also feel that you’re a little bit behind the times technologically, Urs says you shouldn’t worry or let it stop you because sometimes what you don’t know can be your biggest asset! He recommends finding someone in your network who can talk you through what apps are, or buy a cheap smartphone to play around with. Then design what you think an app should be like. If you don’t know the rules, you can’t be afraid of breaking them!
Urs loves apps even though he was late to the party. He’s currently working on an App called 5F, which helps people to find fitness buddies in their local area.
Notes from Chris
Episode 429For flight instructor Urs Camenisch, it was time to increase his household income. Working 6-7 days a week for a low salary was taking its toll, and Urs wanted a way to make money while he slept. And, without giving up his passion for flying planes. Despite not being tech savvy—in fact, he didn’t even own a smartphone—he knew an internet business would be the best solution to his problem. However he felt like websites and desktops were a dying breed, and he wanted to future-proof his business as best he could. So, he decided he would create an app. Through his work as a flight instructor, he spotted a need for Canada’s student pilots. All of them had to take an important exam, the Pre Solo Test about Air Regulations, or PSTAR for short, before being able to fly solo. But, there was little in the way of apps or websites to provide study support. Urs decided he’d take the knowledge he had, and apply it to an easy to access app. The first step was to find a developer to help him create the app. He found some developers and agencies he wanted to work with, wrote a brief of what he wanted made, and began to ask for quotes. Much to his surprise, they all came back to him with hefty quotes of $30,000 dollars—a whole year’s salary for him. Which was (of course) out of the question. Not one to be defeated, Urs found a hidden gem in one of the emails a developer sent him. He told Urs that he has to charge so much because he wouldn’t outsource his work. This was a lightbulb moment for him. Why pay so much if he could find the people the developers were outsourcing too and cut out the middleman entirely? This brought Urs to freelance marketplaces, like Elance and Odesk, which joined forces and is now one company called Upwork. This time, the quotes came back at a much more affordable rate of $1,000 for the entire app. Urs says he’s a firm believer in hiring locally, but if it’s 30 times the price, someone on a small budget really doesn’t have the luxury of choice. The final start-up costs for the PSTAR app came in at $3,500. To try and recoup these funds, Urs set the price of his app at affordable prices that would help him earn back the initial investment over the course of the first year or so. Since launching the app, he’s earned an extra $30,000 through sales. Looking to the future, Urs has started developing another app for fitness lovers. He’s also started to invest in real estate and has found a better job that he loves as a Medevac pilot. All thanks to this one app that eventually took off!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- PSTAR Exam App: If you hail from the Great White North and are looking for your aerial career to take flight, get to studying with Urs' exam prep app
- Upwork: The global freelancing platform that helps businesses connect with independent freelancers remotely
- 5F: If you're looking for something more mainstream than an app for Canadian flight students, check out Urs' other app—it's essentially "Tinder for workout partners!"
- Spanish Language Learner Earns $350,000 Helping Fellow Students: After returning to Canada following a stint in Argentina, this eager student creates a language-learning platform that earns $350,000 in year one
- Diamond in the Rough: Engagement Ring Hunt Turns Into Hustle: A search for the perfect engagement ring leads a software engineer in Baltimore on a mission to discover the algorithm for the ideal sparkly diamond. Along the way, he creates an affiliate side hustle with major potential
- Side Hustler Gets Paid to Run 7 Ultramarathons on 7 Continents: After getting hurt on his first of 7 ultramarathons, a long-time side hustler builds an app to help other injured runners recover
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