Today we sat down with now 20 year old Albert Einstein Renshaw, Ph.D., CEO and founder of Apps4Life, LLC. We asked him to share his unique circumstances and path to becoming a successful and prolific app developer. Get ready to meet a refreshingly motivated, and surprisingly humble entrepreneur.
Apps4Life, LLC is based in Atlanta, GA, USA. Company size consists of 55 actively used contractors worldwide per annum.
Nearly 60 apps are available from Apps4Life in Apple iTune store.
Hi Albert. Thanks for taking time to share your story with us and other aspiring app developers. So, we hear you’re a “whiz kid”. How’d you get that moniker?
I started my company at age 14, while in eighth grade.
Besides developing apps, what else do you enjoy?
I enjoy math, physics, rock climbing, acrobatics, skating, and dogs!
Wait, what. Let’s back up for a minute. 14 years old?! How did that happen?
When I was eight years old I was playing around the house with my brother and my dad was on our computer, programming an animation for some physics video. I asked him what he was doing and he spent maybe 30 minutes trying to teach me code.
He bought me a book so I could learn my first programming language (ActionScript). I continued to teach myself programming over the next few years, making simple online games for my friends at school to play. Six years later I got my first phone (an iPhone – 2007). The AppStore was not a thing yet, if you wanted an “app” for your iPhone you had to make a full screen website and somebody would go to the “app” (really a website) in safari. My friends and I goofed around with ideas for website games and I tried to make a few, but as I was researching I found out about Apple’s announcement for the Apple AppStore and began to learn how to code for it, in a language called Objective-c. The only way to code an app for Apple back then was to have a Mac, and my laptop was Windows. I begged my dad to invest in me and buy me a mac. I told him I was going to make and sell apps and pay him back; I think he thought the idea was funny but for whatever reason he bought me a $2,000 mac that week, I couldn’t believe it.
What was your first app?
At the time I was pursuing acting, and I had just flown to New York for an audition, on the flight back to Atlanta (age 14) I pulled out my laptop and started making my first iPhone AppStore app, “Multi colored concert lighter”. By the time we landed the app was finished! I submitted it to Apple for review later that week after registering everything for my LLC and the app was live shortly after. The app had good success, we sold maybe $80 worth of the app, which, at the time was all the money in the world, I was just in eighth grade.
You’ve had a string of app successes since then. How did those come about?
My friend Tony Mills suggested I make an app where you press a button and it returns a random pick up line; we laughed at the idea but then considered it more and got to work. Later that month we launched “101 pick up lines” and made roughly $4,000 in just a few weeks I think? The app had gone viral and I realized that I could actually start a full time job, in eighth grade, with this software.
In later months I had success with an app that let you send text messages for free using WiFi from any device (including an iTouch), keep in mind, this was long before iMessages. The app was a sensation and I made more money that week than the average working American makes in a whole year. Of course, shortly after, the app idea was copied by numerous large business, and I could not compete, being that I was only in ninth grade with limited coding skills and resources.
How do you monetize your apps?
I enable a combination of Video Ads, Interstitials and banners.