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App Empire: Make Money, Have a Life, and Let Technology Work for You Hardcover – March 27, 2012

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Editorial Reviews Review

Finding and Selecting Programmers: A Checklist from Chad Mureta, Author of App Empire

How do you look for, and hire, programmers to build your app? You'll have to use various sources (Google, oDesk, Freelancer, app conferences, word of mouth, etc.) and assess multiple candidates until you find several you are comfortable with. Here is my questions checklist for the job interview:

  • How long have you been developing apps?
  • How many apps have you worked on?
  • Can I see the apps that you've worked on?
  • What is your website?
  • Can you share references from past app projects?
  • How soon can you start?
  • How long will it take to get a quote? Is it a flat-fee quote?
  • What time do you usually work? What are your hours? (factor in any time difference)
  • What's frustrating for you when working with clients?
  • Are you working with a team? What are their skills?
  • Can you create graphics, or do you have somebody who can?
  • Can I see examples of the graphic work?
  • What's your payment schedule?
  • Can you create milestones tied to payments?

During the conversation, pay attention to how well they were able to explain themselves. Were they articulate? Did they use too much techo babble? Did they seem confident with their answers? If you have any issues or worries, you may want to move on to someone else. If you feel comfortable with them, you'll want to move to the next step. Thank them for their time and mention you'll be following up with an NDA agreement if you decide to move forward. You must protect your ideas, source code, and any other intellectual property.


"If you are considering venturing into this field, you should buy this book - and study it." (, April 2012)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 111810787X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118107874
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

CHAD MURETA is the founder of Empire Apps and co-founder of T3 Apps and Best Apps, three mobile application businesses that he created through outsourcing development and without a background in technology.

Over the past decade, Chad Mureta's professional and personal lives have impacted each other in profound and unexpected ways. In 2009, a devastating car accident confined him to a hospital bed, where Mureta discovered the possibilities of the emerging app market while experimenting with his iPhone. During that time, Chad realized that his real estate business was not only consuming his life, it was also in no way connected to what he was passionate about.

Without any tech experience, he developed an idea for a mobile application called "Fingerprint Security Pro," that would go on to be a best-seller in the App Store and serve as the catalyst for a new company, career, and way of life. Chad realized that through mobile apps, he could create a system that worked while he didn't. Now almost three years later, he has spearheaded the development and marketing of 46 apps, which have been downloaded over 35 million times worldwide.

While Chad loves the exciting nature of the app business, it's his true passion for living a life free from the 9-to-5 grind that propels him as an appreneur. By letting technology work for him, Chad has been living his bucket list: traveling the world, learning salsa, becoming a certified scuba diver and skydiver, and his list continues to grow every year. Chad uses the app business as a means to work less and truly "have a life."

As an author, speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur, Mureta's unique insight, experience, and tenacity have enabled him to make his businesses thrive, all while living the life of his dreams and traveling the world. Mureta shares his experiences and expertise in his first book, App Empire: Make Money, Have a Life, and Let Technology Work for You (March 2012, Wiley Publishing).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

122 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Garth Snyder on August 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book isn't exactly bad per se; in fact, it's not even a book so much as a cog in a coordinated marketing machine. Google for "app empire" or "app empire review" and you'll see what I mean. Videos, dedicated review sites, sites shilling the App Empire system, yadda yadda yadda. Mureta certainly knows how to carpet-bomb the Internet. And I must say, I have my doubts about the overwhelmingly enthusiastic reviews here on Amazon.

Perhaps I can save you some time and money. Here's the book in a nutshell: Whip up a product line of derivative, schlocky apps that cross-promote each other through in-app advertising. You don't need much design or programming skill - in fact, the actual product development would just be a distraction; get someone to do it for you. Experiment broadly with app store keywords, descriptions, icons, pricing, etc. to see what generates the most cash from each app. And most of all, think positive! You can do it!

I actually think this sounds like a pretty good plan for making money. Far better, at least, than most developers' implicit plan to release one perfect app that changes the world. On the other hand, it's kind of a sleazy form of success. But I doubt you'll spend much time being racked with guilt once the money starts rolling in.

My more general complaint is that the book is remarkably lacking in specifics. Sure, it's good advice to be data-based and to try many different approaches to see what works. On the other hand, it's peculiar that Mureta doesn't seem to have drawn many communicable conclusions from his own history of experimentation.
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122 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Rob Fitzgibbon on September 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Social media is officially passe, now mobile apps are the new new.

Think of Chad Mureta as the Horace Greeley of the mobile boom: Go Apps, Young Man

Chad Mureta's primary product isn't an app; it's Chad Mureta. In App Empire he comes across not as an appreneur but as a shameless self promoter - shallow, conceited and smug.

- Mureta gives one bit of good advice: have a game plan


- p.12 Sitting in that beach hut in Fiji running your app empire from your iPhone? Hope that beach has good wifi. It's amazing how this "work from home/work in your spare time" fantasy gets constantly repackaged.

- Mureta's assertion that no specialist skills are necessary. (see the work from home/make money in your spare time above) I think we've seen this pitch before.

- The advice to get a programmer to create an icon for your app. No, don't get a programmer to do that - get an designer. Mureta apparently doesn't know the difference between a developer and an interaction designer.

- The author has made 46 apps, but in the book he doesn't mention a single one by name.

- p.xvi The author confesses that he doesn't know how to upload or update apps. Wonderful. This guy is claiming to be the Julia Child of apps, and he's just told us he doesn't know how to cook.

- There are absolutely no nuggets of advice about iOS or Android development. You'd think that in the course of managing the development of 46 apps he'd have something specific and/or technical to say about the process of getting apps from idea to marketplace.

No doubt there's lots of people who are eager to create the next Angry Birds and hungry to find the book that explains how to get rich and famous in this new technology. This isn't that book.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has a lot of useful info, and I like the way that it is composed. One thing that it lacks on is case studies. Chad doesn't really do any real life samples, and when he talks about his apps - there is pretty much one app that he mentions and that is his security app which has gathered mixed reviews. I don't doubt he has accomplished great things, I just wished he would talk more about his own personal process with real life samples just like he talks about his persona life and how he came into the app business.

If you are new to the app game this book will have some good basic info for you. You'll get Chad to explain all the different concepts and in a good arranged manner. Again, I just wished the book included more in depth samples, case studies and such.

Overall it was a good read.
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62 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Michael on March 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading countless "overnight success" stories like OMGPOP, the studio behind the recent hit "Draw Something", and their buyout by Zynga (Bought for $210MM after reportedly being broke about 2-3 months prior), I knew there was more to success in the app store than just luck; there was formula to their success, and I wanted to figure it out.

This book is that formula.

Despite having read countless books on the subject (seriously, just about every book on the subject on Amazon, I've read), until now no author has shed such a clear light on this industry, what it takes to build a successful (and sustainable) business, and how to do it WITHOUT any programming experience.

After reading this book I have found the confidence that I needed to hire a team of programmers overseas to build my app, just like Mureta explains in the book (Chapter 5). My first app is looking REALLY good, is costing me less than 1/5th of what it would've cost me if I hired someone in the U.S.. The app should be in about three weeks and in the App store before the end of April!

Prior to reading this book, I fumbled around with programmers and wasted about $2,000 doing things the wrong way. I wish I had this book three months ago as I would've saved a lot of time, money and headaches.

The best part about the entire process is that I'm having a blast doing it! No other industry has allowed me to have so much fun while "working"! Thank you to the author, for giving us the roadmap to this exciting industry!
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