Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wizard of iPhone Travel Apps

Well, my goodness. There’s a…a…whole bright, sunny world out there. Out there beyond the screen of my laptop. After two and a half months of 15-hour work days, following our “Eureka!” moment at the Society of American Travel Writer’s Institute, Rick and I have finally completed our first – of what might well be many – In My Pocket-branded travel guides. And it sure does feel good.

It’s not a guide book: we learned at the Institute that print travel guides pay slave wages for the most part. Instead, our travel guide will be delivered via the iPhone: Rehoboth in My Pocket, a travel app featuring Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Just $3.99, and updated regularly, for no additional investment on the buyer’s part. Each $3.99 is portioned out to three parties: us, our technology partners, and Apple.

Truth be told, given what we’ve invested and what we stand to earn, slave wages are actually starting to look pretty good. But, oddly, I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier. Partly, that’s due to the sheer joy of being in motion toward a goal. We want a portable life, a life that takes us to far corners of the world, and I dream that travel app development – and the opportunities it brings, if not the big bucks – just may be laying the first shiny bricks on our personal yellow brick road.

I’m happy, also, because of the synchronicity of this moment. All my bits and pieces of experience and knowledge from 25 years of being a career vagabond are coming together to help me know just what to do. There’s no guide book for writing iPhone travel guides, but that’s okay. I know how to organize a hit list of what to feature in the app, how to write a restaurant review, how to craft a press release, and how to set up a Facebook page. Even the things I don’t know how to do – like selling advertising - I’m figuring out. And fortunately, I have a husband and partner in this project who knows how to do all the stuff I have no interest in, like taking the pictures, and setting up the website, and figuring out the sometimes inscrutable (to me) technology behind the iPhone itself.

So, I’m happy. But did we pick the right subject for our first-ever travel guide? Well, let’s review: We picked Rehoboth Beach, with a year-round population of about 2,000, and maybe, maybe 2 million visitors a year. New York City, by comparison, has a population of more than 8 million people and 50 million annual visitors. So, no, we probably did not make a particularly strategic decision there. We made a sentimental decision, and a hopeful decision. We love Rehoboth. We know Rehoboth. And we love the idea of becoming a closer part of the community.

And we’re hoping that someone may notice what we’re doing and invite us to develop an app for them, in some exotic location, and pay us a million dollars. Hey, we can dream.

Who knows? Maybe that’s our destiny and reward after we finish our next app this summer: Virginia Wine in My Pocket. Can’t you just see it? Chilean Wine in My Pocket! Or how about Argentinean Wine in My Pocket? Or – dare I say it – Italian Wine in My Pocket??

Destiny, if you’re out there, and you’ve got a million bills burning a hole in your pocket, we’ve got the team, and we’ve got the time. Who needs sleep?


Miss Footloose said...

As a "professional" expat, I so understand your itch to travel and discover (more) of this fascinating world. I wish you lots of luck in your new adventure!

Nancy said...

Hi Miss Footloose and welcome - AND thanks for sharing! I would love nothing more than to have "professional expat" be part of my life experience list when I'm old and gray ;-)

Linda Tate said...

Nancy--This is so very exciting! I'm sorry I'm just now catching up with my blog feeds and didn't see this before I saw you in Reston. I would have heartily congratulated you in person! Linda