How to make money Building Mobile Apps

César Ferreira
2 min readJul 13, 2016


There’s no magic formula for creating a profitable app but you can certainly improve your chances of success by following the right principles:

  • Track everything. Master the use of analytics;
  • Don’t show ads on the first day. Let the user fall in love with your app first;
  • Don’t scare users away by spamming them with ads. If you don’t have enough users to make ads profitable, build a good user base first (don’t even think of putting ads if you’re not getting at least 400–600 downloads a day);
  • Pay close attention to market trends, understand the overall direction of the market and consumers’ tastes. You don’t want to spend months building a gaming app with a style of play that users grew tired of a year ago;
  • Copy others, but make your apps better than theirs — The 4 million apps on the playstore/appstore can’t all be original. But whatever you do, make sure you do it right. Diving into a saturated market is not an easy task. But if you find a common complaint in user reviews among the top players in a market, that could be the green light to move in;
  • Always have In App Purchases (IAPs). Make a common task more convenient if the user buys an IAP;
  • Setup a contact form. Doesn’t matter if you never even reply. Give your users a channel to communicate before they give you a 1 star rating;
  • Donation buttons don’t work. You have to give them something in return. If people are willing to buy candy crush lives and fake gold for games, they’ll buy whatever you’re selling (under reasonable assumptions);
  • Use the asymmetric dominance effect to your advantage
  • Don’t underestimate the power of marketing. Remember that building a beautiful working app only gets you halfway to success;
  • Do the least amount of work for the greatest possible reward;

Inspired by this post and personal experiences



César Ferreira

Senior Android Developer, currently working as a Tech Lead @GlueHome. More on me @