My First Web App Deployed – Meeting Cost

Meeting Cost App Screenshot

It’s a very exciting time at MyAppIncome HQ as I’ve just deployed my very first app – http://meetingcost.myappincome.co.uk!

It’s only a web based app, but has been styled by Bootstrap so should work on a mobile browser too.

The Problem Solved

I spend a lot of time in meetings and I’m constantly surprised by how much time is “wasted”. Turning up late; turning up unprepared; no agenda; participants no contributing anything for hours; the list goes on.

I don’t know the source, but I once read something like

I’m not allowed to order £10 of stationary but I can call a meeting of 10 people for 2 hours and no-one blinks

“Meeting Cost” is a simple app to show the powers that be what a meeting actually costs.

Technical Details

This is a simple React.js app built using the React Slingshot boilerplate by Cory House. No redux, no react-router just vanilla React.js. I haven’t used React-Bootstrap, instead opting for a simple CSS file included in index.html.

The most “interesting” thing is the use of form-serialize for form submission. I plan to write a small article about that soon.

Milestone

Obviously that app isn’t going to change the world, but it was fun building it and I learned a lot. I plan to make this my “Hello World” of new technologies, I.e. migrate this first when I start React-Native or Xamarin.

Feedback Wanted

Please let me know if you have comments below, or on twitter.

The Plan for 2016

In the previous post, why this site exits, you can see that I’ve set myself a target to earn an extra £10/month. Here’s my rough plan on how to achieve it.

Possible Income Streams

Confession time! Although I’m a software engineer, I don’t work in the mobile space so don’t have a clue what I’m doing. I certainly have no idea about marketing and making money online, but I’m hoping I can get some small income from the following:

1. The Apps
As the apps are going to be pretty simple to start off with, I don’t expect to make much money off them. But I hope I can get some downloads to not lose interest!

2. Ads
As you can see (unless you have an adblocker) there are ads on this site. I’ll be putting ads in all the apps too and I expect them to be the main source of income for the year. I’m planning to share a lot of the stuff I learn and build a small audience.

3. Affiliate Links
There are affiliate links on this site. I have an awful lot to learn over the course of the next year, so I imagine I’ll be adding more links to things that have helped.

Types of App

For the near term, I’m aiming low by building some simple apps that solve my own problems. Once I’m confident in my abilities, I’m aiming to build educational apps. I have a 6 year who is learning the basics so have a strong investment in this area.

Technology

I’ve been using React.js for about 6 months and love it, but my background is in .NET. With Microsoft recently buying Xamarin I’m torn between that and React Native. I imagine I’ll end up trying both. 

Why this site exists?

Site Logo

The following is a rough series of events that brought this site to life.

Mid-Life Crisis?

Since the new year, I’ve done a lot of reading, thinking and reflecting. I made several conclusions:

• I don’t enjoy my job;
• Working for someone else is never going to make me “rich”;
• If I lost my job, I would have to travel a lot more to make the same money;
• I’m dependent on a single source of income.

Yes #FirstWorldProblems, but problems none the less.

Lightbulb moment

While looking for ideas, I read [amazon text=Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant: Guide to Financial Freedom by Robert Kiyosaki&asin=B00OL3NEW8] and I can honestly say it changed my outlook on things.

There’s not a great deal of actionable advice in the book, but I can recommend it as both an eye opener and motivator. Robert Kiyosaki splits everyone into 4 categories; Employee, Self-Employed, Business Man or Investor. Neither category is right or wrong, but the book does challenge you to think about what category you want to be in.

I’m currently an Employee but have decided that’s not the category I want to be in. I’m first going to try and transition from Employee to Self-Employed. The transition again to either Business Man or Investor.

As you can see this aligned with my conclusions above, so the question was how?

How to stop being “just” an employee

The very next book I read gave me the idea. It’s an older book, but I found [amazon text=Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill&asin=1934451355] motivating, especially the early chapters.

It got me thinking a lot about my life growing up and how I always had a plan I was working towards. I realised that I don’t have that anymore but I would like one.

Think and Grow Rich says the following 6 steps are the key:

1. Fix in your mind an exact amount of money
2. Determine what you intend to give in return
3. Establish a definite date as a deadline
4. Create a definitive plan
5. Write out the above in a concise statement
6. Read the statement from 5 aloud twice daily

I’m paraphrasing a little and probably won’t be doing step 6 consistently, but my first attempt looked something like:

1. Earn an extra £10/month 3 months in a row
2. Share as much as I can about what I learn online
3. 1st June 2017
4. TBD
5. “By June 2017 I want to be earning an extra £10 a month by TBD!”

Doing Something Stupid

So I had a target, but not a definitive plan. As a software engineer, it was pretty much a given that I’d do something software related. But everything seemed too risky.

I then started reading [amazon text=The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live Without Regret by Richie Norton&asin=1609070097] and the rest is history! I decided to try and make some extra money making and writing about building mobile apps.

It’s a fantastic book and helped me realise that yes it’s a risky decision, but the risk is small. I also don’t want to regret not doing something.

Time will tell if this was a stupid idea, but I’m sure I’ll learn a lot. My next post will be a more detailed plan.