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AppFog Business Startup Lessons From A Successful Entrepreneur

Updated on August 1, 2015

Lessons From An Entrepreneur

My name is Lucas Carlson, and I am a successful startup entrepreneur. When I first started however, I made a few critical mistakes. I had always thought that making an App and selling it wouldn't be that difficult. However, that wasn't the case for me. You can learn a lot from some one who has experience with the entire process of programming an app and getting it out to the right people.

Don’t Skip Business Setup Steps

At first I was just programming my idea for AppFog. I didn’t have a landing page, any bank account, brain storming ideas, or thinking about my ideal customers. Skipping key steps really put me back for years. I would program for weeks, and then finish the app idea. Then program for weeks and finish the idea. I couldn’t get people interested in the idea that was created.

AppFog Was Acquired For Ten Million Dollars

Creating a Landing Page

Finally, I decided to create a landing page one night when I was too tired to sleep or even tell my wife about my programming idea. My app idea was PHP Fog. I tried putting it up on a site before that called Heroku. I registered the PHP Fog website and just simply wrote “it’s like Heroku for PHP”. Heroku’s site only allowed for Ruby apps so I couldn’t put my apps there.

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Living the Dream

The next morning I woke up and had eight hundred people on my website! I didn’t market it anywhere else. All I did was put one link on Hacker News and a few article publishing websites like palpatine writer. Also, I described the website a little more. It turned out that my idea was a “hair on fire” idea without even the creation of the project! This gave me assurance that if the effort is put in, the results will be desired. After programming for two weeks. I just only had a prototype and the traffic went from 800 to 4,000!

Lucas Carlson
Lucas Carlson

Hair on Fire Problem Equals Confidence

I had identified a “hair on fire” problem. This gave me confidence to program the solution. This changed my life forever! I realized the difference between having a problem that people know they have versus the problems that people don’t know they have. PHPFog wound up being AppFog. It raised $10 billion dollars and was later acquired.

Hair On Fire Problem

Hair On Fire Problems. Not all Problems Are So.
Hair On Fire Problems. Not all Problems Are So.

No Marketing Expenses

I didn’t spend a dime on marketing! It wasn’t an accident. People already wanted the idea and were looking for it. I learned that I could find what people already wanted and then program an application based on what they wanted. I wasn’t taking a “shot in the dark” anymore.

Don’t be Scared

Creating a landing page is very scary for many people. They don’t want to know if others like their great idea or not. People will think that if their problem isn’t a “hair on fire problem” then there idea will become worthless. There is a denial psychological aspect to this thinking. It can be self-defeating to the creation of an idea. They will think “Well I believe in the idea so much, that I don’t care what other people think about it”. This philosophy will kill a great idea. Put your “right foot first” and see what People need.

Free Search Engine Results

Although, Not a dime was spent on marketing, there are methods of getting even more traffic to your business website for free! Well almost for free. Try doing keyword analysis using Google Ad Planner. It's a free tool. Then find high volume and low competition keywords. Link back to your website with keyword links. In the case of AppFog though, no marketing at all was needed, just the "hair on fire" dilemma.

AppFog Demo Video

App Fog Inc.

A markerApp Fog Inc. -
Southeast Spaulding Avenue, Portland, OR 97267, USA
get directions

AppFog has 11-50 employees at a given time lead by CEO Lucas Carlson.

What Does AppFog Do? Why Is It Needed?

AppFog allows programmers to make apps in seconds. This allows them to focus on the coding and not the management of the app itself. In today's demanding world, AppFog is almost essential to the contemporary application developer. Making apps at the speed of light is a must. Clients get their apps faster, with better debugging. It's a mutually beneficial relationship between coders, corporate stakeholders, and clients.

AppFog Office

Work With The Exact Technology. It's Fast and Easy

AppFog works with Java, PHP, Ruby, Node, MySQL, MongoDB and PostgreSQL and more. You don't have to skip out on programming languages because it isn't offered.

It's fast too! You just simply select the size and the stack, then launch it. The apps can be made even more powerful with add-ons. There isn't anything time consuming to it or overly complex.

It's Cross Cloud

Pick a cloud infrastructure such as : CenturyLink Cloud, AWS US, , and AWS Asia, AWS Europe and mix and match. You don't have to get stuck using one cloud. More versatility equals a better experience. Code without cloud compatibility issues.

With AppFog Programmers Focus on Apps Not Hardware

Instead of having to sift through hard drives. AppFog allows the developer to access all apps from a cloud server. This saves hassle and time with having to remember where apps were built and stored on hard drives. Programmers save time and make applications faster.

Deployment Speed

AppFog helps a developer to deploy an application without going through the process involved with a dedicated server. Applications only take seconds to deploy to AppFog. This saves everyone a great amount of time and energy. It's seemless.

AppFog Is a Modern Cloud With Native Applications

There isn't a a need to worry about AppFog not running native applications in your preferred run time. There is an encouragement of rapid agile delivery. The developer has their choice of programming language.

AppFog Application Mapped to a Unique URL

Every application gets a to a unique URL. It can be mapped to a domain. This will face web properties. It has support for the latest application run times. AppFog can host a wide range of websites whilst providing the high quality of performance that business clients will be demanding in the application.

How Much Does App Fog Cost?

App Fog costs .04/ GB hourly. Resources are charged an hourly rate. Monthly estimates are 730 hours per month. It's a platform of CenturyLink Cloud. It charges for usage on a monthly basis. An invoice bill is sent out for each month for the previous month's usage. A free trial is offered for first time users!

Platform As Service (Paas)

AppFog is a Platform as a Service or Paas. It allows customers to develop, run, and manage web applications. It takes out the hassle of developing and maintaining the infrastructure associated with developing and launching an application. There are two different methods to providing a Paas. It could be executed as a public cloud service provider. In this case the customer controls the software settings and delivery. The provider supplies the networks, host services. The other method is software installed in private data centers or public infrastructure as a service. It gets managed by internal IT departments.

Paas History

Fotango, is a company in London which made the first Paas. Zimki was born. It was made in 2005 and released in 2006 at EuroOSCON. It was an end to end JavaScript web app. It removed repetitive chores when creating web applications and web services to be eliminated or handled by the Paas and not the application developer. Every aspect from operations from setting servers, scaling, configuration, backups and security were completed. This allowed coders to code without the headache. It was pay as you go so no huge costs built up for application developers. The pricing was based off of storage used, network traffic, and Javascript Operations also known as JSOPs.


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