It is surprising to hear a tech millionaire say that he is not a tech guy. It is even more surprising to hear that from Chad Mureta, 34, who is the CEO at App Empire, and also the co-founder of Best Apps and T3. After all, he and his team have developed and marketed more than 46 apps that have more than 35 million downloads from worldwide users. Chad Mureta, despite saying he is not a tech person, runs a major part of his business from his iPhone, including the management of his employees, monitoring the apps market and checking the daily stats and rankings of his apps. Among his many app creations is the lovable Emoji. His company’s annual revenue is between $3 million and $5 million.
Chad Started his Career
Mureta, who has a B.A. in Business Management degree from the Coastal Carolina University, started his entrepreneur life by working as a real estate investor and owning a newspaper company. He later had his own real estate agency. All that changed in January 2009 when he had a harrowing and life-threatening road accident that almost caused him to lose his left arm. He had to undergo two major operations and incurred close to $100,000 in hospital bills during his 18-month hospital stay, an amount that his insurance policy did not cover. While still in the hospital, a friend gave him an article about people who became millionaires by creating apps, which triggered his interest in the business. He then started the process of developing a new business, as he did not want to go back to real estate.
His New career
He asked his stepfather for a loan of $1,800 and made ways to overcome the language barrier to connect with the Indian relative of one of his doctors who was into app development. Within two months, he was able to launch his very first app, the “Fingerprint Security-Pro” that earned more than $500,000 in 2011. The idea came from his still brand new smartphone that his doctors played with while he was still in hospital. It was not a phone security app per se because it included an unlock button, but it engaged the users, hence its popularity.
Mureta released a book entitled, “App Empire: Make Money, Have a Life, and Let Technology Work for You” in 2012, which provides details of his life as a real estate agent and later as an app creator. The book provides a guide on how to start a mobile app business in a non-technical way.
Mureta says that his business success stems from correctly interpreting the marketplace, which enables him to think of new app ideas. He outsources most of the actual programming of his apps. He says he only does the things that he is good at, employing a small unit of full-time employees and relying mostly on a group of freelancers. He only spends about two hours each day on App Empire and spends most of his time learning salsa, getting skydiving and scuba diving certification and traveling around the world.
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