Hi, I'm Allen Wong, founder of Rego Apps, Smartest Apps, and BriefKey.

My upbringing: My parents were raised in the slums of China. In the hopes of giving my brother and me a better life, they fled to New York City and raised us there. My mother worked in a sweatshop in Chinatown. And my father passed away unnaturally three months after I graduated from college. After his passing, no one in the family had a job.

How I got started: After my father's passing, my mother suffered from a prolonged psychotic episode. So I moved back to NYC from LA to take care of her. Since I was the only one in the family with a job due to the recession, I self-taught myself how to create apps during weekends and weeknights in hopes of making some side income. What I didn't expect was that this hobby ended up making much more than my full time job.

How the business is going: A few of my apps have topped the charts. Most recently, an app I created this year became the #1 Lifestyle app just a few months ago. Last year, my sneaker price guide app called "SPG" became the #1 Sports app. My most successful app, "5-0 Radio Police Scanner", is currently the #1 News app and has been and still is one of top downloaded apps since its creation in 2009.

What's new: I've been wheelchair bound for the past half year and am still recovering from surgery for something I was born with. I'm also being patent trolled for an app I created this summer called Remote S for Tesla. But despite all of this, I still try to stay hopeful and giving.

My gift to Redditors: Earlier this year, I co-founded BriefKey, where we spent the whole year developing a keyboard app for iOS called iGIF. It lets you swipe your words using two thumbs, convert your Live Photos to GIFs or .mov videos, predict emojis as you type, send animated stickers, and search/post GIFs as a gif, video, or web link. A part of the reason why I developed the iGIF keyboard was so that I could easily reply to people on Reddit using GIFs on my phone. So that is why, as my gift to Reddit, I am giving away the app for free today. Download here or go on your device and go to igif.co for the App Store link.

Go ahead, ask me anything*.

Verification Proof: My Facebook

*Feedback on the iGIF keyboard is welcome, too.

Edit: I never expected to do this for 17 hours straight and write/read through two thousand comments. But I'm dead tired now and need sleep because of my recovery from surgery. This has been great. Thanks for all the questions!

Comments: 2265 • Responses: 73  • Date: 

CaptainDickfingers2596 karma

Do you prefer lamborghinis or knowledge?

regoapps3572 karma

47 Lamborghinis

GoogleMeDoodle595 karma

How many bookshelves do you own?

regoapps2060 karma

I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, but my bookshelves that came with the house don't have many books on them. I don't read physical books much anymore. I put my video game collectibles on them instead. My favorite being a Metal Gear Solid bandana with a signed copy of MGS by Hideo, and an unopened Fallout 3 collector's edition lunchbox. I'm currently waiting on my Pipboy to come later this week to add to the bookshelf.

jessejamess708 karma

Hope you are recovering well. Two questions. Still working on apps or doing something new? And Is your new car new, or a wrap? Thanks!

regoapps534 karma

I'm still working on apps. Car was wrapped by my friend Angela. She did a great job!

tsatsuG363 karma

Hey Allen, greetings from Montreal! Hope you're healing well from your surgery.. My questions are how do you manage to balance your personal life from business? How do you find the perfect medium? Also, I've started my business now and I'm finding it hard to build trust & loyalty between those on my team? How do you develop a good level of loyalty & trust while still moving forward as a team? Last question I promise, how did you feel when you made your first million, what was the feeling like for you and how did you celebrate? Thanks in advance Allen.

regoapps688 karma

My questions are how do you manage to balance your personal life from business? How do you find the perfect medium?

There is no perfect medium. You have to make sacrifices, and you do it by making clear priorities on what's most important to you. At the beginning, I had to balance taking care of my schizophrenic mother, working full time at Columbia University, learning and coding apps, and taking my girlfriend at the time out on dates. It was not easy at all. I had no free time. Every hour of my life was utilized. It became so much that my girlfriend at the time gave me an ultimatum. Either spend more time with her or spend more time on creating apps. I chose apps and found a girlfriend who wasn't as clingy. Protip: A great time saver was to drop the online small talk with friends and to stop using websites like Facebook.

Nowadays the business side of my life is less hectic. I'm also single now, so that frees up like half my free time.

Also, I've started my business now and I'm finding it hard to build trust & loyalty between those on my team? How do you develop a good level of loyalty & trust while still moving forward as a team?

This is why I like working alone. But to be safe, when I work with someone else, I always work small first to test the waters before taking on bigger projects/features.

Last question I promise, how did you feel when you made your first million, what was the feeling like for you and how did you celebrate? Thanks in advance Allen

My first million came within the first year of creating apps. But it didn't come to me overnight. There was a gradual build up. At first, I started making only $50 a day from apps. Then $200. Then $600. Then $1,500. And etc. So in a way, I was eased into it. I was already really happy just making any sort of money from apps, because I know that many people don't make any money at all. After my first million or so dollars, though, I celebrated by buying a house next to my mother's so that I could still be near her and take care of her while still getting my own place.

DemocraticAssPaper56 karma

Have you ever caught up with the ex that didn't want you to pursue your dream?

regoapps217 karma

Yea, I grabbed a beer with her once a few years later. She congratulated me on my success, and that's about it. There was no resentment or anything like that.

DogeSaint-Germain138 karma

So you're single... I'd like to invite you to coffee after hearing your opinion on pre-nups.

regoapps450 karma

I don't believe in pre-nups. If I really love someone, she can have half my wealth. I don't mind. I only spend a single-digit percent of my income anyway. When I pass away, most of it will go to charity anyway. Not because I'm a good person. But because I don't want any future heirs to poison my soup or unplug my life support prematurely.

Gokusan43 karma

It's crazy to think that your children/relatives might do this to you while you're doing everything you can to support your mother.

regoapps152 karma

It was just a joke. I don't have children yet, and I don't feel any immediate threat from relatives.

But seriously, there are people in my family who would choose money over family. Luckily they're not in my immediate family.

Fixtor279 karma

You announced on April 1st that you bought Pagani Huayra, but you did not say it was a prank or anything. Have you really done that? What cars do you own currently?

BTW Thanks for inspiring me Allen! Now also making iPhone apps for living!

regoapps377 karma

Congrats on making apps for a living :) I'm glad that I was able to inspire you.

The Huayra was an April Fools joke. They're overpriced IMO.

AbdouSarr269 karma

Hello from Ottawa Canada!

Im 17 years old and I have a relaxation app and it reached #1 Health and Fiitness and #6 Paid overall for Canada back in March. How can I keep this steady trend going, as opposed to random surges. Also, have you started thinking about developing tvOS apps?

Thank you and I hope you feel better!

regoapps344 karma

Usually releasing a free version and then using the free version to market the paid version is what I do to keep the app trending. Then your app has to be good enough that your users tell other users to try out the free app. And then hope that those free users turn into paid users. But if not, then get ad revenue from the free users.

knarfin37 karma

Does this work better for you than free-to-paid upgrades in the same app?

regoapps91 karma

Yes, because that way I can get the paid app in the top paid charts and double my exposure. For example: See 5-0 Radio Pro. It's the #1 news app, and gets a lot of exposure. The exposure leads to more free downloads. More free downloads leads to more paid users. And the cycle is complete.

MrGashbell170 karma

Been following for a while due to your inspiration and motivation you give, as a young person having big dreams like myself, what's the best life advice you can give? Success isn't easy and I don't want a cheat code for it, just some advice that you think is good! Hope you are having a speedy recovery! Thanks for the AMA.

regoapps677 karma

I put a lot of my best life advice either in my autobiography, my youtube videos, and my Facebook. It's hard to choose which one I'd consider the "best". But here's one of my more recent ones straight from my Facebook for those trying to get rich quick:

To the many "entrepreneurs" who are looking for shortcuts to getting rich (like bugging an app developer who's recovering from a major surgery to code your app idea cough cough), I have a message for you:

Don't depend on others to do the heavy lifting for you for free. Why not learn and do the work yourself? I get it. You want to take the easy way out, because you're scared. And you're scared because if you try and fail, there's only you to blame. Well, guess what? Tough luck. Life is scary. There are no quick and easy ways for becoming successful. There are no magic pills to eat to make you a better person. There's only you. So stop making excuses, stop procrastinating, and start putting in the work.

Stop saying that you don't have time to learn coding because of this and that. There's always time to do or learn something if you make it your priority. Those hours of TV and movies you watch and video games you play could have been spent doing something productive. We may not all be born with equal circumstances and opportunities, but we all equally have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in week. My 24 hours are no shorter or longer than your 24 hours.

Stop saying that it's too hard to learn how to code apps. It's not hard. Even 12 year olds are coding apps. What IS hard are the countless number of hours you have to put in and the sacrifices you have to make to get your project off the ground and to finish it. And there's no easy way to avoid it (short of inheriting a ton of money and hiring people to do it for you).

And the projects that end up successful are usually very enormous and complex to code. Yes, they're scary to try to take on. But suck it up and still do them. Big projects don't seem as daunting when you break it down and work on it piece by piece.

And sometimes you'll be in the middle of a big project, and get scared that the project would fail. You're scared because you're afraid that you wasted time. But guess what? That time will still pass whether or not you do the project. And if you choose to wait around doing something else, there will be someone else out there like me who's putting the time in and getting things done. And before you know it, other people will finish the app that you could have done yourself.

So yes, there will be many days when it all seems overwhelming and too difficult to proceed. But let me tell you this: Nothing in this world that's worth having comes easy.

P. S. I'm not telling you that you have to code apps to become successful. Replace coding apps with whatever your goal is (losing weight, being a better spouse, etc.), and it still applies. All I'm saying is to stop making excuses and start taking the real steps to becoming someone better. I mean, c'mon, are you really going to let this dog live a better life than you?

LasagnaAttack13 karma

Youtube videos? Link?

regoapps18 karma

http://youtube.com/regovids

There are few speeches I gave on there (if you can find them among the car videos). They might be boring if you don't have an interest in apps, because I talk a lot about apps in it, and my audience were CS graduates.

88rarely168 karma

What college / university did you go to?

Did you finish it?

What did you major in?

regoapps236 karma

UCLA. Yes, I didn't create apps until after I graduated. Computer science and engineering.

networknewjack300 karma

"Taught myself" and "graduated from UCLA with a degree in computer science" kind of conflict don't they?

ImA90sChick114 karma

Not necessarily?

A degree can give you the tools you need, but applying that information can be a whole different story. Not quite the same, but I'm in law school. They give me the tools to do lawyerly things but they don't actually teach me how to be a lawyer, I have to figure that out for myself (or learn through internships, externships, clerkships, etc.). Just because you have a degree doesn't mean you actually know what you're doing.

networknewjack89 karma

98% of making an app is knowing how to program. It's literally the hardest part. Having the tools to make things happen.

regoapps189 karma

I knew how to code prior to going to college. That's why I applied to CS&E. Because I already knew programming.

Also making an app is more like 1/3 coding, 1/3 marketing, and 1/3 graphics/UI/UX design.

markseesred80 karma

That 1/3 marketing is probably the hardest for some of us.

Ohitemup116 karma

Giving out the app for free with an AMA is a great example of how to properly market your product and build its user base.

regoapps126 karma

This guy gets it :)

Oakland_Zoo57 karma

I thought you were from ny and your parents were poor. How you afford to go to ucla?

regoapps171 karma

UCLA at the time was a cheap public school, even for out-of-state, compared to private colleges. They didn't raise the tuition for out-of-state students until after I enrolled. Financial aid and scholarships paid for most of it. I also sold game hacks and did freelance web development to pay off a part of my tuition. And of course, after the apps business blew up, I didn't have anymore debts.

BlinksTale5 karma

What do you mean when you say game hacks?

titan_bullet16 karma

Stuff like aimbots/wallhacks for fps games i suppose. Stuff like those make pretty good money if you put effort in them.

regoapps39 karma

I avoided making hacks that griefs other players - I saved those hacks for myself haha! But most of my hacks were things like bots that automated grinding and helped you earn in-game currency without human input. One of it modded the World of Warcraft minimap to let you track anything (and I mean anything) even if you didn't have tracking turned on and even if you didn't have the tracking skill. It made finding things while flying really easy.

ryanw123195 karma

That keyboard app looks very cool. Any plans on making it available for Android?

regoapps89 karma

If there's enough users on it for iOS, then we'll create one for Android. We're testing the waters with the iOS version to see if there's a demand for it first.

dritjon91 karma

Are you happy?

regoapps152 karma

Mostly. But I have my ups and downs like everyone else.

thenapkinthief584 karma

In regards to the keyboard app why do I need to give full access?

regoapps168 karma

It doesn't need it if you're just typing and swiping and inputting text. The full access is for the GIFs only, because in order to establish any kind of internet connection via the keyboard, Apple requires "Full Access". I wish there was something more specific than that where it only gives access to the internet, but that's how Apple iOS. Also when you tap on a password field or any secure field, Apple iOS automatically switches to the Apple default keyboard. So you don't have to worry about keyboards peeking at your passwords.

If you don't believe me, then just turn off Full Access, and only use the container/fullscreen app to get your GIFs. It'll be more convenient to have the GIFs accessible on your keyboard, though.

lexstuger68 karma

I have an idea for an app... For someone with no knowledge regarding starting an app/coding, where do I start? Best of luck with your recovery, and congrats on your success!

regoapps143 karma

Start by getting knowledge? There are many free resources online that can teach you how to code. There's even a whole subreddit for it /r/learnprogramming

kueller54 karma

Hey Allen,

Thanks for doing this. I have a couple of questions..

  • What marketing strategies do you use for your apps?
  • Any advice for other app developers to try & replicate some of your success in that field?
  • Do you still plan to keep making apps, or is something else on your radar?

Thanks!

regoapps201 karma

Let's take my Tesla app for example. It became the #1 Lifestyle app and reached the top 25 in top paid apps even at $10 this year. The strategy I used was word of mouth. And to start it off, I went to the popular Tesla forums and asked people for feedback on the app. Then I kept tweaking and tweaking the app based on user feedback. When I finally released the app, it was like a group effort. Every user had some input into it, so it was like they helped developed it. And then all those users ended up being customers of the app and pushed it high up in the charts. And then from there, it was word of mouth: One Tesla owner telling the other Tesla owners about the app.

For my SPG app, it was paid Instagram shoutouts with popular IG accounts that specialize in sneakers. You find your niche and then you try to figure out the best/cost effective to reach them.

I still plan on making apps, but nowadays I only work when I feel like it. I have no need to work anymore, since I have enough to retire with. But I work to keep myself sane and feeling useful. Plus I like creating things that people find useful.

mrRonSwanHuh109 karma

This iAmA is a marketing strategy lol

regoapps112 karma

Possibly. But my iGIF app doesn't make any money off anyone downloading it for free. There are no in-app purchases or paywalls or ads in the app. So I don't really know what I'm marketing in this AMA. I guess the American DreamTM ?

Renzolol46 karma

You're marketing the rest of your apps and the paid version of this app.

regoapps10 karma

There's no paid version of this app. This is it.

Watsonga52 karma

How do you get front row parking spots at Disney World?

regoapps232 karma

Usually they are nice enough to give them to me without me asking. I guess some employees are fans of Lamborghinis. It never worked when I drove in with a Bentley or Tesla. But now that I am currently disabled, I just get them because of the disabled parking spots.

SuupaX51 karma

Introvert or extrovert?

regoapps99 karma

Introvert. Though, I can be an extrovert sometimes.

gapmunky47 karma

bearing gifts you say? :o

Also for my question, I was wondering, was the Tesla worth it? I'm currently saving up for one in the next 5 years.

regoapps69 karma

Yes! Autopilot is my favorite. Plus ludicrous mode...

Savesomeposts44 karma

So now that you're one of us cripples, you going to make some accessibility apps? ;)

I don't know about everyone else, but... I want a weather app that is dedicated to pain. I want to be able to find accessible bathrooms quickly and easily. I want an app that zaps people with electricity for saying things like "you're too young to need a wheelchair/cane/whatever" and "you're so inspiring!"

Anyway welcome to the club! I noticed you used the words "wheelchair bound," which is totally fair, but some people use phrases to reframe their use of accessibility devices and make their situation sound more under their control; like "I use a wheelchair." If you're interested, I recommend you feasting on some cripple theory - I liked Too Late To Die Young or Waist High in the World. I don't know how long you've been sick or how long you will be, but those books made me feel like less of a freak :)

regoapps82 karma

Haha, I know those feels. Since I drive around in expensive cars, whenever I park in disabled parking spots, people think that I'm some douchebag. Someone even took a picture of my car and posted it on Instagram saying that I was faking it.

anduiii40 karma

What's something that you consider to be true, that almost nobody agrees with you on?

regoapps142 karma

Nothing really. There's always a large group of people out there who will agree with you on any subject. Even if your line of thought is the most illogical, scientifically-refuted, crazy idea, I will not be surprised if there's some large group of people out there who agrees with you. Or at least I think that's true. If it's not true, then I guess that's something that almost nobody will agree with me on.

iEluna9435 karma

What do you think about Elon Musk?

regoapps141 karma

Never met him before. I usually reserve my thoughts about people until I actually get to know them. Sometimes what the person shows in public is not who they are behind the scenes. I know a few semi-famous people, and this almost always turns out true.

AzagroEU28 karma

Hey Allen, I have been coding stuff for a while now. From Arduino to Android and iPhones. I have always been good with logic and mathematics and stuff, but the only thing I am struggeling with is the memorization of code. How did you deal with that part? Was it the practise or did you sat down and memorized pieces of code? The way I code now is that I take a certain function on stackexchange and edit it to my personal prefrences. I must say it has worked out pretty well so far, but it doesn't feel as good.

regoapps69 karma

I don't memorize code. I look at my older projects, stackoverflow and github to get a reminder of how to code something. Sometimes it's faster just to copy and paste prewritten code rather than to type it all out yourself. I only memorize syntax and the most often used functions. Also, xcode has a very good autocomplete. I barely have to type much before it figures out what I'm trying to do.

Don't worry about it not feeling good. I doubt that anyone can code a fully featured app just from memory. I may have been able to do it when I was just starting out. But I've forgotten a lot since then.

But there's a big difference between simply copying code and actually knowing what the code you copied means.

God_of_Dyslexia24 karma

Allen I have two questions for you.

  • How do you validate an app idea? I have a few one of my own that i've begun working on, but my only "validation" is that there are already similar apps in existence that executed poorly, in my opinion.
  • What happened to the Tesla App? I didn't know you got patent trolled? What resulted of this incident and how can other developers learn from this?

I also wanted to say thanks for the inspiration over the years. I hope your doing well with recovery! Also, I like the wrap for the aventador, cant wait for huayra vids too!

regoapps48 karma

Those similar apps in existence would have to be successful, too.

I'm still in the middle of the patent troll. I don't know what the result will be. Nothing other developers can learn from this, except that some people out there are greedy, leeching scum. Once you have any sort of success, you can expect them to come out of the woodwork.

moezz23 karma

What do you wish you did differently when you were starting your career as an entrepreneur?

regoapps80 karma

I wish I didn't take investing advice from people I trusted. Do your own research when it comes to investing. Don't trust anyone. Especially not the people from your banks.

Bilalin20 karma

I've been following you on Facebook for a while now, here's my question: is it still possible for someone to make riches in the same manner as you did? Or do you believe the market is over saturated now and one must find a different outlet?

If you think it's still possible, where should one start?

regoapps49 karma

I created Remote S in just 3 weeks of coding back in May of this year. It now makes more than the average person's income. So, I think it's still possible. It may not be easy to make millions from a single app (and it never was easy even from the beginning), but if you create many little successful/useful apps, the passive income adds up.

I'd start by finding something that nobody has ever done before, and that there exists a demand or market for it. And this doesn't mean that you should just create whatever idea that YOU think is useful. You have to talk it over with the people who are willing to buy the app and figure out if there's enough people willing to buy it. Before I started work on Remote S, I checked the Tesla forums to see if people actually wanted an app like it first.

Ozner1234519 karma

Hello Allen, What made you choose Orlando to live in? Have you invested any money into start-ups? I follow your post and also live in Central Florida and can't figure out why someone with money would choose to live here!

regoapps31 karma

I like the weather down here during Winter. Got tired of the blizzards in NYC. Have you visited Windermere? There's a lot of wealthy people who live here. Shaq, Tiger Woods, etc.

SuupaX18 karma

What do you think next big technology will be?

regoapps62 karma

I'm far from an expert on this. But if I had to guess it would be: Self-driving electric cars. Apps for your car. Summoning a self-driving taxis/car rental from your phone. Replacing the workforce with robots.

Maybe some company will do to cars what Apple did to mobile phones.

iantimothyacuna16 karma

What is your go-to snack when you're feeling the munchies?

Read your book by the way. Great read.

regoapps25 karma

Whatever's around the house that's quick and easy to make - cereal, popcorn, ice cream, sandwiches, protein shakes, quest bars, etc. I don't bring snacks with me when I go out, so if I'm hungry I'll just stop by a place and eat.

Mmm... now I'm feeling hungry. I should go on a lunch break.

332i15 karma

How does it feel to make a bulk of your money off of motivational speaking and a biography that you had published in your 20s? Boiled down...you realize that you're a marketer that can write apps...right?

I like to see people make money, but not when they're drawing people in who want advice to become motivated and/or generate more income for themselves by listening to someone who made money off of phone applications...

How many apps have you had published in the last two years that have taken off and done really well? Can you post a link to how many of each app have been purchased by phone/tablet users and the total sales amount? Let's make it three years to make things look better.

I imagine none of this will be addressed as you can see how that will go for you.

The reason you don't see comments like this is because it is filled with young people commenting who want to know what code you learned first, how they can motivate themselves, technical questions even, etc.

They're people who don't realize that writing apps today is far different than the years around 2010. Back then you could write an app in your basement and make a million dollars plus by the end of the year if it was a hit. Now you need money just to make a proper app, people expect the app to look pretty, whereas back then...it just needed to have a great function. If it did something that you didn't have to...the app was awesome to you. Now you often need funding or at least one partner who can work on the app as well...it becomes a business. The app market wasn't as saturated as it is now. Not even close. If you're app doesn't take off and end up at the top of the charts...no one will ever see it. There's just too many.

I'm glad you did really well for yourself with apps, motivational speeches, seminars and your biography...but you're telling people that they can do stuff...that is no longer possible due to market saturation and funding. Apps are developed like videos games now. It is not small time stuff. The hit apps these days always come from several people collaborating or an established business. They even advertise them on tv. That's pretty definitive of what I am saying. How can one person compete against a conglomerate that can afford to produce an app AND advertise it on national television? We're about the same age. The thought that an app would ever be advertised on tv was laughable back then. A totally outlandish thought. But not now. Not in this market and financial world.

If you want to be like Allen Wong in the current world/times, you need to have a fair amount of money to begin with. If you think otherwise, you are very naive. People like him are a dime a dozen. They may not have had as tough of a life, but their goals and techniques are the same.

This reminds me of jordan belfort after he ran out of ways to make as much money as he was pulling in at his peak.

regoapps17 karma

Where did you get the idea that a bulk of my money came from motivational speaking and a biography? I never got paid for my speeches. And my book sales profits are donated to charity.

As for the "how many apps have I published lately that took off", if you bothered to even read the description of the AMA, you'd see that I named two apps that took off in the past two years. One being the #1 lifestyle app (Remote S) and the other the #1 sports app (SPG). SPG already made more than 6 figures.

None of these apps needed any investment to create. I spent no money making them.

I never did any seminars, and I only wrote one autobiography over three years ago and now give my advice away for free on my Facebook instead of writing another book. The book itself accounts for less than .01% of my income if you had to compare. One week of app sales make more money than any YouTube video or autobiography I made for the past 3 years.

Your argument makes you sound like a defeatist. You look at all the people who failed and then say, "Yes, I'll be a failure, too if I tried." If that was the case, then almost all jobs where you had the potential to be rich should be avoided. Is that what you want? To tell people to not even try, even if the chances are not that great?

If you think that hit apps always come from several people collaborating, then go and collaborate with people then. You make it sound like that's impossible for people to do that haha.

What it really sounds like is that you dislike me for whatever reason, and have justified it by making up lies in your head about how I'm a bad person. Stop being so peanut butter and jelly. It doesn't affect me. It only hurts yourself.

Gumbercules114 karma

Do you have a sign at home that reads, "You've come to the Wong place?"

regoapps22 karma

Haha. No, but I have sign that says, "I live where you vacation"

regoappsqanda14 karma

Can you elaborate on your experiences with Robert Himler? What was the real reason Razzi was taken down? Best experience you had with him? Worst?

regoapps30 karma

Razzi was taken down because it stopped being profitable after the bandwidth and storage costs kept rising. The more users we had, the less money we started making. And that's because we were giving away half of the revenue to the users. It was a strategy that was good for users, but not sustainable for the company.

Robert Himler was a very bright person who treated me very well. I had a lot of great experiences with him hanging out and driving down I-4 late at night. The only bad experience I had with him was that one infamous time that I had a falling out with him with the way he was collecting donation funds for Sandy Hook victims. We stopped talking to each other for years after that incident.

besjbo11 karma

Do you think it's suboptimal for a college grad to start working for a large (tech) company with solid growth, or would you recommend a different path? What would you say should be the primary considerations in accepting a position?

Also, since you've owned the Aventador for a few years (since new), what would you estimate the cost of ownership (maintenance/repairs, depreciation, insurance, etc.) to be? How does that compare to the Tesla (if you have a long enough timeframe to be able to compare)?

regoapps20 karma

I wouldn't want to work in the corporate world again if given the choice unless it's an executive position. I don't like the idea of my work benefiting rich shareholders. I rather work for myself. But I did get a corp job at a large tech company when I graduated. It's what every CS grad did. It was fun, because I learned a lot from the other coworkers.

12% depreciation per year. My last annual maintenance was $4700. Insurance is $2k a year, because of my many discounts (low mileage, home owner, garaged, multi-car, etc.). Tesla is $500 insurance a year. Maintenance is almost nothing.

dnoopsog9 karma

limbo or tesla ?

regoapps48 karma

I like the way the Lambo sounds and looks better than the Tesla. But the Tesla is way more comfortable and has a bigger trunk. Both are pretty fast and fun cars. The autopilot on the Tesla is also very useful and relaxing to use on long drives.

360noscoperino5 karma

What prog.languages you use to code you first succesfull iOs app?

regoapps7 karma

Objective-C. At the time, it was the only language you could use to create iOS apps, so I had to use it. They didn't teach the language at schools at the time, so I had to self-teach myself it.

ljl1233 karma

Hi Allen, I am currently a senior in high school completing my UC personal statements and other college apps. (Side note - I just made my reddit account right now to post here, so sorry for any misunderstandings.) I've been following you since your inspirational "How to Get a Lamborghini: Allen Wong's Story" video. I'd love to follow in your footsteps in becoming a successful app developer; however, although I do like the concept of coding, I have taken Computer Programming and AP Computer Science in my current high school and I am not very good at doing so. I do, however, have a passion for automobiles, and thus want to major in something closely related and I've discovered Mechanical Engineering. I know Physics is a big component to this major, but I am not very good at Physics. Did you ever consider studying Mechanical Engineering as opposed to Computer Science and Engineering? What are your thoughts on Mechanical Engineering? Do you think it will be easy to find jobs (specifically in California)? Because I feel that my Physics skills will hold me back in Mechanical Engineering, I am also considering Business Administration/Entrepreneurship. I know I can do well in this major, because I've participated in my family's small-time business quite a bit and feel well versed thus far. Have you ever had to think about choosing between this two?

regoapps5 karma

I would suggest sticking with what you enjoy. You can always get better at something if you studied it well enough. But you'll find it hard to get motivation for learning/studying if you don't like the subject that you are studying. I never had to choose between mech. engineering and CS, because I knew CS was my calling ever since I self-taught myself coding when I was a teenager.

johankung1232 karma

Do you working on any projects now if so what projects are you working on?

regoapps12 karma

I am still tweaking and adding more features to BriefKey's iGIF Keyboard.

I also still plan on adding more features to my Remote S for Tesla app. One of the features that I was working on prior to my surgery was background scheduling. The idea was to let the phone schedule commands for your car. So for example, the app could automatically turn on the climate control remotely at a certain time so that you never have to return to a cold/hot car interior again.

Evilnipple2 karma

Hey Allen,

I was wondering..

When you're creating an app, do you focus the most on the app itself or the marketing side of it?

regoapps2 karma

Focus on the app itself first. If your app is great enough, it'd market itself. But you can't have no marketing at all. You have to first market it a little bit to get those first few users. And then hopefully those users will help you spread the word about your app. Usually apps that have a "wow factor" are the ones that go viral. Either that or you can be one of those app companies that spam their Facebook friends in exchange for in-app currency...

Limathium2 karma

Hello Allen I follow you since a long time and I have a few questions if you may accept, First of all, I'm wondering about APPs, did Radio 5-0 was your really first sucess apps ? About 5-0 apps, whats the price you first started of ? Did you decrease it or increase afterward as you see it was working? Do you think that on android people would have buy as much as in iOS your apps ?

Also I wish you a good recovering hope your doing fine. :)

regoapps3 karma

I had other successful apps before 5-0 Radio. But 5-0 Radio was my most successful one so far. I increased the price of it every few years. I don't think I can sell as many on Android than on iOS. I'd have to rely on ad revenue for Android.

james17482 karma

Would you like to Visit Taiwan Sometime ?

regoapps2 karma

Sure. It's on my list of places to visit.

amfoejaoiem1 karma

What's your net worth? Where is that distributed (what kinds of investments do you do?)? What are your thoughts on the supposed hardware renaissance over the next 5-10 years?

regoapps7 karma

I don't even know my own net worth, because my companies have never been appraised for their value.

A lot of my money is in index funds and tech companies.

GermanPanda1 karma

Have you ever been approached by the NSA or a similar agency? If so, how much did they offer you and what did they want in exchange?

regoapps4 karma

No. I ain't no snitch.

KingBlueEyes1 karma

Hey Allen, What do you think about software that helps you create apps like "gamesalad"?

regoapps1 karma

I never used it before, so I have no thoughts. I code my apps natively.

heartbrokenazn1 karma

Hi Allen.

Hope you are recovering well. How are you dealing with the patent trolls?

regoapps4 karma

With lawyers. I'm going to let my lawyers deal with it.

LiamLogi1 karma

How long did it take for you to create a successful app, since the moment you started learning Objective-C? Any advice for the amateurs that are trying to go pro?

regoapps2 karma

A few handful of weekends. It'd be the same advice for any line of work: Keep practicing.

awpmanop1 karma

You're one of my favorite Youtuber. I love the quality of all your videos. I wish you upload more but I totally understand why you dont! Hope your recovery is going well. What do you think is going to be your next car purchase?

regoapps3 karma

Whatever replaces the Aventador as the flagship car will probably be my next purchase.

brandonTorresL1 karma

I'm thinking of buying a 2012 macbook pro, Do you think it will run the new version of xcode?

regoapps2 karma

Yes. I have a 2011 Macbook Pro that runs the new version of XCode. As long as it can run the latest version of Mac OSX, it can run XCode.

ohsnowbear1 karma

Why do you choose to learn developing ios app instead of android app at first? Any specific reason?

regoapps1 karma

There was more money in making iOS apps at the beginning. Also because there was less competition for iOS apps at the time, because not many people knew how to code Objective-C in the beginning.

speedyexe1 karma

Im learning Swift language, what to do next to emulate your success?

regoapps2 karma

Keep creating apps and getting better at it. My first few apps were really bad and made very little money. But then I kept practicing and getting better at it.

thisiscrazy41 karma

I want to create a better police scanner app but it seems like it's impossible to get a license for the broadcasting stations. Is there any other way?

regoapps4 karma

No. Some people have tried, but I have that market so cornered that it'd be almost impossible to make any decent money from a police scanner app anyway. Plus, once the server admins find out about a rogue app using their feeds without a license, they ban the app's connections to their servers. So you'd have wasted your time.

ChronicHerpes1 karma

Hey Allen,

I thought I recognized your name when I saw the title. I know this was 3 or 4 years ago but didn't you create Razzi.me? What ever happened to that?

Also I used to see your name associated with Robert Himmler quite a bit. I used to follow all types of car accounts on YouTube and followed Roberts account for a long time. I remember when he created "Far From it" and then a lot of people started criticizing him for various things. After that I lost track of those accounts and about a month ago I found out he sadly died due to cancer. How close were you two? What did you think of him and how was your relationship in the end?

Sorry these probably weren't the questions you had in mind but I've always looked up to Robert until he started doing some questionable things so I'm curious as to what your take on it is.

regoapps2 karma

I met Robert while he was still developing Razzi.me. He brought me in to create the app for the website. I did, and doubled their users in one day. The website stopped being profitable because of server costs, so we had to shut it down.

We were best friends in 2011. And then we stopped being friends in 2012, around the time when he started dating Amy and doing the Far From It stuff.

bbbb16991 karma

Which is better between Android or ios apps for programming?

regoapps2 karma

Better in what sense? I've always preferred iOS.

untumulted0 karma

We need an app for saving accumulating relationship info. For example, some useful LPTs have included writing down things your partner likes. I see this app including future gift ideas, important dates, future hobbies, romantic plans, and key sizes such as ring, shoe, etc., favourite colours, music, games.

In other words, it will help the relationship flow. How to get in on it?

regoapps4 karma

Just use the built-in Notes app. That's what I use.