Todd Moore / Developer of White Noise / Founder of TMSOFT
When you dream of founding your own company, you probably have a vision in your head of what it looks like. While everyone hopes that they launch the next biggest app, a few lucky developers hit it big, like Todd Moore, developer of White Noise and founder of TMSOFT.
Since learning to code at the age of 10, Moore has always been passionate about computer programming. When the original iPhone came out in 2007, he began creating his own apps which required jailbreaking the device. After official developer support was released by Apple, he began publishing his creations on the App Store. After launching the White Noise app, Moore experienced unexpected success. “It just instantly shot up in the ranks. I got calls from reporters, Jimmy Fallon made fun of it, Dr. Oz recommended it. It started generating money and I was able to quit my full-time job and start hiring people.”
But his success has not been without challenges. During his early days as a creator, he found himself in a bit of legal trouble with a game in the iTunes store. “When I first started, I didn’t register as a company. I published under my own name, Todd Moore.” After releasing a game called Bubble Pop, a week later he found himself on the receiving end of a Cease and Desist letter. After settling that issue, Moore set up his own official LLC, and continues to warn other future developers of the hazards of self-publishing. “First tip, don’t put it under your own name. There are a lot of legal issues in this field, and that is always my first bit of advice.” He discovered that the more attention his products received, the more legal threats and patent trolls came knocking on his door.
While he is well-versed in many languages, his favorite language is C++. White Noise was mostly written in C++, which allows the code to be shared across many platforms including iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.. He still codes as a founder, drawing upon his experience as a developer. “I kinda miss the days, back in 2008, with one version, one device. It was so much simpler then! (But) if I wasn’t coding, I wouldn’t be happy.”
While building his company hasn’t changed his love for coding, it has changed how he works in a team. “First thing I look for in people is passion. It’s the number one thing. If I can detect that you’re only in it for the money, it’s not a good hire. I often ask if they’re doing open source projects, anything on the side. Someone who enjoys it so much that they’re doing it as a hobby and not just a career.” Additionally, Moore has found interns to be a valuable asset when he started up his company. While initially unpaid internships, this mutually beneficial relationship allowed Moore to share his knowledge with the future of the industry and grow his company in the early days. “I pay them now,” he jokes.
Throughout all stages and phases of his founder experience, Moore’s best advice is to just get something out there. “It’s more than software development, and there are so many things you have to learn along the way. Pick something simple, something easy that solves a problem, and just get it out there.” As many developers turned founders have found, the hardest part of any journey is the first step.
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