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Reprinted from the Arlington Citizen-Journal?

Kennedale app designer has digital gift ideas

BY PATRICK M. WALKER

pwalker@star-telegram.com

?Need a last-minute holiday gift for a small-business owner on your list? At a loss for what to give the NFL fan with a closetful of team jerseys and a roomful of memorabilia? Or maybe you just want another addictive game to play on your mobile device.

?Kennedale resident Tammy Jones believes that she has just what you’re looking for {{more}} — and at prices that won’t be a turn-off. ?Her products include Azul Social, a social media management dashboard billed as an alternative to HootSuite; NFL Player Tweets, an Android app that lets users track the Twitter posts of their favorite stars in one place; Send Moola, another Android app that businesses can use to make shopping easier for their customers; and Razzle Dazzle, a fun game with a female flavor.

?Digital products are nothing new to Jones, 48, who decided in 2006 after she was laid off from her job of 23 years at Lockheed-Martin that she never wanted to work for somebody else again. Locals might remember that back in 1998, she received publicity from USA Today for SingleRose.com, a website that provided support and advice for single moms.

?More recently she was the publisher of the Kennedale News from 2007 to 2010 but sold the rights to the name and website this year. Now she’s pitching her apps and Web-based services, hoping to recoup the $50,000 that she says she and her husband paid to have them developed. “I’m a bootstrap entrepreneur, and my husband and I have put everything we have into development of these products,” she said. “We are living like very young, early married folks because I refuse to give up on what I know are valuable, viable products.”

Subhed

?Jones, who was a single mom raising two daughters when she started Single Rose, which had a publication in addition to the website, didn’t set out to become an app developer, but she became intrigued with the idea after she checked out www.appsgeyser.com at a friend’s suggestion. That website bills itself as a way to convert Web content into apps for free.

I am not a developer in the true sense of the word,” she said. “I am a mom entrepreneur who has learned how to hire the right developers to perform the jobs to fit my needs. I blog about these experiences at eMomEntrepreneur.com.”

Her products aren’t available on Apple mobile devices because they don’t support Flash, of which she is “a huge fan.” But “if you know someone who needs an iPhone app,” she said, “I can get the job done. I just can’t do it myself — I’d have to hire someone.”

?The past few years have taught her many important lessons, among them how to find a good developer on overseas job boards and then keep him. She says she went to overseas developers because she couldn’t afford the $200-an-hour going rate for ones in this country. “It was no easy task, either, let me tell you — trying to explain a concept such as a mobile payment system using only Skype text messages to a guy in India, on the other side of the world, different time zone, different language, different everything.”

Learning to get servers up and running also proved challenging. Customer service was often of little help, so she had to train herself on the fly. “There’s reasons why more people haven’t accomplished what I have accomplished,” she said. “It’s extremely difficult, time consuming and expensive.”

?But she’s not looking to get super rich. “I just want to build and sell digital products so I can pay my house and car payments and finish putting my daughters through college.”

Patrick M. Walker,

817-983-8080

Twitter: @patrickmwalker1

Read more here:?www.star-telegram.com/2012/12/17/4491451/kennedale-app-designer-has-digital.html?storylink=addthis#storylink=cpy

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