I just quit my job for BlackBerry 10

I just quit my job for BlackBerry 10
By Shao128 on 21 Nov 2012 01:19 pm EST

Today, I quit my job. Nothing really out of the ordinary about that - people do it every day, but first let me take a step back and give you a little history. I've worked at my current job for over 8 years now and make a comfortable living. For the past 4 years in my spare time I developed apps for BlackBerry. You may know some of my apps such as Wallpaper ChangerLeave It On or SixTools, just to name a few.

What has become increasingly challenging for me is to find time to focus on development the way I want to. Four years ago I was a single guy and it was easy. I could come home after work and program for a few hours before going to bed. Since then a lot of things have changed. I now have a family and there are simply not enough hours in a day to balance everything the way I would like.

So today I am leaving my job and the stability it has provided me over the past 8 years to develop for BlackBerry 10 full time. Yes, I'm going all in on BlackBerry 10.

It is a risk, some might even call it crazy, but let me explain the reasons behind it. Truth be told, currently my BlackBerry app sales are low - right now they will not cover my monthly expenses. As BlackBerry usage in North America has dropped off over the past year, BlackBerry developers have felt the corresponding decrease in App World on the sale of paid apps. I've actually talked to some developer friends that do full time BlackBerry development and many have been considering looking for another job. I have a little savings that I hope I don't have to dip into too much while we wait for BlackBerry 10 to be released. But that is now and next year everything will change.

It's a new Research In Motion, a new BlackBerry, and I have witnessed the transformation first hand through my development experiences. I've been to multiple events over the past year or so (BlackBerry World, DevCon, BBJam). I have even been to Waterloo and I can safely say that RIM is committed to its developers and the future of their platform.

As a small example, just yesterday, I emailed a friend at RIM with a beta version of an app I am porting to BB10. He is a fan of the app on the current generation of BlackBerry phones. But he found a bug in the app that I was unable to duplicate. Within an hour he had a member of their developer relations team email me and offer suggestions on how to fix this bug. He even assisted me in answering questions I had for other apps I am working on.

BlackBerry has our back as developers and it is a great feeling. I also have this little device called a Dev Alpha A. I didn't pay too much attention to it when I first received it at BlackBerry Jam Americas in May, but with the last OS update I began writing apps for it. The more I use it and the more I develop for it, the more impressed I am with it. BlackBerry 10 is going to be a game changer. RIM believes it and now I believe it. There is also RIM's 10k Developer Commitment, which I've heard some devs complain about because it only applies to 1 application per developer, but WHEN BB10 takes off 10k will be something that many devs will just see in their rear view. BlackBerry users love apps and they are hungry for more apps.

For some of those that do not know me may be thinking I'm looking at RIM through rose-colored glasses, but if you look through some of my previous blog and forum posts here on CrackBerry you'll see I have been critical of RIM. I'm never afraid to speak my mind, but I will say it loud and I will say it proud - I believe in BB10, I've quit my job because that is how strongly I believe it. Do you believe?

On January 30th, 2013, everything changes.

If you'd like to say up to date on my development adventures you can follow me on Twitter @Shao128.

If you want to help put food on the table for the next couple months feel free to check out my apps here

Reader comments

I just quit my job for BlackBerry 10


You would probably have better sucess if Rim could come out with a real solution for error 10000. There are a lot of people out there that can't buy apps and aren't getting help with a long time problem. Good luck.

man you have some serious balls to do this best of luck we are rooting for you and RIM BlackBerry 10 is going to absolutely amazing can't wait to see it in action if the production model is anything similar to the Alpha B then we will have one heck of a beast on our hands to run our apps. Rock On!

Im not saying he cant be successful writing apps for BB10. I actually hope he will be... But maybe he should of waited to see the adoption of BB10 before pulling a... *BOLD* move like that :P... Just sayin'

First to market is important. Getting in on the ground floor of a new OS makes this plan so crazy it just might work. It also helps that your previous apps generally don't suck. Good luck with this. #BB10Believe

That is ballsy. I like it! I'll follow your progress with keen interest! And buy an app this week, to tide you over.

Congratulations, I wish you the best in your future career choice!

I agree with the the more you develop for BB10 the better.

These webcast that RIM has provided has also got me really motivated. Not that there are options, but I can see how I can implement some of those items ....

And I agree also, while limited, that last update to the Dev Alpha really got me motivated to develop. Glad they did it!

BANG! You just helped ignit that interstellar rocket called BlackBerry 10! Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to seeing your apps in App World!

Gotta give a shout out to him, that is ballsy, and give you my respect. To leave a comfortable job to create for BB10, esp when you got a family to look after. If thats not devotion and confidence to a product like Blackberry, dont know what is. I always knew blackberry and qnx was a strong product, and heres another proof of it.


My hats off to you!!

Can't wait to see your new apps... and I so can't wait to get my hands on a BB10 phone!

Love this article! As a consumer I beleive in RIM and thru all the bugs in my 9900 I've sticked around because I want to help them out and I want to see them succeed. One thing, I really hop RIM removes the app memory limit on their phones. It is really annoying, my 9900 is constantly crashing and freezing because it is low on memory, which I hope RIM fixes as well. I'm not a fan of Apple by any means but I do give them cridit in that I've tried out their iPad and iPhones and I've never had any of them feel sluggish or freeze, neither slow when you change from landscape to portrait mode and vice versa and that is where both the phones and the PlayBook are lacking.

Ballsy move , dude. As a guy who's been his own boss for 30+ years there's no bigger risk and no bigger or better reward. If your apps are good , people (*** I ***) will buy them. Follow your passion. Be BOLD :)

Can't wait to hear back from you in 6 months! I think you are onto something here. BlackBerry owners aren't afraid to spend some money, many of us are dreaming of that first BB 10 and when it hits the market we will be loading it up with apps! GL

Wow. I think that although you talked a whole lot about RIM/BB10 I think the most important factor in this is the commitment to your family. The "all out" venture for BB10 is what will make your efforts worthwhile in providing for your family in the long run. That's what I respect the most about this post.

As you know, I have every app in your suite and tested all of them with you.
Like the current BBOS, you have maxed out on what you can do there.

Onward to bigger & better things, Bro!

Good Luck!

WOW! BB10 is certainly starting to become a gamechanger. I hope devs and users can come together to create the critical mass needed to power BB10 in the marketplace. Good luck Shao. Can't wait for the new OS and phone from RIMM. I hope to buy several!

Impressive!! I wish you all the luck in the world and will also be watching for your apps. Good luck to you and your family!

Congrats!!! The rewards will be worth it. No BS meetings. NO Boss to suck up to.

As a developer myself I'm too excited about BB10. Can't wait to show off all my BB10 apps.

Impressive and crazy at the same time... I'll always be a BlackBerry fan and will stay so beyond BB10... best of luck to you!

I have been a fan and consumer for ShaoSoft apps for a number of years. Here is a developer who finds the gaps in an OS and fills it with useful tools. The gamble here is not whether he can develop apps (he has a proven track record for that) but will BB10 hit 'critical mass' with the buyers in the market. I think it will, given the support and plans that RIM has been working on, but the market is fickle so we won’t know for sure until after January 30th, 2013.

Good luck and I look forward to the new apps coming soon.

BlackBerry by choice!

Thank you for the vote of support!   Developing for BB10 has been SOOO much easier than the current java based devices.  So expect some better things from me with BB10 :)

Hey Shao, that's a bold and impressive career change.

Ships are safe at the harbor, but do you want to tie up your ship and never see where the ocean is?

Good luck.

I believe RIM BB10 will take off like a rocket. A local reporter in my city she is looking forward to upgrade her BlackBerry with BB10. She is very exciting about BB10. RIM BB10 will replace desktop/laptop one day according to RIM CEO. When that day comes, I will short Microsoft stock and Apple stock like no tomorrow.

This story is inspiring and I hope for and wish you much success! It is a brave and daring thing and seeing your passion for it makes me even more excited for BB10 and to spread the word. One thing we all need to do is spread the word when BB10 comes out, if we can change the expectations and the perception of this company at the ground level it will resonate. BB Soldier reporting for duty!!


I believe it'll pay off for you if your able to rock out awesome apps.. I spend one average $15-25 a month on apps (apps only, not including music, books etc.) for my playbook. Many of the apps I've only used a couple of times.. I think the rest of the blacksheep out there are hungry for apps and will pay for good apps, just make sure they're polished. I will admit I don't buy to many apps for my 9860 because it's pretty much max out with some of my favourites but I'll review your playbook apps and give you a few buys to help out your cause..

I look forward to BB10 launch and your apps upon release..


Dude, I am so down with your point of view! I will be looking for your apps on The 10. Great read. Thanks...

This comes at a good time for me.

Owning my own business, I supply phones for most employees, supporting BYOD before it was the in thing. A week ago I hired a new employee, purchasing an iPhone 4s for him - his choice. I was surprised to find out his phone died four days later, since I've never had an iPhone die prematurely. Warranty; Ugh. For the first time in my life, I walked into an Apple store.

To say I was impressed is a large understatement. It was like a slice of heaven. Everything digital. Things I'd never even heard of. Friendly people in blue shirts everywhere, ready and willing to help. Two tables with bean bags and iPads for kids. Spacious. Fun. Helpful.

I was out in twenty minutes with a new iPhone for my employee. But the experience had me second guessing my personal choice of phones. I've got the state of the art BlackBerry phone, and I can't even scan QR codes half the time, and these folks were using their iPhones to run this store!

So, I've read that QNX is a game changer. That BB is for people that get things done. And the new BB10 is supposed to be beyond awesome. And while I'm not really a fanboy, I am loyal. So it is really helpful to hear from someone that isn't a company man, that better days are coming.

Thanks for the article. Here's to wishing you the best.

I have the same concerns as this gentleman. Up until a week ago I had the latest 9930 - a phone that worked but had a lot of downsides, chief among them the lack of apps (and a touchpad that caused unexpected butt-dialing an activation of the speaker phone). And some apps just did not do what they wer designed to do - the QR app being an example (or Facebook - the location services to check-in are useless unless you are under blue skies). After the 9930 was ran over by a car at a strip mall parking lot (the holster unclipped, very common), I went to one of the corporate voice techs for help. He tells me - "we can ordera new 9930 for $600 and a renewed contract [or something to that effect] or I can give you an older spare Bold and you can wait for the options to open up in Q1 next year". I immediately accepted the Bold as that phone had more apps that worked than the 9930 ever did and asked about the "opening up" of options. Apparently Android and iPhone devices will be added to the menu in Q1 and they expect a barrage of demand to switch brom BB to either of those. It is hard to blame them - the BB, with all its secure and robust server infrastructure, its unreliable - the standard help desk answer (I am not making this up, it is in the Remedy system as a scripted response) is: "remove the battery from the device, wait ten seconds, put it back in". That seems to solve 90% of the problems - but why would you need to do that once a day? So now back to this gentleman quitting his job. I admire him and hope for the best, and recommend he expand development activities to Android as well and iPhone if possible. Depending on RIM only for food money may not be a good business plan - it is ad declining platform, as much as we may not want to hear it. There is a chance the BB 10 will save RIM - but it is not a very big chance.

Great article and proud of him for quitting. When you believe in something you gotta go all in. Now we just need this story to make the rounds online to really show the world there is so much positive still in RIM and BlackBerry. Get the word out, BlackBerry 10 is the future.

Your right about BB owners consumption of apps.
In just over 2-months, when the new BB10 phones are released, I will have saved up plenty of ca$h so I can go on an awesome app spending spree.

Smell that?? It's the smell of money burning a hole in my pocket!! :)

BB10...I believe!

Great to read this.

I am going all in with you as a user. As soon as the BB10 with a Qwerty Keyboard comes out, I'm in. My Bold is special but I'm ready for BB10.

I applaude you sir, many people never make the dive to accomplish their goals. I will support by purchasing your apps on BB10. I purchased six tools on my 9930. I suggest spending some time marketing on social media, this will help create a presence so people are aware of your apps at launch of BB10. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

Hope you like SixTools, I put a lot of months into that app, one of my best imho.  

I'm just starting to get more involved with social media now.  It's definately the way to go.

This really rings a bell with me, as a developer who has a full-time job, a family and barely finds time to code I'm also excited to be porting my apps to BB10 yet frustrated by not having as much time as I would like to put into my development.

I applaud your move and understand it, I've had similar thoughts myself.

Looking forward to BB10 and your apps, nice to put a face to an app developer too - good luck Daraius - not that I think you'll need it.

I am looking forward to RIM once again becoming the power house it once was. With the type of dedication and fortitude from people and developers such as yourself, i feel confident that BB 10 WILL become the leader again. I will be looking forward to reading about your future success. (As eagerly as seeing Kevin's new haircut!)


As you may know, I am a big supporter of your apps (I believe I have all of them that my 'Berry will support).

You have made a very BOLD move and I praise you for your courage.
Fear not -- your dream soon will become a reality!

As your number one fan of Leave it On and the quality of that app I totally understand why you would love what you do best !!! Life goes on and sometimes if we don't stop and follow our dreams we will always wish that we had done just that. Much Luck your way with BB10 apps !!!

Good luck!
I can tell you that I have dreams of making developing apps my full time job. So I envy you, even just having the chance to give it a go!

Without a doubt that is a crazy move but like others have alluded to, BlackBerry users don't mind spending money on apps and if you continue to push out quality apps then it will likely pay off. Good luck and i will definitely keep patronizing your apps

Best of luck to you, I have some of your apps and really enjoy them. My daughter hates you though thanks to your Math Quiz for BlackBerry PlayBook! My wife and I both make her use it and she does. It is a great little math quiz game. She is 9 and as much as she complains I think she enjoys it.

I love hearing these kinds of stories.  Thank you very much.  Also, Math Quiz has been ported and is ready for BB10.  

I think he's talented enough to go back to doing whatever he was doing before. I wouldn't be holding car washes for him but I do applaud him for what he's doing.

He has my support 200%!

I have a couple solid options to fall back (I'd just rather not say what they are publicly) on if absolutely needed.

Jan 30 ....racha shuru aithadhi......okkokkadiki ekaram thade.....BB10 rocks.....

RIMpire strikes back.

I'm not familiar with this guys apps but I will be. Anybody who makes this kind of commitment deserves my support. I'll be buying an app of his whether I need it/use it or not. Checking out ShaoSoft as soon as I hang up.

Picked up your Beaches Screensaver and it's terrific. I have a feeling I might do a little more shopping at ShaoSoft!

This is what I call the very brave and super bold movement. You take the risk and giving your best shot to Blackberry 10. I will support you and I will sound your movement in Blackberry Community that I join in. Your are the Man!!

May God Bless your endeavors and keep your family covered as you venture in into half-chartered waters for the wait of BB10.

I don't know what I would do with out my berries!

I must admit that I'm a little baffled that someone can actually make enough money off of applications to be able to support a family, pay for a mortgage, car/rent, or whatever other expensives come around.

Maybe because I live in Vancouver, BC, where the median cost of a house is $750,000, it's hard to visualize, except outside of apps such as Angry Birds, that an individual could be able to make enough to support that.

I wish you all the best at being able to accomplish your goals. Again, wow.

Love your Apps Shao!! Did you ever get around to making Remote Control work with Six Tools. Meaning BB Remote Control launching through one of the short cut keys.. I had sent you an email in regards and never got a response.. I the time I think it was going to cost me money to upgrade my six tools app.. and I was willing to pay for it as long as that function was available for it..

Hey, sorry about that, I try my best to respond to all emails, it might have just slipped through the cracks.  Im glad you got the remote control working.  I'm sending you a PM on the forums so if you have any more questions we can talk that way.

May God bless RIM and Daraius's family! We are all routing for you. You're a smart guy - one day a door may open up for you in Waterloo if you choose to pursue such an option.

All the best, see you in the BBM Groups :)

I just read the title and thought that he was already working on BB10 but then left to work on something else... Lol. Glad to know it's the other way around!

Putting your money where your mouth is. Nicely done!
You sir, have a big set of cojones. Typical of the average BB owner.
BB people just do it!

wow, that is a bold move but you know what, taking this risk and following your heart is what entrepreneurs do. i commend and respect that. good luck and i will support your apps when bb10 is out.

Can't believe you didn't mention extra keys!!! This is one of my must have apps!!

It takes courage and faith to do something like this and I believe you made the right choice.

That's a huge risk you take. I wish you the best of luck. Let's hope we see awesome sales of your apps in BlackBerry 10

I LOVE leave it on! thanks for the great work, can't wait to see what you come up with for BB10. LIO has worked so well for me, you can bet ShaoSoft Apps will be ones I gravitate to.

Wow, that is a Bold move. All the best to you. I just bought 2 of your PlayBook screen saver apps and they're beautiful.

Dude ... you're FRAKIN' crazy but I love it.

I pray your wife & family is behind you 100% and will stick by you when the times get tough just after January 30th ANNOUNCEMENT ... kids this date is NOT a shipping date so don't state this.

you have a goal, plan for it. If you haven't noticed check out ALL the BB forum sites, take a look and keep your ear to the ground and listen to what us the users need, want and are begging for and provide that; we'll pay with credit card immediately charged and placed into your coffers.

just provide efficient and fluid applications, keep the updates coming, never settle on quality & performance, and remain engaged to this community that is supporting you BEFORE you make your dollars, never forget us!

You, my friend are a very positive person. CrackBerry Kevin will be posting a list of your apps the day that BB10 arrives.
Do you develop apps for companies? We may be interested in your services on a contract basis. Are you interested?
Where do you reside?

I'm open to contacting work now that I will have more time.  I live in Winnipeg Canada.  If you want to get a hold of me best way is to shoot an email over to me: support -at- shao-soft.com

RRRRRESPECT, dude! You have balls- and you are very bold to forsaken your "safe and sorted life".... As a tenured employee of a german authority its my nature resp. preference to be on the "safe side" of life, but I´m full of admiration for people like you who are able to defeat there fear for risks and new ways. Movers and shakers like you pushin progress!!!
Cause I "know" you (purchased some apps and follow you in your blogs/statements) I get a new point of view to BB10: up to now I tend to believe that all these chorus of pray for BB10 are just a very copious cluster of clap speaker and desperate effort to save the sinking ship MS.RIM... But now I believe in BB10 (or better: one REAL reaseon more to get more security in believing for BB10)... Thank you... and I wish you all the luck you need for your new life. Best regards...!

There's a saying in Islam.
It says '9 out of 10 sustenance comes from business' that just says a lot more than just put food on the table.
Good move I would say.
All the best and hope to see your apps flies higher in future with BB10.


I'm sure either you carry on with your own apps or your never know rim might pick you up.

then again you and your mates should look into www.freelancer.co.uk get paid for freelance work you do in your own time. its quite good.

I am just about to quit a great job as a manager in a corporation to become an entrepreneur. (Although not because of BB10 :-) )I guess I can understand how you feel. Respect for your courage, congratulations for making the decision and good luck!

You sir, are a believer!

Kudos man, that takes some guts. I love the enthusiasm and dedication. This is the kind of thing that BB10 will thrive on.

I loved this story so much i figured I would provide some support with the purchase of Wallpaper Changer. Good app by the way!

Best of luck with your career change!

Gooo RIM!

In today's economy, not only does it takes humongous webos, but vision. You obviously have it. I wish you all the luck in this endeavor. Just remember it's not going to be easy, but hang in there and we will definitley be reading more about you and your awesome BB10 Apps here on CrackBerry.

Check out these websites also. Tons of extremely useful information especially for startups:


Dedicated Blackberry User
BB-PIN: 329D6421
PB-PIN: 50110033
(Video Chat about BB-Business ONLY)

i have had to GET A JOB now that blackberry 10 is being released as the support for themes has been dropped!!

having made over £100,000 from themes over past 3 years rim has kept me in business full time working from home... so where is the love now :(

bb10 will be nice but not a game changer... other platforms are too far ahead!


I'd like to develop apps for BB10. Can someone give me a pointer how best to start? Much thanks. -vwchong

Wow, good luck on unemployment. I could see being a dev for android or iOS, hell even windows.... but you've quit your job for a product that has failed before it even launched.... good luck with that. I hope it works out, more competition means we all win, but putting all the eggs in the blackberry basket is like betting on a horse with a broken leg.