Lessons Learned on the Road to Trying to Save a Life with Technology


Being any sort of entrepreneur usually entails a learning process, where you gain valuable life lessons that apply even outside your business venture. This is especially true in entrepreneurship in the app space, or being an “appreneur.” J. Darryl Moss, a serial entrepreneur, lives for those lessons. He fully admits he “has failed multiple times, but I’m not a quitter!”

Getting to those lessons

There’s a story behind every appreneur’s venture, and Moss’s is especially touching. He was inspired to develop his latest app, Planet 911, because of the devastating impact of a lack of personal safety measures available to most people.

The tragic news on every day of kidnappings, bombings, child abduction, sex slaves, and terrorists made me ask myself, “What can one person do to contribute to helping save lives?”

That was how he came to envision Planet 911, an app that gives people the ability to reach out to up to 10 emergency contacts with a distress call including their physical location while also recording audio and video of what’s going on at the time.

An appreneur’s first instinct

Many entrepreneurs and appreneurs, when they conceive their greatest idea, are tempted to hoard that concept to themselves, not sharing it with others or reaching out for help. That’s generally a mistake, and it’s one Moss made at first and quickly learned from.

Moss first tried to do everything on his own, but realized that was a mistake. “I can’t do it by myself,” he says, “I need people smarter than me.” That’s why he began searching online for developers, eventually forming a partnership with Blue Label Labs.

“My biggest mistake was trying to do everything on my own,” Moss reiterates. “A team is critical to success!”

But hiring a team costs money!

The financial burden of hiring developers and designers is the reason many appreneurs stubbornly try doing everything themselves, despite conventional wisdom to the contrary. They simply don’t want to spend the money on building a team, when they continue thinking they can handle the entire development process on their own.

Moss looks at it differently, in the case of Planet 911. He fully believes in the importance of his app, pointing out that “everyone should have the best and latest technology available.” Since he knows that people all over the world have cell phones in common, bringing a personal safety app to the market was more important to him than financial concerns. “It’s worth every dime we spent if we save one life, don’t you agree?” Moss asks.

Your vision is worth every dime you spend, too

Even if your appreneurship idea isn’t designed to save lives, it’s still your vision and it’s worth investing in. If you have a great idea for an app, for something that will enrich people’s lives, you shouldn’t cut corners by trying to do everything yourself. Money invested in your dream is well worth it, and it brings about a better product in the long run.

Moss’s final piece of advice to appreneurs, to restate an earlier quote? “I can’t do it by myself. I need people smarter than me.” Even if you think you’re the smartest person in the room, chances are there really is someone around smarter than you in some aspect, and you need their assistance in bringing your dream to life.