RunStream: When app development turns from a hobby into a company

A Des Moines physician needed a hobby that he could do from the comfort of his living room but still be creative.

So he learned to develop mobile apps.

Aaron From—a cardiologist at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines—says he’s been developing apps for the last five years and has nearly 150,000 downloads on his 80 apps. His latest app—RunStream—tracks and live streams road races and individual workouts to the world. It went live in the iTunes and Android stores in December.

“The niche I’m trying to go for is when you are running a road race, like a half marathon, there’s not a lot of good options to let family and friends watch you do that run if they can’t be present or see you on the course,” From explains. “As soon as you start tracking your run you are streaming live to the whole world and anyone can see your GPS screen and see how fast, far and where you are running.”

RunStream users can follow and add friends and make their account public or private. From said it took him between 6-8 months to develop RunStream.

“I’m hoping as I talk to more people and the running season rolls into effect, we get more downloads and more users,” From said. “It saves every workout. It’s unique because it not only saves outdoor runs, it saves treadmill workouts that you enter or track workouts. And there are pre-programmed games you can follow as you run.”

Runstream is a mobile app that tracks and streams workouts to an audience in real time.

Why develop apps in your spare time?

From said he was looking for a hobby to do from home but was still creating something, so he looked into app development. Combining YouTube videos with the iTunes and Android app development programs, From says all his questions were answered.

“If I ever got stuck I went to Google and found an answer to my problem,” From says. “It’s been fun developing different apps, deciding how to do it and which apps I like to make. I decided to take it to the next level and start a company around an app to see if I can grow it into something useful that people enjoy using.”

From said he’s developed medical, productivity and fitness apps along with a few games.