How a guy managed to earn 100 thousand dollars in a week by creating a set of icons for iOS

Roman Smith • 23 October 2020

In modern Internet business, the probability of making a profit is directly dependent on timely arrival in a particular niche. Therefore, it is the pioneers who passed here first who have more chances to hit the jackpot. The rest of us have no choice but to be content with just "leftovers". Therefore, it is logical that in the empty niches of their discoverers will be full of these pockets of money.

And now we will tell you about the case once again confirming that money can be extracted from literally everything. And our hero, knowing the trends perfectly, became the Creator of a unique product in his niche, without having the slightest hint of competition. This allowed him not only to gain fame, but also wealth. After all, his weekly earnings amounted to 100 thousand dollars.

A little background

Releasing the 14th version of OS iOS for iPhone, the guys from Apple decided to equip it with the option to configure the main display interface. As a result, the owners of the new product were allowed to edit and add widgets and icons, customizing the main screen as they please.

As a result, a guy from Frisco named James Traf, thanks to his knowledge and skills in the field of web design, managed to make a profit of more than 100 thousand dollars in just a week during September. All he needed to do was create one icon pack. There were 120 of them in the set in 4 color versions. And iPhone owners liked them so much that they were ready to buy them.

The methods of creating various kinds of products for Apple smartphones are a constant source of surprise. And this is despite the fact that iOS has a reputation as a vip-class brand, for the elite, technology-savvy users. But, only recently, these technology gurus have the opportunity to change the set of icons in their smartphone with their own hands. And since their owners can change the visual design of their iPhones as often as they want, it is clear that this will not make money.

The situation with icons is somewhat different. They need to be set with handles for each app that lives in the iPhone. So after all, you can go crazy until you finish installing more than a hundred icons worth about 2 thousand rubles.


Learn more about the case

A Frisco-based guy named James Traf tweeted a message on 09/20/2020 with a sketch of the IPhone 14 home screen. It has now been commented on 367 times, and retweeted and liked 8,000 and 23,500 times, respectively. Later, speaking with foreign journalists, Traf admits that it was a surprise for him. However, it was after a flurry of comments on Twitter that James decided to put these icons up for sale.

And already 21.09.20 Traf shared the address of their promo page. The site itself was ready after two hours. Its Assembly was extremely simple:


displaying information from Notion on a personal domain-Super;

sales of digital products-Gumroad.

As a result, the cost of the set was $ 28. But a couple of hours of James ' personal time was not wasted. After all, the entire mountain of traffic goes to his site, and not to the Gumroad platform. His earnings are fully automated, as is his growing reputation in the Digital universe. Well, by the time the popularity of icons decreases, Traffic will still have one more niche to earn money-web design, attracting the lion's share of customers from the site.

Users were simply fascinated by the pack of icons, making James not just a rich man, but also a real celebrity the next morning.

And this is not surprising, because in just six days the project received Traffic:

216,000 clicks on Twitter;

6.2 million views;

28.8 thousand users on the site;

4.188 copies of icon packs sold;

revenue of $ 116,174;

margin of 97%;

4,620 followers on Twitter;

5.216 subscribers to the Email newsletter.


The night after the premiere of puck brought James while he was sleeping 5 thousand 264 dollars. profit while he was sleeping. By the end of the next day, Traf had earned $ 14,232. Well, a couple of days later, he brought his total earnings to the level of 24 thousand 660 dollars. Further, on 25.09, the venerable tech blogger Marquez Brownlee mentioned the James pack in his video on iOS 14, referring to the traffic promo page in the description of It. Such a free pr move in front of 12 million subscribers caused a rapid increase in sales of the product created by James.

And as of 2.10.20, its profit for the day was 13 thousand 651 dollars. Therefore, James added two new color options to his creation, as well as added new icons.

And 3.10.20 in the BBC report on Traffic was announced information about 5 thousand sales and 140 thousand dollars. profit. At the same time, James advised everyone who wants to earn money to do something useful.

"If I did it in the pursuit of money, nothing would have happened. Just do what you love, the rest is up to the Internet. "


Along with the Traffic icons, customers will get a free unlimited update. Three updates have already been released in a short period of time. And this is not the limit.

On Twitter, James wrote that a lot of his potential buyers did not want to shell out $ 28 for just icons. But, it did not yield in price and the pack was bought 5000 times without bidding or comments.

Its content was drawn over the course of a day, and the site was created in two hours. However, it was not without incidents. There was a time when James was literally bombarded with demands for a refund. Many were dissatisfied with the complexity of installing icons, and the lack of changing their appearance after updating applications. Then Traf simply made changes to the description of the pack, correcting the situation.


Users of devices running Android OS have always been surprised by fans of "Apple" smartphones, and this case is another proof of the quirks of the latter.

Laying out $ 28 for a pack of icons, then putting all their handles - this is not normal. But, all this is not a problem for iPhone owners, in the pursuit of personalization of their devices.

A little about the seller

James Traf is a web designer. And as any of his peers wants to benefit from startups. In 2015, he led a fundraising effort to develop the Spoil smartphone app. This is a gift shop with instant delivery. He managed to raise $ 120,000 from the y Combinator venture Fund, but it didn't go any further. The official web resource died, and they worked with it, as crunchbase testifies in this distant 2015.

In parallel, James was engaged in web design. And the first pack of icons for iPhone, he created from back in 2013. At that time, it brought him as much as $ 17, and a lot of real experience, which later led him to triumph in 2020. At the same time, Traf noted that only now he realized the full potential of digital products.

To succeed, you just need to create something cool with a little work, and sell it with a minimum of effort.

When James realized that people were actively distributing screenshots of their displays, he decided to create his own icon pack. This was the beginning of his triumph. Well, after free advertising in the technoblog, the Traffic profit began to increase every 28 seconds. by $ 28.

A few valuable tips from the master of Traffic:

share your work. Hiding them in the closet won't earn you money;

act quickly;

share your success. The publication of interim profit caused additional excitement. So we managed to attract another 540.000 users;

work on schedule. Mr. Taft's workday is planned by him personally and is not affected by anything. He achieved success quickly. But, the main place of work in this case is not a hindrance;

don't knock the price down. There were many people who wanted to buy a pack of icons for a couple of dollars. But, Traf did not give in and did the right thing;

focus on a creative approach. James ' success story encouraged people to borrow his ideas. However, you should not chase money and quick profits.

The success of the Traffic was a pattern. And to him James went for seven long years. This includes drawing icons in 2013 for the sake of $ 17, and the birth of the idea of creating a pack in 2020. And even now, James is not inclined to buy expensive cars and other nonsense. The accumulated capital allows him to " buy " priceless time to do what he likes.

Of course, it is not an easy task to repeat the triumph of Mr. Traf. After all, now creating packs of icons, and selling them, you can only count on a jackpot of a couple of dollars. James was helped by the novelty of the idea and a hot audience. And Yes, he's just lucky to live in America...


Result: 100.000 dollars profit in a week

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