Jeffrey Jacobs| Founder of TimeHorse, LLC
Success leaves clues.
Finance Strategists sat down with Jeffrey C. Jacobs, founder of TimeHorse, LLC. He shared his thoughts on the past, present, and future of the company, as well as the insight he gained from running the business.
Who is Jeffery Jacobs?
Q: Who are you and what’s your background?
Q: Who has been your biggest influence, and why did they have such a significant effect on you?
As a musician and avid science reader, I wanted to create an iPhone app to allow any tap on the screen to automatically rewind the currently playing Audio Book or Podcast back 7 seconds. It would have been called Tap2GoBack.
In order to bone up on my Objective-C and write my first iPhone app, I desired to base it on a long-standing mathematical problem. The Collatz Conjecture—also known as the 3n+1 problem—hypotheses that if you take any positive number, divide it by two until it’s odd, then multiply it by three and add one, with repeated application, you will eventually reach one. The app, Lothar, allows any integer, no matter how many digits, to be attempted, and will calculate the entire sequence until you reach one. It also allows you to reverse the algorithm.
No one has entered a number that doesn’t reach one… yet.
Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you have told yourself when you were in your twenties?
Quite simply, try harder. I wish I’d had more motivation and better time management to implement Tap2GoBack and add more features, including a high-scoring feature for the longest sequence. I also wish I’d started I’m Running Late much earlier so I’d not have had to leave my job of 18 years with the Navy. I’m Running Late would have looked at your appointments, and if you were not at the GPS location for the event at a certain time before the appointed hour, it would text the event host to let them know you were running late. This would all be automatic, so it wouldn’t have to text while driving. Alas, it seemed the iPhone disallows background texts and wants you to manually text while driving. But, if I’d tried harder, I bet I could have made it work!
Q: What is TimeHorse, LLC?
TimeHorse, LLC is a multimedia company. Right now, we publish mobile phone software. However, my published works have also been submitted under the rubric of TimeHorse, LLC, with all profits, also sent to the company. If I ever produced Project Kronosphere, it would also be under TimeHorse, LLC.
The biggest—indeed only—expense for TimeHorse, LLC, is the ransom Apple charges to be listed in the App Store. Large-scale producers can easily afford the $99 per year, but small businesses like TimeHorse, LLC are being crushed by this annual money grab. Lothar earns $5 in a good year, and less than $1 a year is common. And the app just sits there. It’s not like I’m asking for a lot of apps to be reviewed and the space and bandwidth to support it are trivial. Apple most assuredly wants to bankrupt small producers.
Despite these trials, TimeHorse, LLC has stood the test of time. We just celebrated 11 years in business and I’m proud to say Lothar is still available to anyone with a thirst for knowledge and a curiosity for maths.
Q: What makes your company different from its competitors?
We write apps that make you think. We’re not out for glitz or fame. We just want to make life better for people. Keep them on time, make sure they don’t miss any appointments, provide an easy way to get a narrator to repeat themselves, and of course teach you maths and science. Very few companies are as responsive to questions or eager to please. And it takes a special kind of tenacity to keep TimeHorse, LLC going, despite all the difficulties.
Q: What led you to start TimeHorse, LLC?
I wanted to write iPhone apps to make it easier to listen to Audio Books. I had a vision and wanted to create a limited liability company to protect myself from my products, and allow my works to thrive in the marketplace. I saw a need for the type of products I was building and went forward with registering my company and setting up an independent bank account.
I just wanted to make something bigger than myself. That’s why I incorporated. I was very proud to bring TimeHorse, LLC into being. It’s been the perfect vehicle for me to share my work and ideas, and to educate and entertain.
Q: What has the experience of building the business taught you?
I mainly learned that balancing the books is hard when you work with a company that disrespects the little guy and conspires us to fail. I don’t appreciate some of the challenges I’ve faced but I’m happy to have survived and thrived with what little I’ve had.
I will always recommend pragmatism to any entrepreneur. Don’t succumb to pie in the sky beliefs that your products will be universally loved. Do research, find out what demographic will best match what you’re trying to produce. Figure out an expected market share and target it well.
At TimeHorse, LLC, we pride ourselves that we have stood the test of time, and have made quality products that folks have enjoyed.
Q: Where do you see things headed for you in the next 5 years?
We’d like to resume work on I’m Running Late and add a scoring feature to Lothar. I plan to continue developing apps in my spare time and continue to pay Apple its blood money. I don’t foresee any difficulties, either. We survived SARS-CoV-2, we can survive anything!
About TimeHorse, LLC.
TimeHorse, LLC. is a multimedia company run by founder Jeffrey Jacobs. They publish a wide variety of content across numerous fields.
“I am the TimeHorse, in the mortal realm as Jeffrey C. Jacobs. Welcome to my site and all I have to share about my long, hard work to be the best man I can possibly be.”
Learn more at timehorse.com.