Pushing the iLimits  

 iFart Mobile developed by internet entrepreneur and best selling author Joel Comm

The mother of invention is probably wagging a finger at creative genius Joel Comm as he wears a smug smile. One can easily appreciate Comm’s remarkable Internet marketing genius. Everyone has thought of it, but he’s among the few who puts ideas – no matter how crazy – to work. By the way, mother probably wants to think twice about pulling Comm’s finger.

The maker of iFart Mobile is an Internet entrepreneur of 20 years and author of the best selling series of books on the subject AdSense. He shared his story Monday night with a packed house as guest speaker for the Davinci Institute’s Startup Junkie/Underground series.

True, the latest of game rollouts has people talking… and pointing fingers.

And, there has been a lot of pointing. The New York Times reported that 100,000 iFart copies had been sold by Christmas – isn’t that special? Comm says the number is now 400,000.

It can’t hurt that the press has been especially flatulent on the battle for windy supremacy with Pull My Finger, another iPhone app. And, now there’s a trademark infringement suit that has been filed by Air-O-Matic.

The court has to be screaming: Somebody, please clear the air!

“My team and I came up with the idea for an iPhone fart application in summer of 2008. We knew it would be a hit. We just needed to develop it,” said Comm”We took great pride in developing iFart Mobile,” he writes on his web page. “It was more than another iPhone application. It was a true entertainment machine with a unique interface. It didn’t LOOK like an iPhone app.” (Or sound like most, I expect).
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Nobody is going to forget anytime soon. He’s in demand for speaking engagements. And, his latest book “Twitter Power” was flying out the door Monday night.

Comm has been doing more than tickling the 14-year-old in us. He first got rich in software, if you can say owning a lot of software makes you rich. His story began with a venture called the National Software Review. He found no trouble in signing up reviewers who would write their takes on the software copies he exchanged for their articles. Meanwhile, the mail filled up with packages: “It was like Christmas every day.”

Internet junkie (and host) Dave Taylor, a personal friend, says Comm’s basement is still full of games that haven’t been opened. “I don’t know what that means,” Taylor said.

There is definitely gold in Comm’s zany entrepreneurial zeal. With almost unnatural skill, he churns out best selling books and the occasional runaway-success web page. How he does it is a combination of experimentation, a passion for white boards (which gets a constant workout) and marketing savvy. It hasn’t hurt that he teamed up with “programming guru” and company president Ken Burge, an 8-year veteran of Microsoft.

Link Sizzler is legend. Comm made “six figures in two weeks” on that one. Instant AdSense Templates was a runaway success – go figure, he says.

Hard to imagine, but Comm has had some stinkers, too. He keeps one in a plastic case on his wall as a remembrance of really bad ideas.

With so much going for him, the next questions are: How does he keep switching gears? How does he keep up with the fast moving innovations on the web?

“I can’t stand still.” he said about his wealth of ideas. But he doesn’t over-analyze. He follows a simple rule with regard to monitoring the web’s tsunami of information: “You can’t keep up with everything.”

Entrepreneurs Janice Jensen and Joy Milkowski joined Comm on stage for a Q and A.

Commenting on a question about the importance of mentors, Joy Milkowski of Access (a Boulder marketing company) quoting her mentor (Integrated Alliances) who endorses networking: “It’s true what my mentor says. You have to get up, get dressed and get out there.”

Jensen, an independent producer of documentaries, is no stranger to rejection. Thankfully, she says, it didn’t stop her.

Comm’s flying monkey (doll) demos have me wondering what he has in store for us next?

(There were no nostrils harmed in the making of this Davinci Institute Startup Junkie Underground event.)

By Raymond Alvarez (Twitter’s NextwaveRay)

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