Joel Comm has achieved the kind of success most people only dream about and he’s done it by making fart noises. Comm is the entrepreneur behind iFart, one of the top 100 most downloaded apps ever on Apple’s App Store.
“The success of iFart came from telling a compelling story that others wanted to retell”, Comm told Bopper. “In this case, the novelty app itself certainly caused a fuss. I shared my sales and rank numbers on my blog, putting out a press release that would interest the development community. As they wrote about my numbers, it only served to share the app further.”
Even George Clooney got it on his phone.
Comm has been active in shaping the narrative for his app. In 2015, he publicly reached out to George Clooney after the superstar actor had revealed in a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone that he loved fart jokes and even kept the iFart app on his phone. Comm’s public letter included an offer to feature one of Clooney’s farts as a special in-app purchase.
Before Comm was making riches off of farts, he was an Internet entrepreneur in other ways.
The app features dozens of free fart sounds for users, with names like “Burrito Maximo” and “Howard the Duck”, but specialty themed packs are available as in-app purchases.
iFart was an early entry in the App boom, establishing itself in 2008 when the market was relatively new. Originally selling for $0.99, the app made nearly $10,000 per day in its first year, reaching a peak of 40,000 copies sold on Christmas Day alone. Today, iFart is free to download, relying on advertising and in-app purchases for revenue.
“I never guessed it would be as successful as it was. Before the recent update, the free version still got 400-700 downloads per day on a period of five years”, Comm revealed.
“The design and functionality is superior to anything else that exists in the fart universe”.
Before Comm was making riches off of farts, he was an Internet entrepreneur in other ways. Coming off a career as a radio personality, Comm created WorldVillage in 1995, a game and trivia social network of sorts, as well as ClassicGames, a website he sold to Yahoo! in 1997 which eventually evolved into Yahoo! Games.
In 2006, Comm reached the New York Times Bestseller list with his book The AdSense Code, about maximizing revenue via Google’s AdSense algorithm. That’s not even mentioning the NBC reality show he created and hosted, called The Next Internet Millionaire, a kind of Internet-themed companion show for The Apprentice.
So the “overnight success” of iFart is in truth a natural result of decades of thoughtful capitalistic ventures. Of course, there’s also the fact that iFart is simply the best fart noise-making app on the market. “The design and functionality is superior to anything else that exists in the fart universe”, Comm agrees.
But when it comes to blazing your own trail and creating an app as successful and beloved as iFart, Comm is straightforward with his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: “Don’t be afraid to take risks and be prepared to tell a story that will appeal to a segment of your market that takes an interest in what you are doing.”
Good advice from the man who changed the fart game.