His e-mails to developers, men in India with whom he'd never actually spoken, prompted responses in broken English filled with typos. An early test version failed to work at all. And after running into a series of technical obstacles, the company said it needed to restart the project from scratch.
Nearly six months and $23,000 later, Benston's app was still unfinished and his bank account was empty. The company, he said, recommended that he take his app public even though it was barely functional, and that instead of charging users to download it, Benston should offer it free.
This was not the outcome he had bargained for.
Concluding the presentation about his saga, he made this appeal to the developers who had gathered that evening: "If anyone wants to take on iScreenWriter, I'm open to any ideas — if only to save my marriage."
The Calabasas moms of Appsnminded have a different idea of how app development can save a marriage.
A sales pitch the company is producing, aimed at the harried housewife, sounds like a TV commercial right out of the 1950s. Children wail. Dirty dishes pile up. There's never enough time to do what you want.
But life could be so much better, the ad promises. All a mom has to do is come up with one clever idea, and the wealth and leisure will follow.
"It's the life of a woman, like you, who makes iPhone applications!"