Billups creates time to deliver mobile movie app, RedBlue Flix
"I looked at the time in the day," Billups, 28, said, "and because there wasn't enough, I had to come up with some, so I invented it."
Although he's no Father Time, this husband and father of one "invented" time to juggle his many obligations. After a full workday and time spent with his family, Billups found productivity between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., flipping hours of REM into time to work on his side project: RedBlue Flix, an iPhone app that helps users find and reserve movies from area Redbox and Blockbuster Express kiosks. (At left, Billups stands in front of a Blockbuster kiosk. Photo courtesy of Eric Rowley/Juice.)
Billups, who graduated from Central College in 2005, said he worked harder and excelled faster after college because he was motivated to be there for his family, yet he never pulled an all-nighter. Now that same motivation has seeped into his sleep schedule, and Billups routinely spends four mornings a week working on RedBlue Flix, his first official entrepreneurial endeavor.
RedBlue Flix, available for 99 cents in the iPhone app store, locates the nearest kiosk using GPS or ZIP code and guides users with the help of Google Maps. All the movie details are provided within the application, and users can reserve their copy of the hottest film and even cut themselves a break using promotional codes from the respective providers.
RedBlue Flix is available for the iPhone and will soon be released for Android. Screenshots from the App Store.
For a man skilled in Java developing, the iPhone app took time to learn, time to research and time to prototype — nearly three months of work in all. Now, with perhaps a few more hours of sleep, he is working to advance his app to Android and Windows 7 platforms.
"It's an upfront price to pay," said Billups, who strives to maintain a balance between work, family and his side project. Through all the early mornings, Billups said the feedback from those who have supported him has been the most rewarding part of the experience. Encouragement — from his family, his mentors and, perhaps most notably, users who actively update versions of the app — has made his balancing act worth the sleepless nights.
"I admire his ability to overcome obstacles and put his family first," Davis said. "He's always been highly motivated and extremely passionate about software development."
Billups said he develops software "for a living." But as one who understands the behind-the-scenes work of coding and the strategy of business, he likes to call himself a "technology partner." And now, with the launch of RedBlue Flix, Billups said he can add entrepreneur to his resume.
But Davis said Billups has always been an entrepreneur, as he is one of the lucky ones whose job is his hobby.
"As a kid, you want to do something you enjoy and something you are good at," Billups said. "I keep striving to be the best at something in life, something I feel passionate about. I can make time for that."