Binman turned app developer to give his house to charity

The binman turned app developer first found success in 2009 with his iPhone application Problem Halved when he submitted his idea to Californian based app developer MEDL Mobile's App Incubator, which turns everyday people's ideas for apps into a reality.

Fast forward three years and Shoesmith has come up with another kind of problem solver. He is planning to sell his house and give all the proceeds to a charity for the homeless.

He was inspired to do something substantial for charity during his experiment camping for ten days outside the Apple store waiting for the launch of the iPhone 4s.

"I camped outside the Apple store for the 10 days in the run-up to the release of the latest iPhone and I wanted to see if I could live without spending any money while queuing," he explains. As an experiment it was successful - he managed to generate $30,000 of sponsorship from companies worldwide.

But the experience turned out to be what he calls a massive eye-opener. "What I wasn't expecting was to meet as many homeless people as I did; they helped me get by and gave me tips on how to sleep on the streets," he says. "It was so humbling and it amazes me that people still live on the street in this day and age. At the end of the ten days I was totally drained."

Shoesmith has released a book on Apple iBooks and Amazon Kindle called Bin There Done That and has pledged to give away his house - or the worth of it - to a homeless charity once he hits one million downloads.

The book, which has received five star ratings from readers, talks about how the world of smart phone apps turned around his life. "I was rock bottom suffering from anxiety and depression. I was working in a dead end job and now I'm working in marketing for an app development studio," he says.

His objective is straightforward - to inspire people and try to break the stigma attached to mental health. "I would simply love it if one million people could be aware of my story, which will do an awful lot of good to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless," he says. "It would be really easy for me to rattle a collection tin outside the supermarket, collecting money for charity but I know I can do more."

He has set a timeframe of December 2013 as the cut of point and he is confident of reaching his target. With no other marketing to help him reach his goal, he is hoping word-of-mouth will help him to sell the book, priced at 99p. "I'm urging people to download the book and leave a good review if you like it," he says. "And tell your friends and family, it will make a difference."

To download Bin There Done That on Amazon Kindle, click here  

To download the book on Apple iBooks, click here   

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To find out more about Rob visit his website www.robshoesmith.com 

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