Only a few years after he first tried his hand at selling digital Spanish-language Bibles, Trevor McKendrick is making a boatload of money. But there's a key detail that some might find pretty surprising: he's an atheist.
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McKendrick appeared on Alex Blumberg's "StartUp" podcast recently, where he explained why he started selling Bible apps and how he deals with the conflict between his personal atheistic worldview and the contents of the product he has successfully monetized.
He detailed both on the show and on his blog how he decided back in 2012 that his first app would be a Spanish Bible for the iPhone — a project that went from a minor to a major success when McKendrick took a key step that brought it to an entirely different level.
"I contracted a professional audio studio to record the entire Bible as an audiobook. That was released a few months later in a separate app and made the side project that much bigger," McKendrick wrote on his blog. "Revenues at that point were around $4k to $5 a month."
From there, he has grown and improved the app, making $100,134 in net revenue during its second year of existence.
McKendrick — an ex-Mormon who no longer believes in the Bible or Christianity — told Blumberg that he's in somewhat of an "awkward situation" in that he sells Bibles despite his theological worldview, but he seemingly doesn't have any plans to stop doing so.
"I would describe myself as an atheist," he said, going on to explain his moral dilemma. "It's like, what if you sold 'Harry Potter' books or 'Lord of the Rings' books, but you told people it was real? Right, and you told people that they could cast spells … that they could heal their children ... and if you sold that as if it was a real thing? I would feel terrible about that. But that's really the situation I am in selling the Bible."
He continued, "I am selling this thing I truly believe is fiction, but other people are trying to use [it] and mold their lives to fix large and small problems."
Listen to McKendrick discuss his conundrum below (starts around the 10:00 mark):
What do you think? Is it wrong for McKendrick to collect money for selling a product he doesn't believe in? Take the poll:
(H/T: Business Insider)
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