Mar. 3, 2014 12:15 pm

How I Work: Tim Arnold, iOS developer at Friends of The Web

This is Baltimore's "How I Work" series, where we'll take a look at the tools and tips the region's startup founders and creative leaders use to get through the day.

Photo courtesy of Tim Arnold.

This is Baltimore's new "How I Work" series, where we'll take a look at the tools and tips the region's startup founders and creative leaders use to get through the day. If you'd like to be a part of this series, e-mail us.

Update 3/3/14 8:48 p.m.: Arnold left a Ph.D. program in astrophysics, not a master's degree program as we originally reported. We've made the correction below.

Tim Arnold is a 28-year-old iOS developer with Mount Vernon website design and app development agency Friends of The Web.

See photos of Friends of The Web’s Mount Vernon office here.

At one point Arnold was studying for a Ph.D. in astrophysics, but he left school in Arizona to learn to make mobile apps. (He was an integral part in creating Tall Chess, the Friends’ first iOS chess app.) An avid cyclist, Arnold lives in Baltimore city’s Medfield neighborhood. He “loves” Darn Tough wool socks.

This is how he works:

What’s the first thing you do every day before doing any startup-related work?

I usually check my Twitter feed (for any news of $19 billion acquisitions).

How often do you check your e-mail, and do you use any program to get to “Inbox Zero“?

I check my e-mail as it comes in. I use my e-mail inbox as a sort of to-do list. Anything that’s sitting in my inbox requires an action, and usually there are 5-15 e-mails sitting in the inbox.

How do you keep track of your revenues and expenses?

We’re dissatisfied with the many time-trackers/invoice tools out in the world, so we’ve been building our own. We’ve been using it internally for about a year, and are excited to unveil it to the rest of the world soon. We’re hoping it solves many of the same problems for others as it has for us.

When you need to take a break, what are you turning to?

Often, I’ll make a cup of coffee. Alternatively, swapping the desk between standing and sitting (all desks in the Friends of The Web office have this capability) can shake things up a bit.

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Where do you turn to for founder’s inspiration when you’re feeling low?

When I’m feeling low, I go for a bike ride, or if I’m stuck on a tough problem, I’ll work on a fresh project I’m excited about.

What’s your gear?


  • I use a Macbook Pro to develop iOS apps, which I test on iPhones and iPads.
  • I ride a bicycle for fun and transportation.


  • My most-used apps are on the Mac, and are: Tweetbot for tweets, Xcode for development and Sparrow for e-mail. 1Password is essential for managing my myriad accounts and passwords.


  • I also love Darn Tough socks. Best wool socks around, and they’ve got a lifetime guarantee. I’ve converted the whole office.

What’s one time-saving tip you have?

Learn keyboard shortcuts!

Andrew Zaleski

Andrew Zaleski is a freelance journalist in Philadelphia and the former lead reporter for Baltimore. Before moving to Philadelphia in June 2014, he was a contributing writer to Baltimore City Paper and a Tech Check commentator for WYPR 88.1 FM, Baltimore city’s National Public Radio affiliate. He has written for The Atlantic, Outside, Richmond magazine, Washington City Paper, Baltimore magazine, Baltimore Style magazine, Next City,, The Atlantic Cities, and elsewhere.

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