App Store still more gamble than gold

Chris Stevens at Fast Company has written about the harrowing ordeal of being a small time developer in the big time App Store. It's nothing new, but it's something that hasn't been in the headlines for a while.

It’s this label “gold rush” that has been most often applied to the App Store. The potential for success, and risk of failure, is so great that in many ways the App Store has provoked a gold rush among developers. Although the successes are spectacular, the failures are apocalyptic. The mainstream press focuses on the glorious few and gives very little attention to the money being lost on the App Store--a problem compounded by the embarrassed silence of those struggling to turn a profit on their work. In a climate where approximately 540 apps are submitted for review every day, it’s easy to see why the Appillionaires are an exclusive and rare breed.

Knowing to get in on the ground floor was probably the first big gamble. Now it's trying to get noticed among hundreds of thousands of other apps and dozens of existing, entrenched competitors. Can you just make a better looking Twitter client, a more adorable and addictive casual game, or an easier way to share photos with filters and bank on success, or will there always be the element of a crap shoot?

Years ago we talked about the idea of a premium App Store to encourage big companies and game houses to invest in iOS and get higher prices in return, but what about the small, indie developers, the next great innovators in the making? Could Apple revamp the App Store format to give them a better chance as well?

Source: Fast Company

Anthony

Anthony is an IT administrator, retro gamer, and accessory reviewer for iMore.

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App Store still more gamble than gold

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"... trying to get noticed among hundreds of thousands of other apps and dozens of existing, entrenched competitors."

Then come up with an original idea. Too many apps are redundant garbage. So, customers are supposed to feel sorry for these developers who simply jump on a particular bandwagon in hopes of staking their claims?
"Hey look! A bunch of scanner apps making money! Maybe I can make a scanner app too. It might suck, but people won't know until they buy it!"
Please. No pity.

Agreed, if an app does nothing new then it shouldn't get into the store. Thing is, how do you differentiate between the app and its successor? We don't need 10 Angry Bird/Scanner clones, but how do we know that one of them doesn't move the genre on in some way and does something amazing?

No, apps shouldnt be rejected because they are similar to another app. Multiple of the same style app is good for buyers because it's breeds better products. Just imagine if the government banned all autos not made by the big three. I'm sure that would be really great for car buyers.

No, apps shouldnt be rejected because they are similar to another app. Multiple of the same style app is good for buyers because it's breeds better products. Just imagine if the government banned all autos not made by the big three. I'm sure that would be really great for car buyers.

How about a DNA scanner app that will tell me if a woman I'm considering for wife and mother of my children, has any health issues I should avoid?

It has nothing to do with an original app idea. With the current structure of the store ( approximately infinite lists of apps ), there is no visibility for most apps. People do not know you even exist. Marketing on the web is not effective either because people tend to buy on the device. Are you really going to dig to the bottom to find your gem? Probably not for most people. Now add to the mix that the iTunes desktop application makes it hard to even browse all the apps .... just a little link at the bottom of the view.

It has nothing to do with an original app idea. With the current structure of the store ( approximately infinite lists of apps ), there is no visibility for most apps. People do not know you even exist. Marketing on the web is not effective either because people tend to buy on the device. Are you really going to dig to the bottom to find your gem? Probably not for most people. Now add to the mix that the iTunes desktop application makes it hard to even browse all the apps .... just a little link at the bottom of the view.

Reptile, with 99 cent pricing Apple has taught users that apps are essentially free. Still, the odds are greater than the lottery ... have to be optimistic. ;)

Reptile, with 99 cent pricing Apple has taught users that apps are essentially free. Still, the odds are greater than the lottery ... have to be optimistic. ;)

They could break the store up into a tree structure for starters -- that would scale better. But it seems like they want to emulate a New York Times best seller list. Cynically, I would not be surprised if there are some out there who massively buy their own apps to get up the list to get visibility -- small devs do not have the cash to do that.

I think a bigger problem is the search.
Search for "multitrack". Do you see the FourTrack app that does multitrack recording, and has the very word in its description? No. Type in "four track". Does the FourTrack app appear? Nope.
I gave up a long time ago seaching for apps. I come here, and to other blogs to learn of them.

I agree. Maybe the reviewer needs to type in another set of keywords. With visibility being so skewed developers are entering keywords that match high profile apps -- which might not give an accurate app description. I guess there is genius ... if its turned on. I wonder if Siri does app store searches?

I agree. Maybe the reviewer needs to type in another set of keywords. With visibility being so skewed developers are entering keywords that match high profile apps -- which might not give an accurate app description. I guess there is genius ... if its turned on. I wonder if Siri does app store searches?

I agree. Maybe the reviewer needs to type in another set of keywords. With visibility being so skewed developers are entering keywords that match high profile apps -- which might not give an accurate app description. I guess there is genius ... if its turned on. I wonder if Siri does app store searches?

The best way to make money in a gold rush is to sell shovels!
My way of making it less of a gamble is to help companies with app ideas bring them to market.

The best way to make money in a gold rush is to sell shovels!
My way of making it less of a gamble is to help companies with app ideas bring them to market.

The best way to make money in a gold rush is to sell shovels!
My way of making it less of a gamble is to help companies with app ideas bring them to market.

The best way to make money in a gold rush is to sell shovels!
My way of making it less of a gamble is to help companies with app ideas bring them to market.

The best way to make money in a gold rush is to sell shovels!
My way of making it less of a gamble is to help companies with app ideas bring them to market.

The best way to make money in a gold rush is to sell shovels!
My way of making it less of a gamble is to help companies with app ideas bring them to market.

The best way to make money in a gold rush is to sell shovels!
My way of making it less of a gamble is to help companies with app ideas bring them to market.

The app store is so full of absolute garbage its amazing that anything sells at all. Too many devs just release junk to see if they can make money. Honestly, if you want to make big $ on an app... make it for blackberry. There is not much competition and a user base of 70 million.... No knocking iphone, just saying that if some of these devs that have a little success on app store, should see about converting to blackberry.

The app store is so full of absolute garbage its amazing that anything sells at all. Too many devs just release junk to see if they can make money. Honestly, if you want to make big $ on an app... make it for blackberry. There is not much competition and a user base of 70 million.... No knocking iphone, just saying that if some of these devs that have a little success on app store, should see about converting to blackberry.

The app store is so full of absolute garbage its amazing that anything sells at all. Too many devs just release junk to see if they can make money. Honestly, if you want to make big $ on an app... make it for blackberry. There is not much competition and a user base of 70 million.... No knocking iphone, just saying that if some of these devs that have a little success on app store, should see about converting to blackberry.

The app store is so full of absolute garbage its amazing that anything sells at all. Too many devs just release junk to see if they can make money. Honestly, if you want to make big $ on an app... make it for blackberry. There is not much competition and a user base of 70 million.... No knocking iphone, just saying that if some of these devs that have a little success on app store, should see about converting to blackberry.

The app store is so full of absolute garbage its amazing that anything sells at all. Too many devs just release junk to see if they can make money. Honestly, if you want to make big $ on an app... make it for blackberry. There is not much competition and a user base of 70 million.... No knocking iphone, just saying that if some of these devs that have a little success on app store, should see about converting to blackberry.

The app store is so full of absolute garbage its amazing that anything sells at all. Too many devs just release junk to see if they can make money. Honestly, if you want to make big $ on an app... make it for blackberry. There is not much competition and a user base of 70 million.... No knocking iphone, just saying that if some of these devs that have a little success on app store, should see about converting to blackberry.

The app store is so full of absolute garbage its amazing that anything sells at all. Too many devs just release junk to see if they can make money. Honestly, if you want to make big $ on an app... make it for blackberry. There is not much competition and a user base of 70 million.... No knocking iphone, just saying that if some of these devs that have a little success on app store, should see about converting to blackberry.

The app store is so full of absolute garbage its amazing that anything sells at all. Too many devs just release junk to see if they can make money. Honestly, if you want to make big $ on an app... make it for blackberry. There is not much competition and a user base of 70 million.... No knocking iphone, just saying that if some of these devs that have a little success on app store, should see about converting to blackberry.

The app store is so full of absolute garbage its amazing that anything sells at all. Too many devs just release junk to see if they can make money. Honestly, if you want to make big $ on an app... make it for blackberry. There is not much competition and a user base of 70 million.... No knocking iphone, just saying that if some of these devs that have a little success on app store, should see about converting to blackberry.

The app store is so full of absolute garbage its amazing that anything sells at all. Too many devs just release junk to see if they can make money. Honestly, if you want to make big $ on an app... make it for blackberry. There is not much competition and a user base of 70 million.... No knocking iphone, just saying that if some of these devs that have a little success on app store, should see about converting to blackberry.

The app store is so full of absolute garbage its amazing that anything sells at all. Too many devs just release junk to see if they can make money. Honestly, if you want to make big $ on an app... make it for blackberry. There is not much competition and a user base of 70 million.... No knocking iphone, just saying that if some of these devs that have a little success on app store, should see about converting to blackberry.

adding to this.. how about those 1000's of apps that claim they do something but dont!! ex: "Night vision" apps.. there are some that actually say they let you see in the dark! lololol - appl should NOT allow these to be sold since they are making false claims

The app store is so full of absolute garbage its amazing that anything sells at all. Too many devs just release junk to see if they can make money. Honestly, if you want to make big $ on an app... make it for blackberry. There is not much competition and a user base of 70 million.... No knocking iphone, just saying that if some of these devs that have a little success on app store, should see about converting to blackberry.

I have an app that I'd like to pitch to someone that I think would "kill it" out there, and yes I know everyone says that, but hear me out and see if you agree. I promise you won't quickly forget it, and will probably admit it's quite possibly a triple if not a home run.