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After the Gold Rush, Reality Strikes Back

By deans ~ October 7th, 2009. Filed under: Observations, Random Thoughts.

Wikipedia defines boondoggle as, “… a project that wastes time and money.“  Continuing along the line of wasting time and money, I have been wondering if, indeed, the App Store gold rush is over.  I’m sure hearing less optimism than I was at the beginning of the year.  Consider the recent Newsweek story, “Striking It Rich: Is There An App For That?

The article is short on real data and long on anecdotes, but that’s OK.  Most of us made our decision to start developing iPhone apps based on anecdotes, right?  One of my favorites is the tale of Steve Demeter.  He made his fortune somewhat indirectly.  He took the proceeds from his app, Trism, and

“… bought Palm’s stock for $1.76 and sold it for $12″

Now, Mr. Demeter doesn’t have to work anymore.  However, I noticed that he has ported Trism to Android.  I’d probably do the same thing, if I had his resources.

Newsweek apparently conducted several interviews with developers, and reports that,

“… they describe an anxiety-wracked marketplace full of bewildering rules, long odds, and little sense of control over one’s success or failure.”

Rather than continuing to quote from the article and agreeing with each line, I’ll just encourage anyone who is considering iPhone app dev, or trying to decide how much time to allocate to the process, to read the article.  Also, follow some of the links.  The various anecdotes weave together into a pretty compelling case that the party is over.

As we’re thinking about this, it’s well worth our time to consider what some real experts, like Mike Ash of NSBlog fame are saying.

The bottom line for me is that, if the studs at the Iconfactory (creators of Twitterific and Ramp Champ) can’t make it work, the rest of us are toast.


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