Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thinking about writing an app. Make sure you do your research otherwise you could just be wasting your time and resources.

People often suggest that since I can develop software that I should develop apps. They have been convinced there's gold in them there apps. That's exactly what the large companies would have us believe. Have you noticed there's no real statistics available so you can make an informed business decision as to whether you should develop an app or not. I thought the following research by Gartner may put things in perspective.

Fewer than one in ten thousand mobile apps are actually going to make any money for their developers in the next couple of years, beancounters at Gartner have warned.... read more.

In essence that means that only the top 100 apps will make money. That top 100 does change over time but that also means those apps making money probably need to make money over a short period of time. It also means that given there's a million apps available in the Apple store, there's nearly a million apps (less a few hundred) that will never pay for themselves or the effort involved. Apple of course is laughing all the way to the bank because they make 30% of everything, and even if your app only makes $100, of that Apple gets $30. For a million apps that's $30 million dollars for them and $70 for the app developer. 

All that is really happening for most developers is they are purchasing a Mac for development (Apple wins), paying for a developer licence (Apple wins), and spending a huge amount of their resources in terms of time and lost income (developer loses) and transferring that energy to Apple (Apple again wins at the expense of developers).

Don't think only Apple is doing this because the same is true for Google and Microsoft's app stores. It is just that Apple has so far done it more successfully than the others.

If you like the odds of being one in ten thousand (you were top in your school weren't you, OK make that the region) then go for it. But do keep in mind the story of the turtle and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race. Business isn't a gamble. It is about making calculated decisions and determining the level of risk which is acceptable. If you do decide to go down the road of app creation then I deeply and truly wish you the best of fortune. It is always good to see the long shot come home.

Kelvin Eldridge 
Ph: 0415 910 703 for computer support.

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