Hopefully this comes as no surprise to many, but for some, alas, I am afraid they have yet to get the email. It’s yet another case of the 1% versus the 99%. Only one percent of Web app developers have made any real money, the other ninety-nine percent are SOL. Forty-seven percent of those, make absolutely no money or less than $100 on their app. Not surprisingly there are now over a million apps on the Apple store, and when you add all of the other sources for apps, you can see that the problem is coming to a head. I saw this coming nearly two years ago and wrote about the problem on this blog, citing a New York Times story published about that time, describing the dark underbelly of the Web app development culture. In a satire of the problem, last year The Onion published a gag story about a new app called “Squander” that enabled users to “geolocate others nearby who had also wasted $2 on the same app.”
Read more: App development boom’s depressing underbelly, November 18, 2012
Read more: Silicon Valley’s misguided love affair with an app for everything, March 4, 2013
Reblogged from ValleyWag, July 25th, 2014
The new American Dream was going so well: drop out, make an app for sending emojis that disappear after 5 seconds, and collect your check. But it turns out the app gold rush is brokenfor almost everyone.
A new, giant survey of 10,000 app developers from around the world reveals a hugely depressing reality: your app will almost certainly not succeed. Maybe it’s a given that in such a crowded market, standing out is a tough feat. But the numbers are terribly dismal: 2 percent ofall app developers pull in over 50 percent of all app revenue—”The revenue distribution is so heavily skewed towards the top that just 1.6% of developers make multiples of the other 98.4% combined.” A staggering 47% of app developers either make literally no money, or less than $100 per month, per app. Hardly Instagram money, or even decent-Instagram-knockoff money.
It’s easy to understand why. There are well over a million apps in Apple’s App Store alone, and unless you’re in the tippy-top of tippiest-top, odds are nobody will even notice you exist. Of course, the fact that it’s considered gauche to even try to make money as a software business doesn’t help:
VisionMobile, which conducted the study, concludes that “It seems extremely unlikely the market can sustain anything like the current level of developers for many more years.”