Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Leaving the field

A little while ago I wrote about how difficult it is for small app developers to make it, in competition with the huge marketing spend of big app houses.

Today it was sad to see that Agant has let go all of it's staff, citing that the app development environment is just too risky.

I feel sorry for the company and the founder, and he proposed a number of solutions for making his apps more appealing, including time-limited trials which make perfect sense.

But a number of things come back to me:
- you're never going to change Apple. They have a stranglehold on the paid-for apps market.
- you need friends in high places to succeed. Apple would be a good friend to have. Failing that someone with deep marketing pockets
- outstanding quality will succeed partly because it attracts friends. Touchpress, for example, do well and turn out apps with high production values (and budgets)
- originality will attract eyeballs. If your app is pretty much like a dozen other apps in the store (at least to the consumer) then how are you going to differentiate yourself. Seth Godin wrote about this last week. If you're doing something new, you'll generate a buzz and sales will follow.

None of which is a comment on Agant's efforts. I've not used their apps.

But any independent developer should pay careful attention what the market is telling us.

Remember - during the goldrush most prospectors didn't make a dime, and the real winners were the guys who sold shovels and the corporations who came in and swept up the land rights. Little guys never lasted long.

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