So it goes, apparently, that 60% plus of iOS apps barely break even.
I have been hearing for a while the “mobile app development is a lottery” proclamation and largely agreeing with it. People telling me that making money on the app store is like having a hit song.
I couldn’t disagree with it, it seemed to make sense… until I plugged in my sorry excuse for brain.
It’s time to hit this messed up, insanely brain-dead FUD with the stupid stick
Given that they think at least 60% of apps don’t break even and there are over 500,000 apps in the store, this means circa 200,000 apps are breaking even or better.
So let’s think about this. Just shy of half of the “businesses” are doing good, and some of those are doing great. Where else can you say that? Did it apply to desktop software? No. Does it apply to internet app services? No. Does it apply to any category of business, really? If so please let me know where I can have close guaranteed 50% chance of break even or better in a business. Business is a about investment and risk and in reality a great many businesses struggle for a long time, and many lose huge amounts of investment (in time and money) even if they struggled for years.
Next up: a reality check. Of the 500,000 apps in the store I will posit that less than 5,000 of those (1% for the arithmetic challenged) are great apps worth paying for. You know the kind of stuff that is really good and you are happy to shell out for, and feel no “buyer’s remorse” after clicking BUY and finding it doesn’t really do what you want.
It is certainly not true that 40% of the apps in the store are worth what you pay for them. Therefore there’s a whole metric buttload of apps in that 200,000 that are making money but largely suck.
Final fact check: Who the hell is running a lottery where you have a 40% chance of winning? If so, please let me know where I can buy a fistful of tickets. “App development is like a lottery” is the biggest bullshit ever, if you engage your brain.
Here’s a top tip to app developers: If you’re not making money, your app is not good enough. Perhaps you should consider that making mobile apps is not a gold rush that you can make a quick buck in with any old app.
P.S. Apple would love to make the App Store contain only great apps. The fact that probably 99% are crappy must make them wince. They will love it if this “gold rush” ends and app submissions start to plateau and only people who make great apps like Instagram, Angry Birds, Paper by 53, GarageBand, OmniFocus, Tweetbot, Infinity Blade etc submit apps. The entire ecosystem would get much better. The sooner people realise writing an app is not a golden ticket the better