In the Newsweek article, 'Striking It Rich: Is There An App For That?' Tony Dokoupil contemplates the many entrepreneurs rushing to create programs for Apple's App Store, who despite seeking fortune and fame, are finding the task pretty hard.
On the one hand, it is humorous to listen to the woes of 'aspiring' millionaires quibble that:
- There is no free lunch;
- It takes time, resources and repeated success to build sustainable wealth in the App Store model;
- Apple makes the approval process "hard," despite the fact that 85K apps have gotten through in 18 months.
Mind you, this is independent of the argument that Apple has democratized the process of app developers achieving global distribution/reach, and monetizing same vis-a-vis the iPhone Platform, which they have unquestionably done.
The argument here is that a successful platform is defined by its developers, and one reason that Microsoft (with an arguably inferior platform) thrived for so long; namely, that they could show (and showcase) an ecosystem of third party entrepreneurs getting VERY RICH off of it. This includes hardware OEMs, software developers, VARs, integrators, etc.
After all, nothing motivates like good, old-fashioned greed.
Netting it out: At some point, I believe that Apple will need to figure out the path to breakout success for third-party developers, as the "born-on" date for the many articles referencing Steve Demeter (of Trism), and his $250K windfall in two months, is pretty tired - yet there aren't obvious other breakout examples that come to mind.