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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Developers and Money: What's the reality in success?

Development is a lucrative field.  App markets constantly bloom with a plethora of new apps daily, and developers are either hailed with newfound glory due to a successful app or lie in neglect, as if public scrutiny failed to notice.  There is a countless number of apps that have changed lives.  Perhaps, we are in search of an excellent local restaurant, and if the internet is of little help, an app out there can filter the best based on user reviews.  Or maybe a social networking guru could use a client that unifies them all - Facebook, twitter, G+ - under a single client.  Or you could use a snack: an entertaining game of Angry Birds. The public enjoys the service, handed to us on a silver platter, waiting to use a portion of our hard-earned wages for something to make life easier or more enjoyable.  Piece of cake.

But there is a stone cold reality behind the fanfare and craze, I noticed as I read a mailing list conversation today on what makes a money-reeling app for the android market. The developer will have to face the odds: knowledge of the fickle tastes of the public, its desires and needs that evolve when least expected.  Luck isn't enough. Forget technicality or fine-bred talent on the art of programming. Although money is a huge incentive, the typical developer must think beyond the money.
  • Innovation: The power of innovation, to take the risk of trying new technologies, is the ultimate asset to stardom.  There are many forms compelling apps can adopt, but innovation is best when it exposes the glories of the future.  Only then will it capture the interest of the mainstream.
  • Public interest: If the developer can build hype amongst the public - online community, local, school - he or she already has the upper hand.  Adding publicity and marketing effectively makes a difference between a passing haze or a one-hit wonder! Prepare for lots of attention. 
  • Ask "What would the public use?": The best way to find out is checking the top selling apps of the categories in the app market. Keeping up with the trend is a smart way to know the public's appetite.
  • Connections: The most powerful allies.  The more connections, the higher up the mountain the developer can go. One should be fearless to befriend the world that towers before us.  
Finally, the developer shouldn't have high expectations on earning quick cash.  Overnight sensation status rarely occurs, and the real world is frankly unmerciful.

There is more to success than pure luck after all.

What do you think?

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