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Why do you develop mobile apps?

macslocum's Photo
Posted Jun 23 2010 07:01 AM
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A gold rush is notable for two things:

1. The lure of instant riches.

2. The tiny fraction of prospectors who go on to live the high life.

Whether discussing gold nuggets or "Cyberspace" or the current gold rush du jour, mobile applications, these two elements always hold true. Like movies and books and virtually all other products, a few mobile app blockbusters are hitting it big while everything else slides into the long tail. And yet, Apple's App Store now has 225,000 apps (and counting) and the shelves in the Android Market are brimming with products.

I've probably been over-influenced by recent reading. I'll admit that. But I'm bewildered by the impassioned app backlash popping up. Gold rushes always play out the same way: the stories of the lucky few drive the not-so-lucky masses. That's why we call theses things "gold rushes." (Andrew Odewahn has a post on Radar that explores this further.)

Bewilderment aside, I'd like to explore some of the fundamental questions bubbling beneath all this. Specifically: If making big money is unlikely, why do so many people continue to build mobile applications? What are the non-economic motivations?

Put another way: Why do you develop mobile apps? Please weigh in through the comments below, or, if you're in a rush, use our handy new polling feature.

Poll: Why do you develop mobile apps? (9 members have cast votes )

What's your motivation for building mobile apps?

  1. Hope to strike it rich (2 votes [14.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  2. Wanted to follow through on an idea (5 votes [35.71%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 35.71%

  3. Practicing my craft (4 votes [28.57%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 28.57%

  4. Building awareness for another part of my business (2 votes [14.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  5. Something else (1 votes [7.14%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 7.14%

Vote Please sign or register to vote.

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Mac Slocum
Online Managing Editor

1 Reply

 : Jun 24 2010 12:01 PM
Seemingly on cue, the LA Times has a feature about app dev shops that cater to non-programmers who want to make their app ideas a reality. That's another interesting extension of the mobile development ecosystem.
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Mac Slocum
Online Managing Editor