The MOApp Software Manufactory Weblog.
Rants, Comments, Finds, and Tips from the Desk of Michael & Ollerum.

That’s where Indie app developers are. Getting jobs.

That’s where Indie app developers are. Getting jobs.

Michael Burford

From time to time there is a (sort of) open discussion going on on the web about the current state of ‘Indie Developers’ and what they are able to earn. Currently you may even call it a digital meeting of a support group.

Hi, my name is Michael. I’m an indie developer and I’m broke.

What I like about these current tweets and articles is that you don’t find any finger-wagging and blaming; or at least not in all those articles and tweets I read. It would be easy to just blame it on the greedy and cheap non-customers, to blame it on Apple, or to blame it on all the hundreds of thousands of idiots of ‘developers’ ruining the prices.

I think we can equally blame it on all of us:

99 Cent is not a business model. Period.

If only 15 companies ‘earn’ 97 percent of the revenue then there is something seriously wrong. Period.

If you expect that all the developers out there can live from three bucks or less per hour because you’re too cheap to spend just the equivalent of your last coffee (yeah, I know, some don’t like that argument; I like it because it is fitting and it says it all, especially about those not liking it) on something you use on a regular basis, then there is something completely wrong with your attitude. Period.

If a company that focuses on user and quality allows 3,000 times the same crappy app to flute their store, just to be able to earn 30 to 40 percent of it and to be able to brag about a ridiculous number, then there is something completely wrong with the system. Period.

When the same company does nothing to stop people from ‘stealing’ software and tricking people into buying those ‘stolen’ apps – hell, if this company even encourages it – then there is something completely wrong with the system, with the company. Period.

When almost the only way to make some money is by tricking your customers with stupid freemiums and inapppurchasethingies then writing good quality software stops being fun; at least for me. Period.

And when you think, your To-Do-App is really necessary and can be better than the other 2,000 out there when you only spent three weeks writing it then there is something completely wrong with your self-concept. Period, again.

It was a nice bubble. It lasted for almost four years and some of us made some decent money.

In 2012 I made more money than I earned the other eight years before that combined. In 2013 I ‘only’ made half of it and I better not talk about the current year; it will be half of the half.

The App Stores are dead. At least as long as you don’t write games or ripp off your customers.
And this ain’t a bad thing.

Imagine an App Store you could and want to actually use. Imagine an App Store you can be proud of that your app is in. Imagine an App Store that only offers good, quality apps.

Some of us will continue to make money. Most of them are writing good, quality Mac apps. Those who can live from solely writing iOS apps are probably those who wrote a good, quality iPhone app in the first place. An app that people really need and will continue to need.

Because, in the end, no one needs 437 apps on the home screen. No one!

But we will continue to need good quality apps that make our lives easier and more fun. And for those people will always pay. Period, the last one…