As technology continues to evolve so do the world’s entrepreneurs. With every new invention or innovation comes a new opportunity for profit and one of the largest in recent history is Apple’s App Store.
Those old black and white pictures from the early twentieth century are truly iconic. Whole towns built in the middle of the woods or other seemingly inhospitable areas of the planet saw shockingly large amounts of people moving in to get their piece of the gold rush. Then there was the oil rush, called black gold. Now, the modern day gold rush may be for software developers looking to bring in big money with a relative small amount of investment.
How popular is the App Store? Apple recently announced that it had celebrated its 10 billionth download from its store and not only is it known by users of Apple products, but virtually every computer and media platform on the market. It is so popular that other companies are trying to copy the idea, some using the same name after a recent court decision allowing the app store name to be used be others, at least for now.
For those who follow technology even a little bit, Angry Birds is the holy grail of how to make money in the app store but that’s far from the only success story. Take the Camera+ app which aims to make the IPhone or IPod not only a camera but also a photo editor. This 99 cent app has been downloaded more than 3 million times. This has made one of the original designers of the App, Lisa Bettany, more than $400,000 since the launch of the app. Lisa is a photographer who invested a lot of time in to helping develop the App but no money and although time is certainly worth an hourly wage, with 3 million downloads and continuing to rise, how time investment has paid major dividends for somebody who used to struggle to pay the bills as a freelance photographer and journalist.
The App store isn’t just a gold rush for small businesses and business startups but also for Apple. Apple takes a 30% cut for every app sold and although the app store alone doesn’t produce enough revenue to represent a large income stream for a company the size of Apple, it brings more users in to the Apple ecosystem and once a user tries an Apple product, often they end up purchasing the product. The rumors of the cult-like following of Apple are hard to deny.