The Best Shot At Success For Indie Developers: Go Work For “The Man”

The Best Shot At Success For Indie Developers: Go Work For “The Man”

If you can’t beat them—and you can’t—then join them.

Yes, there’s an app for that. But even if there is, you definitely shouldn’t write it. Not if you’re an indie developer, anyway. (Or you enjoy poverty.)

While it’s easy to point to successful mobile apps, for small, independent app makers, these are the exceptions to the rule.

Just as the Web’s early rise wrongly made us believe in the Long Tail, the theory of success moving from a few dominant mega blockbusters to a broad universe of niche hits, mobile’s halcyon days made us believe that “there’s an app for that” would translate into a financial bonanza for mobile developers.

For some, it has. But not for most—not by a long shot.

The Long Tail turned out to be short, as Hugh McLeod’s drawing insightfully argues. And today’s app stores, though open to all, is closed for (your) indie business.

That leaves budding developers, makers and builders to face a harsh reality: At one time, they might have found the best opportunity to express their ideas through app development. Now it’s hardware, connected devices, and services that exploit and serve those innovations.

Ultimately, if you want to innovate, then build new products or services. If all you know how to do (or want to do) is write apps, your best bet is to go work for The Man.

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