The reality of app dev

Creating an app is a long, expensive, and generally thankless process (something I want to change).

A typical app costs $25,000 and 3 months to build. Half of the time you don’t earn enough to cover costs. The other half of the time, you have to wait 9 months to break even.

*typical = 95% of the developers — ignoring the million dollar budget shops.

You won’t find this in your newspaper.

Most news about App Marketplaces speak of averages. This is misleading: top players make $5mil/mo and that skews things ever so slightly.

eg: 100 people in the room make $500/mo and one makes $500k/mo. Headlines read: “Average developer makes $5,000 a month!”

What’s a good metric?

What you want is a bell-curve. Oh I love bell-curves. You give me a standard deviation and I’m a happy guy! Or at the very least, a median. Medians are good people.

[1] Developer Economics 2012 snippet
[2] Wake Up Call 2012

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