Mobile app development can be a tricky minefield. An individual may have jumped into mobile app development as an enthusiast. This is usually at a young age, full of ideals and without a lot of responsibilities. Usually, life happens to him and suddenly the picture changes – bills and obligations.
From that point on, he must find a way to strike a balance between enthusiasm and business, or he will end up a very broke enthusiast.
I think that commercial apps should be supported more by users. I’m not a fan of the (often ad-supported) free model. In my opinion, it sucks. People should be paid for the skills, resources and time that they put into the apps that they make. If they are not, a number of consequences are possible.
One, the developer may eventually pack things up and go find a real job. Perhaps he becomes a banker or takes a desk at a telecoms operator. Or even opens a shop somewhere. I don’t blame him. He lives in the same world that you do – a world of bills and obligations.
Another option, which is related to packing it up, is that he may sell out. You may have heard that a particular mobile service or app has been acquired and then shut down by the new owners. Usually, the company/business was acquired for the talents of the developers.
Remember Torch Mobile, makers of the superb Iris web browser years back? It was acquired by RIM, the browser discontinued and the team set to create the excellent new browsers that we now see on BlackBerry smartphones and on the PlayBook. That’s an example of talent acquisition.
Talent acquisition means that your favourite app or service is shut down because it likely isn’t profitable enough for the developers to refuse an acquisition offer. Of course, there may be other reasons. I loved Iris web browser. It was a free app. I missed it when it was shut down. That is what talent acquisition does.
Put yourself in a developer’s shoes for a minute. If I was making a great mobile web browser that is free or being sold for pittance, and I was offered several million dollars in acquisition, I’m not crazy! I’ll take the deal too and smile home to my wife and kids.
I want to see app developers properly appreciated. Paid. Like everyone else. That’s not too much to ask. Or is it?
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