Back in the early days of FSMdotCOM, i was contacted by several iPhone app developers because , as you might know, we used to promote “unorthodox” alternatives to whatever makes the iPhone the great cell phone that it is. A few emails back and forth with every one of those early developers, and first thing i always use to ask, was to share with me their story.
Basically most of them were what i call “Sunday developers” or better yet “Sunday entrepreneurs”. What do i mean by that? Well, most of them were decent dudes, that had a full time job , a family and a dog but they were mesmerized by the appstore mirage. They got a handful of books, started to learn how to code and that was it. When i asked them, what’s their plan pre and post appstore approval… well none of them had a plan , but they had HOPE. Hope dies last right? Well… yea, but hope is not a strategy. And one more thing that i really really really hope you understand: skills are cheap, passion is priceless.
Why am i sharing this with you? Well because this is as true today as it was when the appstore was first released. In fact, when the appstore was released was wayyy easier to succeed. One thing is to have 100 apps as your competition, and a whole other thing is to have 60.000 apps as your competition. But most of the developers out there, are blind to the facts. You still see today , people that bitch and whine about the appstore approval process. Well yeah, they got some ridiculous rules some times. But how about doing your homework first? Create a dammmn solid strategy and business plan, code your app, release it and guess what…. once released your app will be accessible to 50 million people. This should blow your mind.
I could go on and on, but what do i know? Im just a blogger…And you are right, i never had an app that made it. I don’t have an app at all. But this is not rocket science, and there is nothing here that applies ONLY to the iPhone apps. Let me share something that will help you a lot. DiscoveryBeat, hosted by VentureBeat, is an event focused on the “secret recipe” for application discovery and the opportunity to create the relationships needed to succeed.
At first glance DiscoveryBeat looks like yet another conference , but it breaks through the typical conference-speak and give attendees the chance to look under the hood of today’s hottest, most successful apps.
Starting from Scratch with a New App
With more than 119,000 apps in the Apple AppStore, discovery is a huge problem. Facebook is just as tough. And to make it worse, you’re at a disadvantage because large networks have the upper hand of experience in platform strategy and a louder voice to get their products heard.
If you’re a two-person garage development shop and starting from scratch, how do you create an app that can go viral?
If you’re not a giant company, how do you exploit your newness and focus, using the key ingredients of success?
How can the smaller developers team up with bigger brands that have name recognition? When should they go it alone?
How do they build a company that bigger investors will notice?
What are some of the platform tools at your disposal that can be used to get your apps noticed?
How does discovery fit with the right business model for your app?
Moving Your App to the Next Level
The social app companies, those successful application companies that came of age on Facebook and the iPhone, have created their own ecosystems with successful titles that feed on each other.
Now what do they do? How many different types of monetization schemes do they need? What can they learn from the bigger companies? Should they recruit executives from the “old world” companies, to help with partnering or organizational discipline? What will the social/mobile/gaming look like in two years?
Bringing in the Big Guys
Established video game companies and entertainment giants are eyeing the social networking and mobile platforms as a source of future growth. For success, the big guys need to apply the secret ingredients in different proportions.
How much should they invest in these areas, and how should they do it? Which kinds of partners should they recruit? Which business models are the best? Who has made the transition already? What’s the right mix of social networking, marketing, analytical measurement, advertising and web design ingredients they should apply?
Social Gaming: The Evolving Technology Platform & Monetization
Peter focused on the social gaming space, including current and future trends, monetization, business models and technology platform evolution. His talk is interspersed with examples and real life stories from the successful growth of his companies in the social gaming space including CrowdStar, Aurora Feint/OpenFeint and Sibblingz.
Building Social Games: Games at the Speed of Light
The social gaming market is exploding – viral propagation across the world, low barriers to entry which create agile competitors, and a rapidly changing and imperfectly understood marketplace. Bill walks through key learnings from his time making Zynga franchises Mafia Wars and FarmVille.
Super-sizing the app economy by extending it beyond the iPhone
Giant app businesses grew on the Facebook platform but so far the iPhone hasn’t produced a single Zynga-like success. So what is needed to super-size the mobile app economy? Chris talks about the key ingredients of successful platforms in the app economy: scale, discovery, and payments. GetJar operates the world’s largest independent mobile app store.