The difficult world of app development

Interesting infographic at Mashable. Even though there are >1 million apps out there, it’s hard for app developers to get theirs noticed. (Furthermore, as a user, it’s hard to know where to start.) There’s a lot of talk about apps being the wave of the future, and every company wants to hire an app dev, but it sure seems like that’s not tracking with reality when you consider these facts:

  • A full 80 percent of apps do not generate enough revenue to support a standalone business (and 68 percent earned <$5K)
  • The designation “top earner” means your app makes $50K or more, and only 12 percent of app devs reach this point
  • Top earners spend an average $30K on marketing


For larger brands, app presence is seemingly the new web presence — you have to have one simply to prove to the world that you exist. But I don’t think the business case is there in most cases. Often ideation is slapdash, validation is nonexistent and the UX is subpar. And this is all before the absent marketing that the above infographic details. And even when you have the best visibility, and you somehow price it right, and you have a great product that solves users’ problems, the app still dies of irrelevance when it’s not tested, updated and re-promoted — via so-called influencers or a dedicated product website? — so users can actually find it.

Tough going in the world of app development.

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Digital journalism quote roundup

From Madrid, the Paley Center’s international council of media executives edition…

Google’s head of news products and Google+ programming, Richard Gingras, on using data for good:

“This is a renaissance of media and journalism…computational journalism can amount to the reinvention of the reporter’s notebook.”

Facebook’s journalism manager, Vadim Lavrusik, on the value of context in content:

“People want analysis from journalists. [FB] posts with journalists’ analysis receive 20 percent more referral clicks.”

“Media companies have approached it from ‘we need to chase more eyeballs, we need to create more content.’ So journalists who created a few articles in one week are now doing that in one day. But content isn’t scarce — it’s the contextualisation and making sense of that content that’s becoming scarce.” Managing Director Rob Grimshaw on social media distribution:

“We have to engage with social media [but] not all distribution is good distribution.”

WSJ Europe deputy editor Neil McIntosh on editorial curation:

“Our readers need us to sift. Readers are often crying out for less, not more. They’re still looking for the nut graf and the sort of stories I was taught to bash out 20 years ago.”

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