Making money with apps

pet rock by FeatheredTar

The age of the app: The Apple App Store has emerged as one of the most chaotic marketplaces on Earth, with thousands of independent developers jockeying for smartphone users’ attention. Think it sounds like small stakes? Think again”
[Via MacSurfer’s Apple]

As a young programmer just out of grad school in France, Fabien Sanglard dreamed of building a computer graphic that could produce a realistic illusion of a liquid-filled screen. But the hardware required wasn’t yet readily available, and he set the task aside. Sanglard eventually settled in Toronto and took a gig writing code for Rogers Communications. But in 2008, after Apple unleashed the iPhone and the accompanying development software that allows programmers to create applications for the device, he quickly realized the solution to his problem was at hand.

It only took a few weeks for Sanglard to create Fluid, a program that allows a user to make the iPhone screen ripple and glisten with the stroke of a finger. After passing muster with Apple’s vetting teams, Fluid debuted in Apple’s App Store on May 9, 2009. Thirty thousand people downloaded it on day one; within two weeks, the tally had reached one million, making it the No. 1 app worldwide that month.


I wrote about this type of economy some time ago. Just as musicians and authors have found ways to monetize their works directly to the internet, so too have computer programmers. Fluffy little novelties can make one a good living.

I know everyone from my generation wants to create the next pet rock. Now they can, only online.