That word has so much power. It’s incredible.
VCs apparently fall over flat for it. Phone users adore it. Tablet users are just getting used to it. And a small minority makes billions from it.
Apps vs. Car Mechanics
The surge in “apps” for mobile devices isn’t all that different from traditional brick and mortar businesses. A multi-billion dollar business (General Motors) made my car. A small time business owner changes its oil and makes every repair.
Apple makes the iPhone – and 16 year old kids design apps to make it better. Same thing goes for any of the many Android devices.
I recently downloaded a free app to turn my phone on silent for a set period of time. Switch the volume down and a popup appears. I’m asked when I want to turn the ringer back on, and can choose a range from 15 minutes to 12 hours.
Never do I forget to turn the volume back on when I leave movie theaters, the classroom, or for my choice periods of peace and quiet. It really is a phenomenal tool, a feature neither Apple nor Google have yet to add to their devices. There’s no need – an army of developers yearns for the opportunity to make apps to perfect mobile devices.
Chart from BusinessInsider
1 Billion Served…Per Month
Apple’s App Store reportedly generates 1 billion app downloads per month. That’s an incredible number.
The App Store debuted on July 10, 2008 and has since delivered 18 billion downloads. If the current pace is in fact 1 billion apps per month, Apple will serve up more apps in the next year than it did in the first three and a half. Steve Jobs is a champ.
Zynga IPO’d last week at a pricetag of $7 billion for the firm. That’s half the current valuation of videogame giant Activision, and more than EA, which makes hundreds of popular gaming titles.
But Zynga doesn’t even sell games for traditional gaming consoles. It sells online games. Actually – even that’s a lie; it sells cool things inside online games. The company makes generates almost all revenues from 3% of people who actually pay for in-game content.
According to one article, Zynga doesn’t make it cheap to pay your way through. Not a single Zynga game can be beaten with purchases without spending at least $75,000. Who said we had an internet bubble?
Yep, it’ll take $75,000 to show your Facebook friends who’s the boss on Mafia Wars. You tell ‘em, tiger!
Apparently some users spent $50,000 on Mafia Wars “upgrades” in 2009. That’s a single player in a single Zynga game. At least the buyers were frugal about their purchases – buyers made big buys on Black Friday of all days.
Silicon Valley Brain Drain
Silicon Valley should displace Wall Street as a single source of the worst brain drain. Top computer science scholars and graduating engineers are going to work for Zynga, where they design entertainment products to keep the public fixated on back-lit LCD screens.
Obviously the case can be made that this brainpower is indeed wasted. Fifty or so years ago the US put a man on the moon. Today, that isn’t even a goal worth pursuing. Launching another hit social media app is far more monetarily rewarding.
Just look at this guy, a recent graduate recruited by a new start-up Scopely:
In front of him is part of his sign-on bonus, which includes:
- $11,000 in bacon-wrapped cash
- spear gun
- Year’s supply of Dos Equis
- An Oil Painting of the new recruit
- A Fancy Tuxedo
- Sex panther cologne
- A humidor of Cuban cigars
Wall Street has to work for bonuses. All of the above are items you get just for signing on to work for Scopely. High frequency trading doesn’t have anything on the evil that are Apps. Sheesh – let’s not get started on computer engineering salaries.
Photo by: ilamont