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New Developer
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎12-12-2009
My Device: Not Specified

CAN I MAKE A FORTUNE BEING A SOLO MOBILE DEVELOPER?

Hi..perhaps not the right forum to ask this question...

 

I'm still kinda new and wanna know what i'm getting into...i'm kinda curious about the viability of being a solo mobile developer - not working for a company?

 

... does anyone make money from developing BB apps as a solo developer and selling it or does anyone know somebody who makes money just by developing apps for blackberry or any other mobile device...anyone?

 

If you do, can u kindly give a rough estimate of how much money is realisable...and perhaps your own little story how u got started...I'm a J2ME developer and the highest i've done is an app for my Msc. project....twas a good app though...thanks!

 

N.B: Please if you have links to sites that tell about the viability of this venture...i mean being a solo developer and making good money out of it, wldn't mind that too....

Developer
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎12-29-2009
My Device: Bold
My Carrier: Rogers

Re: CAN I MAKE A FORTUNE BEING A SOLO MOBILE DEVELOPER?

I suppose, like anything, it depends on the kinds of ideas you come up with.  A trite response, I know.

 

 

Developer
Posts: 4,764
Registered: ‎07-21-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: CAN I MAKE A FORTUNE BEING A SOLO MOBILE DEVELOPER?

Sure, we're ALL bazillionaires!!!!

 

 

Developer
Posts: 562
Registered: ‎09-30-2009
My Device: Not Specified

Re: CAN I MAKE A FORTUNE BEING A SOLO MOBILE DEVELOPER?

[ Edited ]

You know, I was thinking the usual things, you need to have a good idea, you need to be a good coder, but then, I remembered:

* most Blackberry paid apps seem pretty simple and useless to me. Look at the Best Selling Apps here http://software.crackberry.com/platformMain.asp?platform=5&section=bestsellers for example.

* because of this, it doesn't take a talented coder to string some code along to make a vaguely functional application.

 

Now, you probably won't be making a "fortune", but if others seem to make money off an application that makes the screen go bright like a flashlight, then I'm sure others can too.

 

Am I being too cynical?

Developer
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎11-22-2009
My Device: 9000 Bold, 8300 Curve

Re: CAN I MAKE A FORTUNE BEING A SOLO MOBILE DEVELOPER?

From what I can tell it's like this... a small handful make great selling apps and make some money. A large majority makes little or no money from their apps, especially if you track your time and break it down to dollars per hour.

 

The key differences between the app market and many other ways of making revenue is that:

 

a) the overall quality of an app doesn't necessarily predict how well it will sell (especially true for iPhone apps). Ok, maybe this is also true for music and movies too.

 

b) the cost overhead of making apps is very low. If you consider your time to be "free" (although you probably shouldn't) then the only cost are fees that the app stores charge, and for signing keys. This is the main reason (in my opinion) that has led to the app developers flooding the market with apps on the gamble that one will be like a winning lottery ticket for them.

 

Overall I would consider it a low risk venture, but low chance of high reward. I guess the worst case is that you wasted lots of your time, but then we could discuss the opportunity costs of doing that vs. working for a company that will pay you anyways and they are the ones taking on the risk of making a profit.

 

Long term I don't think being a solo mobile developer is a viable way to make a living for the majority of developers, unless you live in a country where living expenses are quite low.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developer
Posts: 16,786
Registered: ‎07-29-2008
My Device: Z10 LE, Z30, Passport
My Carrier: O2 Germany

Re: CAN I MAKE A FORTUNE BEING A SOLO MOBILE DEVELOPER?

it will be difficult with capslock, i guess.

 

rims appworld is not really comparable to apples store right now, as a single dev you have to use multiple channels which all take between 40 and 60% of your revenue.

 

just saw this headline on ars:

Apple responsible for 99.4% of mobile app sales in 2009

 

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New Developer
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎07-26-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: CAN I MAKE A FORTUNE BEING A SOLO MOBILE DEVELOPER?

 

Yes, you too can make a fortune as long as you know "what app to build"  - a number of people can help you with "how to build" that app.  The former insight is what generates the fortune. As previously noted, the top selling apps are not that technically challenging.

 

 

 

That said,  mobile app development is a "hit based" enterprise.  Like in the music or game business, you have to do a few as long as some of them are hits you will do ok over all.

 

Additionally,  it is my opinion, that most of the consumer and light weight enterprise apps will come from solo or small teams of developers who understand the problem space well and knock out apps at high frequency.

 

 

 

Developer
Posts: 296
Registered: ‎12-07-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: CAN I MAKE A FORTUNE BEING A SOLO MOBILE DEVELOPER?

Define "FORTUNE"

 

I made over 6 figures this year being a solo developer. I'm not even close to being the best programmer. I still have a lot to learn and I post a lot of noob threads trying to figure things out. All you need is 1 sucessfull app and you can easily see 10-20k per month for a few months. While this isn't anything close to what top iphone developrs see, it's still more then enough for me.

 

Also if you do end up making money keep in mind you still have to pay taxes on that money.

Developer
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎09-28-2009
My Device: Not Specified

Re: CAN I MAKE A FORTUNE BEING A SOLO MOBILE DEVELOPER?

 

I've found all of these factors to be equally important

 

Coding 

Marketing 

Customer service

Good fortune

 

Recommended reading (not mine): http://www.versatilemonkey.com/story.html

(and a super app if you listen to podcasts at all)

 

 

Developer
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎11-22-2009
My Device: 9000 Bold, 8300 Curve

Re: CAN I MAKE A FORTUNE BEING A SOLO MOBILE DEVELOPER?

"Apple responsible for 99.4% of mobile app sales in 2009" Pretty funny considering RIM and many others have not released their app sales numbers for the 2009 year end. Also unlikely considering the iphone barely has a market at all outside of North America compared to Symbian.