State of the Developer Nation Q3 2014 - comments

I happened to be reading the State of the Developer Nation Q3 2014 a few weeks ago and have finally got around to making some notes (holidays and all). I would heartily recommend reading, it's interesting stuff. I had a few additional thoughts on the some of the 'take aways'.

Platform Wars: It was a big surprise that Blackberry are still in there at all, from where we are sat in the UK. Other than the odd corporate legacy user, Blackberry has gone. Saying that I don't really hang out with youth - my kids are too young, but I would be very surprised if BBM has any appeal at all now (happy to be proved wrong, though).

App Revenues: My take on this is that the app stores represent a relatively "pure" form of capitalist market. The barriers to market are low, with no (or very few) restrictions on what / who and quality. Is it then a huge surprise to find that the bulk of the money goes to the few? The crushing reality is that the majority of the apps that make no money aren't very good, and the ones that can generate money win. They then use this money to drive any new apps creating positive feedback, allow the few developers to take the bulk of the revenue. This is similar to book sales, music sales - food sales (supermarkets sell more, so get bigger discounts, so can offer cheaper food, so sell even more, and so on).

It is a good demonstration of a free market which doesn't "favor" anyone, but the process is still pretty brutal.

I would also like to add the "Sturgeon's law" (ninety percent of everything is c**p) definitely applies to apps, so not all is lost (if you can get into the 10%).

Finally it's quite an interesting exercise to imagine what the market might look like if everyone did get an even share of the pie – would it be fairer? Would end users get better apps, would developers be better off? At least the current approach pushes people towards making better apps (unfortunately it does this by allow them to make apps no one wants and are used by no one).

The report talks abotu Enterprise Developers being the next growth area. I completely agree with this and extend this other business entities such as public bodies - hospitals, schools, police. The scope for improving workflow and efficiency in these areas is huge.

In summary, I find the report an interesting read with lots of useful titbits, some of it obvious but I don't think there is any harm repeating that.

Last thought: it'll be interesting to see how Microsoft fair after their abortive attempt at an Android device here - one feels they might get a developer backlash.

Anyone in the app business should check out Vision Mobile's other reports, all interesting stuff.