Ryan Theil begins his ebook, “The Expert Guide to Pitching Your App Idea,” with a brief recap of his own journey, from a parent with an idea to the CEO of his own business for developing iPhone and iPad app ideas. His message for would-be entrepreneurs with their own app ideas is simple and straightforward: He was one of you, and he knows how to make it.
The iPhone app has been a sensation for so long now that calling it one is almost cliché. Tim Cook described the app ecosystem at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last year by calling it “an economy in itself.”
He was right. At the time, the App Store had more than 400 million accounts linked to credit cards, 650,000 apps, and had paid out $5.5 billion to developers. And in the months since, the number of apps that Apple accepted has jumped past one million, with more than 26,000 reaching the App Store in January 2013 alone.
Given all this, it’s no surprise that the iPhone app has become the symbol for the millennial entrepreneur, despite its quite brief history. Knowing how to develop iPhone apps that can make a splash in the market can position a developer to capitalize on one of the fastest-growing sectors of twenty-first century commerce.
But for all that promise, the app market is still a new and unpredictable one, and as likely to frustrate new entrepreneurs as it is to reward them. Even professional app developers remark on the sometimes inscrutable nature of Apple’s approval process, and getting an app on the market is no guarantee of success: Making a profit isn’t easy in an environment where more than half of the existing apps are free.
Of those million apps that Apple accepted, more than a quarter are no longer available despite the App Store’s young age. Building a successful app requires on knowledge of the programming language and hardware capabilities that make the iPhone, iPod and iPad work in the first place.
This is where Theil’s ebook aims to make a difference. It deals with the question of how to develop iPhone apps, and how to navigate the challenges of this new ecosystem, by making a simple proscription: If you’re a newcomer to the iPhone market, find an established player to develop your app for you.
It’s a fine idea. Plenty of developers have found ways around these problems. For every veteran software company who made an iOS port of their flagship software, there’s a new developer who used the iPhone’s unique features to make their name. Theil argues that any loss of creative control the entrepreneur might experience is easily offset by the expertise and, more importantly, the financial support that licensing the idea can bring.
All this is central enough to Theil’s thesis that he devotes an entire section to explaining the advantages of licensing. But the ebook goes well beyond that, laying out a roadmap for prospective developers from beginning to end, from coming up with an app idea to the final license agreement. It’s a how-to guide, but it’s also something more, with its prescriptions for how to develop iPhone apps tinged with retrospectives from someone who was in the reader’s position himself not too long ago.
Part Two of the book review comings soon!
Powered by Facebook Comments