The End of Mobile Gold rush is a Good Thing for Developers

January 13, 2017 - 2 minutes read

A new report from analytics group Flurry broke yesterday, suggesting that the “mobile gold rush” may be coming to a close. Thanks to a second analysis from TechCrunch, iPhone app developers have quickly built a discussion around the data, which shows that while mobile growth is still strong, some categories are growing at the expense of others.

While this data may sound discouraging for some entrepreneurs and techies, it’s actually a sign of positive changes in the app market overall, which marked a historic “birthday” last week with the iPhone launch ten-year anniversary.

First off, the “gold rush” analogy has been a poor one all along, creating a false expectation that mobile tech is filled with cheap wealth and easy wins. This has never been true — if anything, it’s actually easier for entrepreneurs to build successful apps now than it was five or ten years ago, since the process for doing so successfully has been so much more clearly established.

Thanks to open-source learning from developers and incubators, there’s no shortage of roadmaps from idea to business. These resources come at the expense of app developers from years gone by, who launched into the app store with, essentially, no idea how to win. Most San Diego app developers launching in the early years failed, and many of those who did didn’t have to. They simply didn’t have the knowledge and resources made possible by all those years of trial and error.

Second, if the app market was a “gold rush,” then things are about to get a lot better for a lot more entrepreneurs. Which would you rather do: pan for gold in a stream with a one in a million chance of striking it rich, or build an honest, fulfilling mobile business that stands a one in 100 chance of making it? For most of us, the odds and payout of option two is much more attractive — and that’s the situation we’re in now, as developers.

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