The 10 Million App challenge

Over the past year I’ve been watching the application development world explode. Apple & Google have fostered this amazing ecosystem where money between users and developers is flowing like water. Every week Hacker News seems to have one article or another detailing the overnight success that people have selling their apps. Reading these stories has been both exhilarating and somewhat debilitating for me. While I fantasize about my own million dollar ideas, I know from experience that most apps simply fall flat.

10 Million Apps is a challenge to bridge that mental gap and provide focus for me to work against. The goal is to have 10 million app downloads within the next 10 years, with some revenue generating capability, over any platforms available. As a sole developer it might end up being easy or it might be really hard, I have no idea but I think it’s worth trying. I’ll try to share my experiences on this blog and detail my progress toward completing the goal, and hopefully devs are able to learn from my experiences the way I’ve been able to learn from others. Or better yet, take on the challenge themselves, so I can have a couple partners in crime.

For now the plan is to try and release a new app every 2 months during 2011. With a solid year of work I’d expect to have a better perspective on how to chase the long term goal. While it’s tempting to shortcut the process and try to compete in the race to the bottom, I really don’t think I would find much satisfaction from it. So for now I’d like to just build the types of apps that I would use myself.

As a side note, I have no intention of leaving my normal job at EffectiveUI. While most people would advise a fresh start, the truth is this is one of the best environments I’ve ever worked in and I genuinely believe my ideas would suffer without the constant buzz of this office. Not everyone likes working for clients on a daily basis, but it’s taught me how to read the tea leaves in this industry.

If you’re interested in the apps I’ve released so far, you can check out LOL Studio and Space Gremlin.

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