An interesting thread started on the Android Developers Google Group this week.
Kev started the conversation by questioning how other developers felt was the best method
to create a product that provides some revenue.
If we develop a handy utility or game or whatever to run on Android what is the intention for the business model for this:
Is the idea that it is all just a free-for-all?
Are we expected to make our own arrangements to sell the app from our sites or Handango or whatever?
Is there going to be some market place where users can pick and choose the apps?
Is there going to be some mechanism for promoting apps to users?
Are there going to be bus dev people for us developers who will help get apps built into Android devices as they are shipped?
How can we protect our apps from piracy?
If our app gets popular will Google buy us?
Any other guidance as to what to expect would be great.
What followed was some great discussion, with one of the best responses coming from 3Dwulf:
Excellent question, most people are probably hoping to get the development in so that Google
blesses their work with some prize money and recognition and/or a gig for the team.
Developing applications should have some type of business model in mind (say a subscription,
free application but pay-for-premium plug-ins, etc.).
Admittedly, some type of commerce functionality should be a by-product of what-ever application
that is developed. It is hard to be truly altruistic and create the absolute best application for this
platform and at the same time try to figure how to extract cash from the customers that will use it
in the first place.
The major players, Google, the Service Providers and the Media corporations have got their
ducks in a row and are in the best position in this race to win with the cash in their coffers. They are betting that the developers
(which they do not initially have to hire), will provide them with the next big cash cow, when it
does start gaining momentum after the application has been developed and gained the proof of
concept they are looking for, then, and only then, will the powers that be consider placing their
Any team of developers should consider this the new business model of the times after all why
take risks hiring developers to develop applications that have not been market tested, when all
the power players have to do is sit and wait for *all* the works to come to fruition and then put
the carrot on the stick for the asses to follow.
My advise is two-fold, build the application *with* a business plan in mind from the beginning
so when the Devil wants to negotiate one will have more leverage in the negotiating process.