Are we in the Wild Wild West of iPhone App Marketing?

I don’t remember where, or when; but I heard someone recently say “we are in the wild west of iPhone Apps”. Is this really true?

Yesterday, I attended the local iPhone Developer meetup (maybe that is where I heard it). The topic was iPhone App Marketing and featured some great presentations on where to go to spread the word, and what to say. It all goes back to one principle: Start with a great App, then communicate it well.

There is this feeling though, not just locally, that the app store is in the wild west and people are taking advantage of that to be the next big thing. Well, of course they are. I think the build a business overnight success of the App Store is even more few and far between than we like to think (or hope), but there are still a lot of devices out there.

You might not make it to the scale some have, but you can still succeed. In our area, there are dozens or hundreds, I can only think of one who made the big jump in leaving a day job. So, are we in the Wild Wild West? I don’t believe so.

(Disclaimer: I’m a coder, not a marketer, not a salesman, not even a businessman.)

Sure, there are people squatting on app names, pushing out so many junk iPhone apps they are banned from the store, and several other crazy stories. In those areas, sure, wildness can roam. But how is this different from other industry?

An example: My other passion is filmmaking. What are the chances that I make a movie that will be the next Paranormal Activity? About the same as writing the next iShoot. Is this really a problem with the app store or is it sheer numbers. People pump out movies at an unbelievable rate just to make small audiences.

Thanks to YouTube, everyone is a filmmaker. Thanks to the iPhone, everyone is an app developer. In other words, every industry has trash.

I don’t believe that taking advantage of what Apple provides is bad. You do what you can to make your product sell. If you find your niche, you have to work it or it won’t be with you long. That is not the Wild West, that is business. I wish for people to stop buying fart apps, but their existence is not a reflection of the app store. It is a reflection of society.

For what it’s worth, I really like how Tantrum Apps has found a niche and has worked on it. This really goes well with a presentation from David Heinemeier on making money online (by not trying to be the next Twitter); find your niche and work it.