The ideal appstore

The theme at  Over the Air 2009 for WIP this year was Appstores, to accompany the launch of the Appstore inventory wiki.

Caroline opened the event with a keynote on titled “It’s raining appstores”, where she went through the characteristics of various appstores and discussed revenue making strategies in this increasingly complex world.

On the second day I organized a quick session ” Draw me your ideal appstore”

Despite the lack of sleep and thanks to the famous Kit-Kat/Snickers/Twix combination we ended up with a rather interesting ideal appstore!

Thanks to Rafe, Andrew, Chris and ??? for their great participation!

The Ideal appstore (click to zoom)

The Ideal appstore (click to zoom)

Of course it might look a idealist, abstract, gibberish if you come fresh at it. So here are a few directions of reflexions that we explored and on which we would most welcome your opinions:

  • Blackbox appstores are inefficient for developers: companies of 20 people now have to dedicated 1 person to do appstore certification and placement!
  • Monopoly in distribution is inefficient for  end users as recommendations’ lack trusted peer approval
  • Download only appstore limit developers’ ability to create a trusted brand and a relations directly with end-users
  • Absence of consumer usage and socio demographic data for developers leads them to produce cul-de-sac products
  • Monolithic approach to pricing and apps bundling limits the ability to be innovative in these fields

The good news is, appstore providers are listening and constantly improving their offerings ,so let them know your thoughts; online at : Appstore inventory wiki or at the Appstore discussion group at WIPJam  @ CTIA or ITU Telecom World.

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5 Responses to “The ideal appstore”

  1. 1 Antony

    Interesting post. It’s definitely the age of appstores so it’s good to see some people reflecting on best-practise.

    A few comments on your headlines:

    - I’m not so sure that the certification/placement effort is overly inefficient. I’m sure that you’d find a much higher % of effort being spent on distribution and channel management in most other retail industries. I key element here is that appstores are making a retail market for software and ISVs have to understand that.

    - I don’t see why monopoly of distribution harms recommendations. If anything it would seem to help that since all consumer data is in one place. The problems of monopoly are surely just removing free-market efficiencies such as pricing pressure, product/service quality pressure, approvals process, etc.

    - I think monolithic pricing is good for the majority of ISVs and a problem for big ISVs. Personally I think the key is to separate the two use-cases. A simple approach that any 1-man shop can easily take advantage of. A more tailored, but complex, approach for the bigger ISVs who have the people to engage with a more complex process.

  2. 2 thibaut

    Hi Antony,
    Thanks a lot for your comments.
    1) I would tend to agree that many markets have high barriers, but I think we should set the bar nearer to an Ebay or an Amazon, hence the comment
    2) The affiliate model of Amazon seems to have been a rather efficient ways of doing recommendations, similarly going to a trusted publisher store is a powerful recommendation scheme that is missing.
    3) I would say that the world of SEO and ebay has made a lot of 1 man shop (developreneurs) very aware of the power of price changes on a per regional / time basis, so surprisingly such an approach would probably have a much wider appeal than just the larger ISVs (especially if some of it is scriptable :D )

  3. 3 Martin

    Great initiative and output !
    Here is my contribution on my blog:


  4. 4 thibaut

    Thanks a lot! let us know if you get any good discussions going on the subject!
    We’re also after comments to be added directly at !

  1. 1 32 appstores on the WIP appstore wiki at the end of 2009! at WIP Jam Sessions - Connecting Developers

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