Success And the App Store

by techsnarkblog

The App Store Problem Is Not Price is a fantastic post by Elia Insider. The footnote, however, caught interest of Marco Arment:

[1] Listening to Marco Arment talk about this problem is frustrating. The guy has an incredible personal brand, like Loren Brichter, and the things he touch get instant echo in the iOS chamber. Would The Magazine had been such a success if I had built it? No way. His personal echo chamber made that happen. (Note that I am not complaining in the least about his ability to do this. If anything I’m a little jealous.) 

Not only do I agree with Elia, I appreciate the way he phrased it. The Magazine wouldn’t have been a success if not for Marco Arment. It’s a unique step forward for the Magazine App Store that sparked copy-cats. 

Marco’s response is classy. In it he notes that his newest app hasn’t been selling that well, and that this somehow invalidates Elia’s point. I doubt it. Oddly enough, even though I follow Marco’s blog, I didn’t even notice he had a new app out. Perhaps I read the post, and didn’t fully appreciate its background.

Regardless, Bugshot is not an overly interested app. The fact that Marco got as many sales as he did on a simple, not-too attractive, app with a tiny audience is probably proof enough that Marco’s name has pull.

To put differently, Bugshot would get the average person about zero dollars in sales. The fact that Marco has over $3,500 in sales is fairly amazing. No, Marco, your audience won’t absolutely blindly buy a small app they won’t need, but they will certainly build you a ton of momentum on good ideas. Bugshot just wasn’t one of those good ideas. 

And The Magazine would have died had the average person tried to launch in. As Elia says, it’s nothing against Marco Arment. He built a fantastic and loyal following, and he should use his popularity to bring forward new and exciting ideas. However, Marco’s well deserved self-made brand is indeed the reason The Magazine succeeded. 

The irony is, this post all comes via Marco Arment.