I was kind of staying away from the Brent Simmons Love post. But let's do a quote, and add two comments.

Yes, there are strategies for making a living, and nobody’s entitled to anything. But it’s also true that the economics of a thing may be generally favorable or generally unfavorable — and the iOS App Store is, to understate the case, generally unfavorable. Indies don’t have a fighting chance.
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You the indie developer could become the next Flexibits. Could. But almost certainly not. Okay — not.

1. Bugs me that a guy who's actually allowed to make mad cash on apps, due, in part, to what folks were controversially calling The Marco Effect for a while (that is, you're so connected to Mac media and the free* advertising it provides that you really can't help but be more successful than Ground Zero Joe) is raining on the parade so fiercely. I know he tries to pull a Pandora and ends up with hope, but Simmon's post is shamefully pessimistic.

Show me the field where independents are so much more successful with so much less absolute failure, and I'll accept your pessimism. I bet software dev is about as successful as restauranteurs, if you factor in the barriers to entry. (That is, you have to save $100k before you can fail at a restaurant. You just need a laptop to fail at programming. So there are many more doers than absolute dreamers in development...)

2. Simmons did a much better job properly framing the same sentiment when he compared indies to the village toymaker. You don't have to build Vesper (and, on some level, I don't think he believes so either) to be a toymaker.



* Let me make clear that "free advertising" isn't quite the right word. These two guys, Arment and Simmons, have built up huge following, and that's their work paying off. You don't begrudge LeBron for selling shoes. It'd be idiotic to feel leveraging an asset -- popularity -- was underhanded or unfair. Vesper and Overcast are good apps. It's tough to know that there are similarly good apps out there that most of us will never hear about, and that if you build a good app without building Mac clique cred that you won't have the same success they have, but it's not wrong for them to take advantage of their face time.

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