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Appillionaires: Secrets from Developers Who Struck It Rich on the App Store 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1119978640
ISBN-10: 1119978645
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Stevens writes in lean, punchy prose, combining anecdote with the specifics of each developer s story to success, making this a readable take on a modern phenomenon. (Computer Arts, July 2012)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1119978645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1119978640
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,280,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eric Lawrence on November 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading a short web teaser for Appillionaires, I was excited to order the full book.

Unfortunately, the unabridged version was a bit of a letdown, a short 196 pages of content, with wide margins and lots of screenshots. The bigger problem was repetition, with the key points of the book amounting to a few pages at best. In fact, if you read the author's summary bullet points at the end of each chapter, you need not bother with the rest of the book.

The text lacked any meaningful analysis of the market and exploration of how, specifically, the AppStore resembles a "gold rush," a theme repeated throughout the book. The interviews with successful app authors were somewhat entertaining, but limited in scope. While repeatedly asserting that Venture Capitalists and existing game companies are all "vampires" with a "proboscis", and making broad claims (e.g. none of these games could have ever come from an existing studio) Stevens fails to do any meaningful investigation of what value those studios might provide-- ignoring the opportunity to flesh out the "gold rush" metaphor.

The number of distracting typos was on par with what you might see on a blog post lacking a copy editor.

Despite not living up to its full potential, the book was basically an entertaining read. While a reader working in this space (e.g. a developer) won't likely find much of interest, the book is written for a broader audience and doesn't require any technical knowledge at all to understand.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book covered the stories behind a number of unexpected successes in the App Store, highlighting the often overlooked obstacles the developers overcame in bringing their application to the market.

The research behind the book was solid and the book itself is well written. I was surprised and pleased to find the author highlight on some of the most critical issues facing indie developers that most people on the outside never see. The Lodsys legal threat to every small developer out there, or the Com2uS legal letters received by countless individual developers, are two of the many examples of frivolous yet potentially disastrous actions that have the potential to destroy the fantastic market the AppStore created.

Reading this book may be a bit of a disappointment because you expect to hear 1) man make game in a week 2) man make millions 3) man appear on oprah, buy a ferrari, wear diamond-crusted vest. Yet what you get is the true story behind people who live full lives and still found the time to push through the obstacles to bring a successful app to the market, and sometimes continue living their lives exactly as before. All of these developers featured in this book would appear on the outside to be lottery winners, yet none of them entered the AppStore with the mindset that they were playing the lottery hoping to make millions to show off to the world. They created the products they did because they knew they could create something great, and the level of success they reached was just a surprise to them as to anybody else.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What I think is enlightening about this book, is that not only does it tell about the success of companies like Rovio but also their failures, and how being an appilionare is not as easy as it might seem. In this book, it tells you the FULL story of the companies that made overnight hits and legends like AngryBirds and DoodleJump, and it shocked me to know that Rovio was a failing company with over 50 failed apps under their belt before they made AngryBirds. Now, if you are thinking of making apps in the hope of becoming an appilionare, I would strongly urge you to read this book, because not only does it tell you how hard it actually is to become an appilionare, but it gives you many good tips on how to make an app better and more addictive. It tells you about consumer psychology and buying habits. Like for instance, if you were to price your app at 99 cents, you would get flooded with bad reviews, whereas if you priced it at $1.99 you would get quality, and honest reveiws because most of the people that buy 99 cent apps are expecting a lot out of that 99 cents and will write a bad reveiw if it is nothing short of a smash hit, whereas most of the people who buy $1.99 understand that this is only going to proveide a few hours of fun and write better reveiws. Anyways this is merely one example of what this book will provede you with, This book has been very enlightening and educational to myself & my sons who are interested in creating apps, it's well worth the money.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is not about how to create a good app or choose an appropriate marketing strategy. It's all about economics and risks of an indie studio. Especially game studio. The most interesting part of the book is probably chapters 11 and 12. Other chapters add very little to them (there is a good resume after each chapter so you may decide if it's interesting to read). So what are the main ideas (just a few examples)?

1) App store was created partly thanks to indies (and still driven by them - but see #3). You can read that third parties could not add software (no apps at this time) when iPhone was launched. But indies did 'jail break'. There were also no official tools for apps development and first apps were developed by enthusiasm of indies even before apps store was open.

2) The main problem of the market is $.99 price. The author describes his hypothesis for its establishment but the main problem - this is just the fact. Especially when we are talking about games. So an average revenue of an app is about $700 per year. Average costs (if you outsource its production) -$20-$50K. In fact situation is even worse - 99% apps give you nothing. This is the second main problem - the huge gap in popularity. The point? It is very risky business - and classic illustration is the story about a guy with a good idea. You can find it in the book.

3) Apple is the biggest company in the world and it created the biggest retail outlet (changed the world again). You can sell to the whole world. So what about majors? They can not create apps and buy some successful studios. They call them their 'indie wing'. Is it a workable model? Still a question.

The book was written 2 years ago when android market was very small. But probably the main idea is still true - android users less eager to pay for apps.
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