As the number of apps in the App Store rapidly approaches 100,000, the fact that growth is still accelerating is pretty staggering. It’s not hard to see why when app development houses are pumping out dozens of apps in short order. But at that volume, most of those apps aren’t going to be very good. Big in Japan, a respected mobile app development house, has a plan to up the ante in terms of both quality and output.
The company has set a goal to release 100 apps before the end of 2010 for the iPhone. How are they going to do this? By pulling together a bunch of developers from around the U.S. to make an app development power house. Currently, the team has assembled 25 developers and 25 user interface guys to work towards the goal. The team members mix and match, pairing up to do one app at a time. When they complete that one, it’s on to the next one, with a new set of partners.
The concept is actually much more straightforward than pulling new app ideas out of the blue and making them. The reason Big in Japan decided to do this was because they were being approached by so many brands and companies to help them build iPhone apps, that there was no way Big in Japan could keep up with the demand the way the team was previously structured. So now, when a new app request comes in, Big in Japan looks it over, decides if they think its a good fit for their large team to do, and then pass it along to the app developers.
And it’s a good deal for the developers because they are all working together towards a common goal: Money. The way the model works is that this pool of developers collectively own half of the company (which is a sub-division of Big in Japan). As such, they get half of the revenue from the company to split up between them. So the better each of them do, the better they all do. And it’s based on a country club model, Big in Japan co-founder Alexander Muse tells us. Basically, these developers buy their seat, but if they decide they want to move on, they can sell it to someone else.
Muse expects that 25 apps will be launched this quarter from the project. And he hopes to continue that pace through the end of 2010. Realistically, he admit that maybe only 80 or so apps will actually be available when all is said and done in the App Store. He, like everyone else, realizes that it can be tricky to get apps approved at times by Apple, and he suspects that some developers will get fed up and simply stop working on those apps. Still, 80 apps in a year from one house would be very impressive.
Big in Japan made a name for itself with its ShopSavvy application, which won the Android Developer Challenge last year. ShopSavvy still has yet to launch for the iPhone, but Muse recently wrote that it will be launching very soon.