The App Economy – It’s Harder Than You Think!

Today as I was driving to a meeting up in the New York City area, there was a great piece on WNYC about the opportunities of the app economy. Given all the buzz about the mobile revolution, the abundance of apps on all the app stores, and the lack of mobile app skills, the two lead reporters for the New Tech City project on WNYC set out to see how easily they could learn to build a mobile app.

You may recall that last week I blogged about the newest results of the Tech Trends survey, which pointed out that:

  • Only 9% of all companies think they have all the Mobile skills they need
  • 25% of IT/LOB decision makers report a major Mobile skills gaps, with an additional 40% percent seeing moderate skills gaps
  • 77% of students and educators see major and/or moderate skills gaps

Given all the anecdotes about people developing their own apps in just days or hours, the imminent skills shortage that means there are jobs available and the prospect of striking it rich by developing a killer app – Tracey Samuelson and Stan Alcorn set out on the quest to develop mobile programming skills from scratch and then develop their own app.

As you might imagine (spoiler alert!) – it was a lot harder than they expected.  It’s a very well done piece of journalistic reporting – entitled “Learning How To Make A Smartphone App” so please be sure to check it out. This is the type of experiential reporting that is always valuable to break down some of the common myths that exist with new technology trends.  And it’s another example of strong journalism from public radio that is so refreshing compared to the non-stop blather of most talk radio these days!

So – while the app economy does present big opportunities – it requires the right skills to be successful. Which skills? Skills in mobile programming, skills in data integration, skills in user design and skills in business process redesign to take advantage of the mobile opportunity for companies large and small.


One thought on “The App Economy – It’s Harder Than You Think!

  1. Atlantica Centre (@AtlanticaCTR)

    What I liked most about your post was close to the end…you asked ‘What Skills’? Great mobile app development, similar to great web development requires several skill sets not normally found in a single individual. I’ve been lucky enough to know a skilled designer that went on to learn programming…it was amazing to watch what he could produce.

    The coder part seems to be where the demand is now though…which is a great opportunity for current programmers or new ones looking to start a new career.

    Thanks for sharing.


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