Daniel Jalkut, in response to Rene Ritchie’s recent piece in which he likened indie app development to wooden toys:
I remember when my kids were younger, marveling at the powerhouse of wooden infant toys, Melissa & Doug. If you have a baby and are part of a socioeconomic culture that can sustain it, you have seen these toys. They are everywhere. And they are far from cheap. […]
Make software that is inspired by wooden toys. Although the market is dominated by cheap plastic, there is real money for thoughtful, careful developers in the market that favors charming, slightly overpriced throwbacks to another era. Make wooden toys.
I believe there will always be a sustainable market for these types of applications. I know I’ll continue to buy them and I’m almost certain my small circle of friends will as well. I wish we could convince more of the general public to spend a fair amount of money on good applications, but I’m afraid those days are behind us.
But rather than give up on the indie app racket altogether, I think it’s time developers start charging sane prices for their applications. Follow in the footsteps of Tapbots and The Soulmen who charge $10 and $20 for their flagship apps. The market exists, you just have to start pricing your wares so that you can build a sustainable business from it.