John Casasanta has written up a pretty damning condemnation of the
vulture venture capitalists (VCs) hovering around the iPhone's App Store lately. While many developers are smelling a lot of potential in the iPhone and its SDK, VCs are smelling lots of money, and unfortunately, as was apparently the case between Mike Lee and Tapulous recently, sometimes those smells lead the two in different directions.
It's not that there isn't money to be made in the App Store -- there are some great programs coming out of there, and those programs are certainly worth paying for (even if a lot of them are offered for free anyway). But Casasanta describes a situation where venture capitalists are willing to pay out in spades even for shovelware, and in that kind of environment, no one profits. Not the VCs and developers who lose their money because no one wants their crappy programs, not the consumers who have to sort through a flood of terrible apps, and not the platform -- the Mac, as Casasanta says, is thriving because of the quality of the software, and the iPhone (though it will likely always be a popular phone) will thrive as a platform for the same reasons.
Casasanta's solution is for the developers to do things on their own, and that's a possibility everyone has to consider for themselves. Even well-funded developers can create valuable pieces of software. Whether you receive funding from a VC or from your own bank account, the focus while developing should always be on quality. And any developer pushing out 100 apps by the end of the year (as Casasanta's VC asked) lacks that focus.