Why selling your app outright may be your best option to make money in mobile – with Apptopia founder Jonathan Kay

What is your app worth?

This is a loaded question and, depending on who you ask, you will get different answers. To the developer, the app is worth the combined value of the effort that went into the development. To someone looking at purchasing it from an app store it is the value of impact or joy they will receive from time spent. To a company looking to purchase ownership it is the value of the internal time required to develop it over the impact of diverting resources to build it.

Sometimes the challenge is seeing the end game for apps in general. What started out as a cottage or basement industry has grown up to become one of the most fiercely competitive and whim-based business environments we’ve ever seen. The amount of effort and cost that now needs to go into building a globally competitive app is steadily rising while the rules of monetization are changing rapidly as the traditional model races to zero.

There comes a point when a developer must look at the lifetime value of their app and balance it against an opportunity to sell the rights and walk away. For example, RIM is offering a guarantee on their new platform that each developer will generate $10,000 in revenue in 12 months or they will write a cheque for the difference. If you could accelerate that by selling the app today to collect on that revenue immediately, would you?

Building apps and turning them into revenue is without a doubt a challenge. However, as the mobile industry and ecosystems evolve we are starting to see many alternative opportunities to make the money that is needed to build sustainable, growing companies. Add the idea of finding niches, building apps and selling them before they see the light of day to that monetization list.

In this second segment (of 3 – see part 1 here) with Jonathan, the conversation shifts to the business of apps and how Apptopia helps bring revenue to the developers faster. We discuss why developers should be looking at selling their apps once they’ve gained traction and when the appropriate time is to sell plus we dive into the 3 buyer profiles that are most active on the site.


About Jonathan Kay
Jonathan Kay Apptopia Jonathan leads the daily operations and strategic direction at Apptopia. He is the point person for anyone trying to sell their app, buy an app, or become a revitalization partner. Jonathan is extremely passionate about branding and story telling. As someone who believes deeply in the importance of customer engagement, he is constantly striving to find scalable intimacy.

Jonathan originally made a name for himself in the startup community as the Ambassador of Buzz at Grasshopper, a company that provides Virtual Phone Systems for entrepreneurs.

He created their “Buzz Department” from the ground up and was responsible for over 600 press mentions and a handful of big partnerships over his 3 years there. Jonathan is also the author behind Learn2Buzz, and a co-founder of the Barcamp Tour. More than anything, Jonathan loves meeting new entrepreneurs and helping them create what they are passionate about. When he isn’t helping people broker their mobile apps, he is watching sports with friends (Celtics, NY Giants, & Red Sox).

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About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of UNTETHER.tv and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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