Sinofsky Leaves Microsoft

Well, that came as a surprise. Not so much the fact that Steven Sinofsky unceremoniously leaves the company where he was considered crown prince – he had made plenty of enemies with his personality and leadership style, and Microsoft sources claim that his divisive attitude was indeed the sole reason for his leaving. But one … Continue reading “Sinofsky Leaves Microsoft”

Kickstarting Obsidian

If you ever played computer role-playing games, you’ve hopefully heard about Obsidian’s massively successful Project Eternity on Kickstarter. The goal of $1.1 million was reached within a single day, and has been doubled by now. That’s great news for anyone who enjoyed previous games by the team or its members, from the classic Planescape: Torment … Continue reading “Kickstarting Obsidian”

App Store Commoditization

Making money in a crowded App Store: it’s dog eat dog and Spy vs Spy by Richard Gaywood laments what everyone knows: Apps and especially games on Apple’s iTunes generally cannot cost more than 99 cents. Price them higher, and customers will just wait for the inevitable price drop they have been trained to expect. … Continue reading “App Store Commoditization”

Reviews for Sale

Self-published writers proliferate, thanks to the Internet, but they face one big problem: How do you attract readers’ interest without a big publisher’s name recognition and marketing budget? David Streitfeld’s The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy examines the simplest though least ethical solution. Nobody expects online reviews to be a fountain of truth, but … Continue reading “Reviews for Sale”

Content Creation Without Publishers

For the longest time, spreading writing and music was a slow and expensive process. Writing had to be duplicated by clerks; music and other performance art had to be transmitted in person or in writing. Authors required generous patronage or considerable fame to enjoy widespread reproduction of their works, and usually derived no income from … Continue reading “Content Creation Without Publishers”

The Decline of the Open Platform

Tim Anderson’s Mac App Store, Windows Store, and the decline of the open platform reports two complaints: Gabe Newell’s (Valve) about the upcoming Windows 8 app store, and Sherman Dickman’s (Postbox) about the existing Mac OS X app store. Newell hates losing his Steam business; Dickman hates conforming to app store restrictions. What a coincidence! … Continue reading “The Decline of the Open Platform”

Social Networks and Google+

Social networks are coming under scrutiny since Facebook’s take-the-money-and-run IPO. Michael Wolff observed that Facebook is doomed to push advertising at ever lower rates, using ever more annoying methods, to ever more reluctant users. LinkedIn severed its relationship with Twitter following the latter’s ominous threats to third-party clients, likely intended to preserve Twitter’s ability to … Continue reading “Social Networks and Google+”

Selling Apps on iOS

Two recent articles report very similar experiences regarding sales of two moderately successful iOS apps. Neither app was prominently featured by Apple, and both authors report that advertising and viral marketing had very little effect. In both cases, major review sites acted as gatekeepers and determined whatever success the apps had. Drew Olbrich’s educational app … Continue reading “Selling Apps on iOS”