Why Being An iOS Developer Makes Me Feel Like Lance Armstrong

Is it because working at the cutting edge of a fast-changing new technology is a non-stop thrill ride? Like the nail-biting descent off the Col De Tourmalet, you never know quite what’s round the next corner. Just grit your teeth, hang on, and try and enjoy the ride?

Er, nope.

Then is it because you have to commit and be in there for the long haul? Plan ahead, cope with the many ups and downs, don’t let the smaller setbacks knock you off your game. Stay focussed and know that if you’ve put the groundwork in and prepared well and can hang in there your determination and persistence will win out?

Wrong again.

It’s because Lance Armstrong was a cheat.

And the excuse that he gave for cheating was pretty much that everyone else was cheating. Taking performance-enhancing drugs, though he knew it was wrong, was simply his way of being able to compete on a level playing-field – a necessary evil. The system was flawed and he was just trying to make the best of it.

Apple’s iOS AppStore is similarly flawed. It’s pretty much impossible for a small, independent developer with no marketing budget to speak of to cut through the noise – whatever the quality of their work. And as so many are resorting to the ‘performance enhancing drugs’ of app title/keyword manipulation, fake reviews, bought reviews/downloads and the like, it puts a huge amount of pressure on others to do the same just to level the playing field. The result is a dysfunctional, ugly mess that works neither for the developer nor the consumer. One huge, cancerous, cannibalistic peleton with ‘Flappy Bird’ and a few others at the head and everyone else desperately scrapping amongst themselves to get in their slipstream. Eventually it’ll disappear up its own arse like those cartoons of a snake eating its own tail.

So far I’ve drawn the line at buying reviews or downloads – when things sink to that level you may as well be spamming Viagra for a living. I have changed the title of ‘Floppy Frog‘ though. It’s now ‘Toss The Floppy Frog And Bounce Around The Spikey Lilly Pads‘. Ridiculous, I know. And I may have a ‘Flappy Bird‘ clone launching soon (just because I had it hanging around of course). If I was a pro athlete they’d probably have banned me already.

Give us a break, Apple. The drugs don’t work.

Lance Armstrong – The Bastards Must Have Spiked My Champagne!

Floppy Frog – Now Officially A Tosser

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