“I wrote an iPhone app, and it didn’t make any money” is a growing literary genre, and I sympathize with the authors. I really do. Building any kind of non-trivial, commercial application takes an immense amount of work that combines coding, writing, interaction design, and graphic arts. To spend a thousand hours on a project that sells 103 copies at 99 cents apiece…well, it’s disheartening to say the least.
Dismissing that failure as losing the “app store lottery” (meaning that success or failure is out of your control) dodges important questions.
I’ve seen good and bad with the app stores and I have to agree with everything James has said here.