Dereck Thompson on the App Economy superstars

At Atlantic Business, some good stats on the “App Superstars“:

Here's a big (and basically defensible) statement: The App Economy is today's most successful broad-scale innovation revolution. The iPhone, which didn't exist in early 2007, unleashed an international competition to fill our phone screens with square baubles that used the phone's Internet connection, location-based technology, camera, and design intelligence to creates application that far exceeded even Steve Jobs' wildest dreams. As a result, our smart phones today are better little computers than practically any of the computers that existed just five years ago.

The App Economy isn't merely delightful, it's also an economic juggernaut that's created more than 400,000 jobs and a multi-billion-dollar business where there was very recently nothing. That's the good news. The bad news is that in the App Economy, as in every hit-making business, there is the top 1% and there is everybody else. For a taste of the App Economy's inequality: Of the $6.5 billion that Apple has paid to app developers, only 25% made more than $30,000 and 4% made more than $1 million.

It's the Economics of Superstars law, applied to apps: In a crowded international field, small differences in talent can translate to huge differences in outcomes.