How to participate in the $25 billion app economy

One developer's mini success story: Multiply by 3 million, and you have a thriving economic model for service development.

As we move deeper into a service-oriented economy, the "app economy" will take on greater meaning, as entrepreneurs and mega-corporations alike spin app development into profitable business lines.

Trevor McKendrick (no relation that I'm aware of, honest!) just posted an interesting account of his year in the app business. Trevor built and launched a Spanish Bible mobile app for the iPhone in April 2012, and has so far netted more than $73,000 — after Apple's cut. The total development cost was $500.

The first version of the app was fairly basic, but, as demand grew, he was able to release a more polished update. He also released an audio version as a follow-on.

The takeaway here is that many online services — including those consumed by enterprises — are being independently produced by developers, and being made available in an open market type of environment. ABI Research estimates that the app economy will hit $25 billion this year. Call them "micro-ISVs" — representing a new attitude and opportunity, reshaping the way applications and services are being brought out to the world.