Papermill Post-Mortem

Ryan Bateman shares his experience (including financial data) in creating Papermill, a premium Instapaper client for Android. Given the amount of media coverage his app received, the sales numbers are chilling. He reaches a daring conclusion:

I think this unhappy end-scenario – of applications that either compromise on quality or have not had the necessary time invested in their design – is as a result of Android users not being willing to pay for an apps whose focus is quality and whose price reflects this. Instead, these users opt for a free but less refined experience. This has led to a race to the bottom, with independent developers creating applications are de-facto free instead and relying on ads for profit. The quality of the design and user-experience are subsequently not a factor in their creation, as there is both no great impetus to provide it nor any expectation from the user that it will be forthcoming.