From September 2019 to February 2020, ACT| The App Association embarked on a 12-city tour of the United States, visiting cities with thriving app ecosystems and robust tech communities. The series of events, called Developed | The App Economy Tour, brought entrepreneurs, business leaders, industry experts, and local, state, and federal officials together for discussions on next-generation apps, game-changing mobile solutions, and innovations driving the app ecosystem. These events provided an opportunity for developers and entrepreneurs to get more insight into how to build a brand, what rules and regulations they must be mindful of, how to get into app stores quickly and efficiently, and how to figure out what comes next in terms of funding streams and business opportunities.
In Their Words
Smartphones are the single most rapidly adopted technology in human history, outpacing innovations like the printing press and the steam engine. In just 10 years, and with the marriage of mobile and cloud, apps changed the phones, devices, and “things” we use every day. The app economy is more than the apps on a phone. It includes the full range of infrastructure—such as connected and internet of things (IoT) devices, and economic activity like digital transactions— that makes these apps work.
The app economy provides tremendous business potential for small, independent companies. The entry of platforms created novel opportunities for consumers and developers. Today, platforms provide companies in the app economy with lowered overhead costs, greater consumer access, simplified market entry, and strengthened intellectual property protections. But while platforms provide some of the infrastructure, developers and companies bring smart devices to life. Without apps, a smartphone is just a phone, after all.
Over the last year, Congress and regulatory agencies raised concerns about competition in the digital market and the relationships that tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Facebook, have with small to medium size businesses on their platforms. This recent scrutiny puts a spotlight on the app development community in particular, and their relationship with app stores like Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play store. Below, speakers from Developed | The App Economy Tour stops across the country share their experiences building a company and insight into how they view the relationship between small innovative companies and platforms.
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