Celebrating meritocracy: Happy 5th birthday to the Apple app store

By July 11, 2013 8 Comments

Apple’s app store is five years old today, and it is hard to overstate the impact that it has had on mobile and web services. Apps have replaced URLs as the dominant method for accessing many online services and its dominance is such that people have rushed to apply the app paradigm to other mobile OS’s and other industries.

You knew all that though.

What was new to me is the realisation that Apple’s app store is a boon for meritocracy. Pandodaily put it thus:

Meritocracy. All you have to do to succeed in the App Store is to make something great.

I love that. I wish all the world was more meritocratic. In my utopia all the rewards go to the people who most deserve them based on what they’ve done, not based on who they know or the money they’ve got.

Apple’s record in this regard is not spotless, and when I first read the Pando article I thought ‘meritocratic, really?’, but on reflection they are right. Relationships and marketing muscle still play a part in app store success (witness EA’s dominance of the games charts at Xmas) but startups regularly achieve amazing results and the playing field is now more level than it has been in the past.