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Hey buddy, can you spare 500,000 #apps

May 23, 2012

People occasionally ask me how many apps will be in the Mozilla Marketplace. My answer is  “a few thousand, at best” and sometimes they take that as a cue to tell me how other app stores have two, three or five hundred thousand apps.

“OK,” I usually say. “Name them.”

That seems to end the conversation.

The crazy arms race to stuff marketplaces with more and more apps isn’t helping to evolve the app economy, it is actually doing more to delay it.

It isn’t choice… it is noise.

Consumers don’t like it because it is harder for them to find the apps they want.

Developers don’t like it because their stuff gets drowned in the cacophony, even if they are a big name.

And to be honest, if you’re running an app store, having thousands and thousands of apps means additional capex and opex just to keep everything running and maintaining a solid user and dev experience. Also, with too many apps, your store loses character and becomes rather generic.

With the Mozilla Marketplace, we’re focusing on quality not quantity.  We’ll have a couple of hundred apps that you’ll immediately recognize (and yes, if you give me about an hour I’ll name them… well, most of them).

We’re also going to reach out into the awesome Mozilla community and tap into the energy and creativity there. I think that is an exciting part of the Mozilla Marketplace, who knows what you’ll find.

The goal is to balance providing the apps you know you need, while providing the opportunity to find something new.

Plus, I think we have a couple of interesting tricks up our sleeves around “content-as-app”… but more on that later.

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