I won’t pretend to know everything about creating a platform. I’m a passive observer, not an active participant in this fascinating game. Pretty much, the rule is that I act like I know something about something that I very clearly have absolutely no idea about.
Creating an application is pretty much creating a platform. People don’t buy code, or at least, code isn’t worth anything because the chances are that your code is trivial. It took labor to get working. Trial and error and design comprise the capital, but the vast majority of the work is directly proportional to the complexity.
So if the currency in the application market isn’t code, what is actually being sold? Users. Users are what bring value to a platform, and what brings users to the platform? The code.
So you might guess that by the transitive property of users, code thusly translates directly into users. But that’s clearly not the case. Users become aware of applications by distribution channels – word of mouth over meatspace, social networking, email, phone, texting or mass media through newspapers, blogs, feed aggregators, etc.
One of the most powerful, or at least, non-regular adoption curves come from media.
But once you have a solid user base, what you want isn’t merely what you have, but what the community has to offer. Success is an optimization problem: try to get satisfacy