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Stupid Apps That Make Money: Overview


Our friend Forrest Gump once said “Stupid is as stupid does” (or maybe it was his mama who said it?).  I honestly am not sure exactly what that means, but I can tell you what I think stupid does – make money.  Mobile apps that are seemingly completely pointless are making money hand over fist.  But WHY?  More importantly, why not?

Launched in July 2008, the Apple store has had over a 14 billion app downloads.  Today, there are currently 450,000 different apps in the store.  They are across many different categories, like reference, music, entertainment, games and more.  Apps can be quite useful.  Say you have a hot date and you need a restaurant that is close by and in a certain price range?  There’s an app for that.  Want to monitor your jogging schedule?  There’s an app for that.  What if you want to make a random fart noise?  There is an app for that as well.  That’s where the stupid comes in.

What makes an app stupid?  Is it that it’s not useful?  Does it not teach you something?  Does it not make your life easier in some capacity?  All these things can be marks against an app’s integrity.  Most squares will tell you that they aren’t willing to pay $1.99 for an app unless they are getting something useful out of it.  But SOMEBODY out there is buying these “stupid” apps.  Let’s examine our friend, iFart.  Literally, you tap a button and your phone farts at you.  That’s it.  At one point, this app made $10,000 a day.  For fart noises.  Coming out of your $400 pocket computer internet phone.  That’s a license to print money, I think.

With that kind of money being generated for such a simple idea, it’s hard for us to still call these apps “stupid.”  In fact, the companies making these apps are being smarter than their counterparts.  Why go through all the effort of making a complicated stock market tracker gizmo when a fart button will make you tons more money?  While the apps that actually DO something serve a purpose, sometimes people just want to hear a fart noise, turn their phone into a lightsaber or make a picture of themselves look really fat.

Personally, I like stupid apps.  What’s the point of having such an expensive phone (and an equally expensive service bill) if you can’t have a little fun with it?  Sure, I would love it if I had an app that made my schedule for me and all these other things, but I also want some mindless entertainment with it.  Apps are all about making things convenient, but having a laugh needs to be just as easy.

And now this.

Ps…Geico totally made all those apps.


1 Comment

  1. Chuck Killorin June 23, 2011 Reply

    Great article Eric. I agree that the brilliance of these apps is actually in their “Stupidity.”

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