Fart Apps Prove, Once Again, That The Market Is The Best Decider Of Value

from the economics-101 dept

Over the couple months of existence, Apple’s iPhone App Store has received a considerable amount of attention. The successful phone has created an exciting new platform for developers seeking to leverage the advantages of mobile devices. The only problem was, Apple has insisted upon managing the applications in the store – oftentimes without clear guidelines or enforced through NDA.

Apple was in the practice of individually deciding which applications to allow and which to ban, regardless of customer demand. The most curious and paternalistic of Apple’s App Store policies was the ban on applications of “limited utility.” As a result, developers weren’t sure if their hard work would be deemed useful enough to warrant acceptance into the store. Yet, like so many centrally planned economies in the past, this policy failed and Apple began letting in silly applications. However, what may be silly to Apple’s gatekeepers may actually prove to be valuable to consumers. Such is the case with a suite of applications that simply produce fart sounds. Dozen exist, and one developer of a fart application is reportedly making nearly $10,000 per day with his crass software. That is the beauty of free markets – consumers and producers can better decide what is valuable than any individual person or firm. The distributed intelligence and preferences are far more capable than Apple’s gatekeepers.

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Comments on “Fart Apps Prove, Once Again, That The Market Is The Best Decider Of Value”

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22 Comments
Tony (user link) says:

Its Fun

Sometimes you’re allowed to have fun in life. Sometimes things are a certain way JUST BECAUSE. Things like this are called novelties, people enjoy them because its something neat, different, and usually funny. It doesn’t last forever, its just something to get a smile out of yourself and others. People just need a laugh and a smile every once and a while. You should try it.

gene_cavanaugh (user link) says:

Apple's Gatekeepers

I find myself in the surprising position of agreeing with Michael on almost everything; but I will add something to this. Recently, Apple seems to be striving for control so much that their applications (even .pdf and .doc, of all things!) don’t always “play” with other systems. A friend of mine bought an Apple about a month ago; first, her .zip files were unreadable on either my linux box or on Windows, then her .pdf files printed poorly, then a .doc she sent me was unreadable.
Since, as an IP attorney, communication is “where it is”, I have told her to simply put materials in email bodies or snail mail; not a good thing for Apple.

Mark Regan says:

Ahh, America!

The land of opportunity and innovation. Where a hardworking programmer can get filthy rich from a day’s work developing a “fart” program, and a hardworking father can’t earn enough money working on an assembly line to pay for food for his kids.

The problem is MORE than Apple. It has something to do with our redefining of the term “work ethic” and what rich people spend their money on.

We poorer Americans are too concerned with survival and trying to educate our kids to worry about Apple’s policies of stifling or rewarding innovators dealing in fart sounds.

I, personally, am waiting for an enterprising programmer to design a program that predicts something useful, like when our leaders will realize that billionaires cannot make money when the poor citizens have NO money to spend on “fart” programs.

We’ve got to find ways to allow the people on the bottom rungs of the ladder have more discretionary income. Simply printing more money and spreading it around amongst the wealthy will NOT result in a healthier economy.

The programmer who figures out a way to develop a program such as this will benefit not only himself but everyone else.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Ahh, America!

There are literally millions of great programs out there with high educational and productive value, from the simple calendar and calculator programs to applications that allow you to manage your finances, learn another language, communicate with everyone else on the planet and even give your money to charity.

However, it’s a free country. If someone has money to waste and they decide a fart program is going to be the best use of that money, that’s between them and the programmer. Not Apple, and not you. Besides, how do you know that the programmer who created this application is not giving the proceeds to charity, or or using that money to employ Americans like yourself?

As for when your leaders will realise that poor schmucks like yourself have no money thanks to those evil billionaires – what are you waiting for? If you get up off your fat arse and do something about it (like, say, taking part in politics or learning how to program the app you want to have released) instead of whining for someone else to do something, then it will happen. I accept that not everyone has the same education and opportunity, but crying about your lack of money and prospects on an anonymous internet forum ain’t going to make it happen for you. Stop waiting for someone else to improve your life, and do it yourself. Now.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Ahh, America!

However, it’s a free country.

Yes, and that includes the freedom to post comments and opinions on blogs.

If you get up off your fat arse and do something about it (like, say, taking part in politics or learning how to program the app you want to have released) instead of whining for someone else to do something, then it will happen.

You just didn’t say when, did you?

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