Digital Arts has published an interesting new interview definitely worth checking out. The piece profiles Dave Howell, CEO of Avatron Software. Howell now develops apps for the iPhone. But before he started his own business, he woked for Apple.
Although you might not know his name, chances are, you know his work. Last year, Howell introduced "Air Sharing," which became enormously popular for being one of the first document readers for the iPhone. Yet, before he made it big on his own, Howell worked at Apple for six years in various engineering capacities. And now he's opening up about his experiences there and what it means to be an app developer in the modern competitive landscape.
When asked "Did your Apple background pave the way to the App Store?" Howell responded:
Not at all. There were times when we were having issues with the App Store, and I'd send emails to everybody I knew at Apple, from fellow engineers to managers to vice presidents. The few people that responded would say, "You know I can't talk about that."
The paranoia and secrecy was always frustrating but not as hard as I thought it would be. It was more my fear. For the most part, Apple's processes just work really well. Another frustration with a big company, not just Apple, is that if you have what you think is a great idea, there may just be nobody there to listen to it.
There have been moments where it's been frustrating because Apple's system are evolving painstakingly slow. For a big company, I think they're moving pretty quickly; but from a [startup's] point of view, a year is a lifetime. We've had frustrations from bugs in the App Store and inconsistent app reviews. However, the opportunities in this new marketplace far outweigh any of these frustrations.