I own a small software development company that gets approached many times a day with the concept of being a partner in someone’s iPhone App idea. We provide the iPhone App Development services and they provide the idea…equal partners. Are there any iPhone app developers out there who actually go for this type of arrangement with someone they just met?
It seems to me there are so many solid paying opportunities out there, why take any type of risk like this.
Just curious of your opinion.
Although it's possible, it's highly unlikely for one simple reason: There's a major imbalance in supply and demand.
The mobile market has really taken off. Both new startups and existing companies are making major investments in mobile projects (including iOS development). The demand is large and growing fast.
On the other hand, the number of great iOS developers available is still relatively small.
So, you have the risk of some selection bias: The only developers you'll find willing to take on an unknown project for equity are ones that don't have a lot of leverage in the marketplace.
Of course, there are exceptions (that's where your personal brand and credibility come into play). But, on average, my answer is: No, a company is unlikely to find great developers that are willing to work on someone else's idea just for equity, unless there are external factors (they know the parties involved or are really in love with the idea).
There are TONS of stupid projects for those willing to work for free - or agaisnt a promis of later revenue.
Opinion? SImple - if I want to work for revenue share, I work on my own projects. You basically consider turning into a serial startup participating in a ton of projects most of which will be run badly from the other side.
I have heard of people that do this. For example, appubator.com (which isn't responding for me right now).
Having talked with those guys (they did a session at a conference I was at), it sounds like they made good money a few years ago (when the App Store was new and less market saturation), but now their best selling app brings in $30/day range... which is a losing bet for the developer (if it's done on revenue sharing).