Another great reason to develop an app – a great job!

There's a talent war in Silicon Valley and developing your own app can get you noticed, and hired, by some of the biggest names in technology.

There are so many great reasons to develop your app. The market for smartphones and tablets is exploding. Already, there are over 500 million users of Apple’s iOS (iPhone and iPad) ecosystem. Android is closing in on a billion. Microsoft’s Windows Phone looks great and Blackberry’s app store is likewise proving a success. This can be your new career, your new business – app development.

But it can also be the absolute best stepping stone for your future.

Consider the story of 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio, founder of the iPhone app, Summly. Summly attempts to learn your reading and website likes, then presents a summary of content it thinks you will like. Already, Summly has 500,000 downloads. Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, is so impressed with Summly that she is considering buying the company outright. Her reason has less to do with the app then with the young Mr. D’Aloisio. The success of his work on the app has clearly revealed to Yahoo’s CEO that this is a talent worth hiring!

There are many stories out there. In fact, at least in Silicon Valley, there is a talent “price war” on. Even for those who have created an app that has yet to maximize its revenue potential, or does not yet have a solid revenue business model, the popularity of the app itself, and its innovation and market *potential* reveal to companies such as Facebook, Google and Apple, among others, just how capable the app developer may be to their company.

Another great path is not just to build a popular, innovative app. Improving upon a company’s existing app can also get you noticed by the likes of Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Apple’s Tim Cook, for example.

Consider the case of Apple, which offers many pre-loaded apps, such as Calendar, Notes and Reminders. Do you have a better way? Build it!

In a recent article in Business Insider, rumors of potential Apple acquisitions were ripe with examples where app developers had done better than Apple.

We’ve noticed a trend in apps we’ve reviewed recently: More often than not, they fix basic flaws in the iPhone’s software, or fill in the gaps in Apple’s deficient Web services.

When Tim Cook reorganized Apple’s top management in October, he talked about the need to have the company’s hardware, software, and services work seamlessly together.

It’s not enough for Cook to reshuffle Apple’s leadership. He needs to build up the company’s talent base. Great developers like to work with other great developers, and Apple, for all its strengths, hasn’t had the critical mass of talent in Web-based services and software that it needs.

Cook doesn’t have to look far, though: Apple’s own App Store is a daily talent show for developers.

Potential Apple acquisition targets include the makers of Flexibits, which improves upon Apple’s calendar. There’s also Checkmark, which is better than Apple’s embedded Reminders app. Checkmark, for example, uses the iPhone’s geo-location hardware to create seamless location-based reminders.

There are many more examples.

Apps are the new software. The market potential is great. Seize the day! Perhaps the worst that happens is that a great company recognizes your work and makes you an offer.

About Brian Hall

Brian S Hall writes about technology, immortality and food for ReadWrite, Techpinions, Unwired View and other publications. His thoughts on the 'smartphone wars' and how these are rapidly de-constructing markets, industries, business models and relationships around the world can be found on his personal site at www.brianshall.com