I have an idea for an iPhone application.

Yup, it is the most common conversation I have with people these days concerns the process of turning ideas into iPhone applications.

Sure, I love talking with entrepreneurs and people passionate about their ideas. It’s one of the things I look forward to most in my job. Unfortunately, we are at a phase in the growth of the iPhone ecosystem where there is a significant gap between individuals with the ideas and those who are actually capable of turning the ideas into iPhone applications.

This gap is almost entirely financial in nature. The demand for iPhone developers exceeds the supply and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. The going rate for iPhone developers, at least the developers I know and trust, is $100/hour and up. I have some friends who are booked out at $150/hour for the next few months, although $125/hour seems to be the going rate in my network. At that rate, a full-time contract iPhone developer costs $5,000/week and it may take four to six weeks for an application to be developed. Sometimes it will take less and sometimes it will take more. Add to development the other costs – project management, design, QA, and marketing, to name a few. From what I have read, it is not uncommon to spend $20,000 and up on an iPhone development project. iPhone applications are not cheap everyone.

Yes, I am someone who is highly motivated by ideas. So, it pains me to say that the value of an iPhone application idea right now is pretty much zero. A great idea isn’t worth anything under these conditions. There is no shortage of great iPhone ideas, just a shortage of talent to bring these ideas to market. I am thinking I might invest in a Mac soon and get on the iPhone development bandwagon. Who’s coming with me?

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