iPhone developer quits day job as ‘iShoot’ hits #1 in Apple’s iTunes App Store

“The overnight success of iShoot is one of those fantastical stories that causes instant buzz among iPhone developers and fanboys alike. Developer Ethan Nicholas, is having the kind of success with iShoot that many app creators will hope is contagious,” iPhone Savior reports.

“Ethan’s tank combat game originally went live in the App Store back on October 19, 2008. The response from cult of iPhone fanatics was ‘just ok’ according to Nicholas. Soon after its launch, iShoot disappeared into obscurity only after a moderate number of downloads,” iPhone Savior reports. “‘I work a day job at Sun Microsystems,’ Nicholas told the iPhone Savior in a short phone interview, ‘I developed iShoot in my spare time with no updates since it was first released.'”

“Finding time to tinker with iShoot over the Christmas break, Nicholas decided to release a free ‘Lite’ version of his $2.99 app, hoping it would be rediscovered by iPhone faithful,” iPhone Savior reports. “That brilliant decision turned out to be the magic bullet iShoot needed. ‘iShoot Lite‘ went live on January 3, 2009. Less than ten days later on January 11, the original iShoot rocketed out of obscurity as the number one Top Paid App in the iTunes App Store with 16,972 downloads in one day. It virtually blasted the reigning number one iFart app off its perch overnight. iShoot simultaneously grabbed the Top Free App number one spot as well.”

iPhone Savior reports, “For an app to reach number one and remain there, some 10,000 plus downloads per day are required. That’s roughly $21,000 a day for this $2.99 app after Apple takes its 30-percent stake… ‘I’m still in shock,’ Nicholas said, ‘I’ve given my two week notice at Sun Microsystems. I’m gonna do this full time now.'”

Full article here.


  1. @Jacob, I suppose you may be right. It just seems that having one hit on such a fickle enterprise as the iPhone App store so quickly might not mean he can necessarily do it again. I applaud his good work and his good fortune, no question there. It just seems to me that he could probably find time on weekends, evenings, etc., to work on other apps and see how they do, all the while keeping his job at Sun. That is the perfect money to put into retirement funds and so on.

    It just seems to me that he may be quitting his job too early. But who knows, eh? I wish him all the best of luck regardless.

  2. Sure this guy is lucky, he is lucky in the sense of getting the smarts, the creativeness and the motivation. Good for him. He also had the vision to entice people to use his application by providing a light version for free. I has 4 stars in a half and he is going to be making even more money in the future as the iPhone gains further popularity. Last moth everybody in my office jumped on the iPhone. What a cool gadget it is.

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