Making mobile apps is exciting because if you stumble upon something everyone loves you’re bound to make some serious money from it. While the vast majority of apps never find success there are a few that have become so big their creators are set for life.
Some of the most profitable mobile apps have become multi-billion dollar publicly traded corporations. That shows the incredible power of starting with something small and having it turn into something huge. Here are some of the biggest, based on value estimates.
The founders of Uber probably didn’t know they were starting a company that could be worth upwards of 100 billion dollars. Now they moving toward getting self-driving cars to market and even flying cars at some point in the future. It all started with an app that lets people coordinate a car ride from an Uber driver instead of a taxi.
Instagram started out small and when they were bought by Facebook for a billion dollars they only had 13 people on the team. It all happened just a year and a half after they released the app, so this is one get-rich-quick story that actually happened.
Pictures that disappear after you view them. That’s the one-line pitch for the SnapChat app that has since ballooned to a 15 billion dollar business, earning their creators a small fortune in record time. SnapChat famously rejected an offer from Facebook for billions, and for now it seems to have been the right decision.
A simple messaging app earned the WhatsApp makers 22 billion dollars, and just like with the Instagram folks it was Facebook doing the buying. In five short years they went from fledgling start-up to being Facebook’s biggest acquisition ever.
Create an addicting game and the money should follow. That’s the only thing that can explain the six billion dollar price tag paid for King, the company that created Candy Crush as well as other time-wasting games for Facebook.
Rovio, the company behind the Angry Birds phenomenon recently had an IPO and is now valued around 900 million dollars, after previously rejecting an offer of over two billion dollars from Zynga. Considering the movie, all of the memorabilia, licensing agreements, and other income generators created by the phenomenon were all started by a gaming app, it’s pretty impressive.
Keep in mind that the apps above all started out as apps, not websites or corporations. The app is what put them on the map, and then their business skyrocketed from it. Even though Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon and more all have apps of their own, they were already massive by the time they released their app, and got their initial start as a website instead.
This list should be enough motivation to keep working on that app idea of yours, or dream one up and throw your name into the hat. The Next Big Thing could be your next release, it just takes some determination and perseverance through the lean times.