NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There is a new boom coursing through the tech economy: the app boom.
At Monday's Atlanta Techcrunch Meetup at the Sweetwater Brewery, I met thousands of young app developers, dealmakers and "resources," a hot word in the app business. If there are thousands of Atlantans in this business, how many are there in the country and in the world?
The boom makes sense. Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT) and Amazon.com (AMZN) all want a taste of the success that Apple (AAPL) has had with its app store. Apps are easy to write, easy to buy and easy to run because they use another company's resources for most of the work. People get tons of apps for their smartphones. You can sell stuff using apps.
However, as with last year's social boom, this boom is not one the public investor is going to taste. In fact, the boom is likely to bust as soon as a big app maker decides to tap the public market, as Facebook did earlier this year.Thank the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, signed in April, which lets companies stay private with up to 2,000 shareholders and engage in secondary trading, as Thomson Reuters' PEHub noted in its recent four-part series about the new law. The JOBS Act institutionalized what Facebook pioneered when it became a $100 billion proposition before going through the pain of an IPO. It also makes it easy for companies to avoid reporting requirements when they do go public, according toPEHub. Don't trust anyone over 30? Don't trust any public company under five. You can get a taste of what's happening at TheyMakeApps.com, which tries to act as a directory of such companies. Game apps, mobile apps, corporate apps, purchasing apps, apps for events and apps that make or load other apps. It's all appening. Apps are moving quickly from smartphones to PCs, as PC World notes, because they can be written and monetized quickly. Chomp.Com has a graph covering 500,000 approved apps in the iTunes store alone. Games are just 15% of the market, and the average price paid for an iTunes app is $3.64. The app world also evolves in Internet Time. This week Robert Scoble heralded the coming of "contextualized apps," apps that can look at your phone sensors and generate warnings based on what you're doing.
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