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The next big thing

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in Leaders & Managers,Office Technology

Innovation never rests, despite the down economy. Designing applications for mobile phones is the latest way to make money hand over fist.

Consider the Bloomberg app, which tracks finances. Consider Mint and Wesabe, which track your finances. Consider Ocarina, which lets you play your phone like a flute.

Since Apple’s iPhone app store opened last summer, it’s been flooded with as many as 25,000 new software applications.

Many times that number of apps has been downloaded. Not since the tech boom of the late 1990s has such fervor erupted.

“It is sort of a gold rush now,” says Sam Shaw, chief executive of Dreamworld Solutions, an Illinois software developer.

While some are warning that the apps phenomenon will fizz out, others call these first apps preliminary. A new industry will explode from our phones in the next few months, says Rich Warmsley, an executive at T-Mobile, with “the first green shoots of big brands.”

What’s your next big thing?

— Adapted from “Right time, right price for mobile phone applications,” Maija Palmer, Financial Times.

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