The ghost and the bottle

The popular podcast and iOS developer Marco Arment today pulled his new app Peace just a few days after it was published with the release of iOS 9.

No question: It’s an impressive step to pull an app which is worth several thousands of dollar each day. Many people wouldn’t do that. And Marco surely gets a lot of criticism from his disappointed customers. I think that the damage to his reputation will be greater than that for his bank account.

From an economical perspective I don’t think his decision is so honorably. We don’t know exactly how rich Marco is, but we surely know that he has enough money in some way. He had a lot of success with Tumblr, Instapaper, Overcast and other projects which were all hard work and fabulous ideas. And he likes to spend a lot of money for his hobbies. In this context, it’s easy to listen to your conscience when your bank account does not require you to have an additional income like Peace.

The other question is: Does he help anybody than himself with pulling Peace?

I don’t think so. The ghost is out of the bottle. And it is not Marco who left him out. It’s the opportunity for developers to create content blockers for iOS what changes the game. Ad-blocking is a serious problem for the whole web economy. For many popular websites, advertising is their primary income. But I believe that the effects be overstated. There is a percentage of users who are interested in ad blocking who already use plug-ins on their computers. And there are a lot of other users who don’t.

Will it be a popular phenomen that people block ads on their mobile devices? We don’t know. Maybe Marco himself did not believe in that. So he was surprised to see that his reputation was some kind of push for ad blocking. But I still believe it’s a short term short hype and things will start to cool down.

Still after pulling the app, Marco showed the world a good way to create an ad and tracking blocker. There will be dozens of other people who will copy that. But Marco knows that he won’t stop it. He just does not want to take responsibility. I think he’s really likeably. But this decision seems to me a like the move of a drama queen.

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