The state of Mac development surprises me. There aren’t a lot of big Mac dev shops. There’s us, with our 200+ Mac developers. There’s Adobe and IBM, although I’m not sure if either of them have a lot of Mac-only folks. So, other than us or Apple, I’m not sure if there really are a lot of really big Mac-only development shops.
Then there’s scores of indies, making great apps. Most of these indies are just a couple of people, working out of their home or a coffee shop.
There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. You’ve got us with our 200-some people, and then you’ve got the indies. Maybe I’m just missing it, but I’m not seeing a lot of companies between those two points. Omni? Maybe the Intuit teams working on Quicken and TurboTax? The Aspyr guys, who provide me with my Sims? Who else?
With a spectrum of development that’s so heavily bifurcated, I wonder what that says about the state of Mac development. Does it matter that there’s not a lot of middle ground between the indies and the big shops? For that matter, does it matter that MacBU is the definition of “big shop”, whereas 200 people (remember, that’s not 200 developers, that’s 200 people) wouldn’t be considered to be a lot of people in a Windows shop?
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a complaint about having a robust indie development community. There’s plenty of indie apps that I use and love. I don’t want indie development to dry up ’cause I don’t want to lose those apps. I’m simply wondering whether there should be a step or two between indie and big corporation.