Based on a discussion with a colleague yesterday, for many, the motivation behind building their first software app could be the ease of developing one on a framework that is popular or interesting. It appears, for many, it is still develop something because the framework is popular and figure out later if we can make any business out of it.
The discussion stems from the notion that developing applications for iPhone are quite expensive. The framework to build applications for iPhone need a Mac. So if you don't have one, that would be your first investment to buy one. And at the final stages of applications, you need an iPhone to test the application. So need to buy one of the most expensive mobile phones of today.
The apparent conclusion was that since developing iPhone applications is expensive, many developers are focusing on cheaper alternatives like Android or others that are free. I am not sure how much is that true, but it could be for some.
I would agree to an extent that this initial cost would definitely come in the way for some. Particularly those who wanted to play around develop something for fun, curiosity or write a blog about it. But if some one is serious about developing, say, a game for iPhone and think in terms of making money from the game(or even a blog), in my opinion, initial investment of about $1500 (or 1 lakh Indian rupees) is not that significant. If you spend the next few months of your quality time on something it would better generate more than $1500.
That discussion brings another interesting aspect. Are you developing an application because it is easy, free or the framework is popular? Or is there a clear need in the market that you are trying to solve? Or in some cases, there is no need, but the new application would definitely create something new or solve something new? or you are developing an application because you have some kind of business plan that can really make money out of your application?
I believe, we must have a plan, if you are serious about it.