Cargo Cult

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by MacPioneer, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. MacPioneer macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2010
    I'm probably going to get blasted for posting this, but I've been thinking about it for a long time, and I think it's relevant.

    If you've never heard of a cargo cult, you can Google it and learn a lot. The simplistic, Reader's Digest, version (ignoring some history) is that, during World War II in the Pacific, when the Allies (US and UK, mostly) took various South Pacific islands (particularly New Guinea), the natives noticed that airplanes landed and ships docked and offloaded nifty stuff for the invaders.

    The natives decided that the gods were favoring the people with the airplanes and ships, and set out to recreate those objects - they created faux planes and ships using rocks, coral, coconut shells, palm fronds, whatever looked like the originals. They assumed that, when they "got it right", the gods would shower them, too, with the wonderful cargo they saw the foreigners receiving.

    Anybody besides me seeing a resemblance to how a lot of people with no programming experience are approaching iOS development?
  2. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    No, not even the slightest resemblance. Cargo cults are destructive to their native economies(They actually spend all of their money in one day because they believe that John Frum will introduce a new currency on February 14th of some year.), while iOS developers are helping the iPhone app economy.
  3. kyzen macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2010
    I can see where you're coming from, and it certainly doesn't apply just to the Apple App store.

    The good thing though is that the App store economy will decide whether or not those folks are successful. If they DO make an imitation that's good enough, if not better, than something already out there, why shouldn't they be showered with money?

    I think though that a bigger problem is the developers taking the shotgun approach, who create a mediocre (if that) app, then clone it a dozen times with different skins and minimal (if any) added features, figuring if 1 app = $50, then 20 apps = $1000.

    Those are the folks who clog up search results & make it harder for otherwise decent new apps to get noticed.
  4. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    It's not just iOS developers. It's all humans. They buy clothes, move, choose schools and jobs, start a band or a businesses, invest in stocks, etc. etc. because they saw successful people do the same. Without the proper background or understanding the real reasons (or the sheer luck required) for that success.

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