It's not easy to create a successful app. There are so many factors to consider. Apps like Instagram, Angry Birds, Draw Something may just be the outliers of app developers. In a survey, nearly 60% of app entrepreneurs don't break even on the cost of developing their project.
68% of respondents to a survey by the marketing company App Promo said their most successful app earned $5,000 or less. 63% said their most successful creation couldn’t break 50,000 downloads. 20% said they made enough money to keep a standalone business afloat. 12% of App Promo respondents created products that earned them $50,000 or more, while 11% reported at least 500,000 downloads.
App Promo says the amount of time and money spent on marketing products is one key difference between the two groups of success and failure. Developers whose apps earned $50,000 spent an average of 14% of their total work time on publicity and had average marketing budgets of $30,000.