At the beginning of the App Store there were few apps available, and they were quite simple. But one of the first hits came even before the App Store was created in 2008. iBeer was created by Steve Sheraton and his company Hottrix. Very quickly the application, with the most simplistic process, slipped to the top of the App Store.
“Being number 1 is what all developers are looking for” remembers Sheraton who recently confided in an interview given to the magazine Email. He explains that he created a first similar application, offering coffee instead of the iconic beer.
An app older than the iPhone
Originally the application was designed for the Palm Pilot, an ancestor of the mobile phone released in 1997. The application called “e-sspresso” therefore offered to pretend to drink coffee with your device. A complex process to set up for the time, especially when you know that the Palm Pilot does not have an accelerometer.
Later, Apple launched the iPhone and the Apple brand quickly sought out small applications capable of demonstrating the phone’s prowess. The latter having an accelerometer, the development of “iBeer” will have been much simpler.
The app was originally sold for $2.29 on the App Store. With a very attractive price for the time, the applications being for the most part paid, iBeer became a popular success.
A sudden fortune
Steve Sheraton remembers being overwhelmed by the rapid influx of users, popularity and money. “It was crazy, in the heyday you could earn between 10 and 20,000 dollars a day”. Financial and media pressure that he struggled to bear.
Today Sheraton lives remotely on a farm in Spain. He still builds applications there but for magicians. It’s a niche market, as he admits, but he says he’s happy to work for an industry that still fascinates him.