A 'gold-rush mentality' is inspiring hordes of developers and some Silicon Valley backers.
Scott Lahman, CEO of Gogii, says his company's textPlus application took off when iPhone users discovered it. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / November 11, 2009)
Scott Lahman was sure he had a hit when his Marina del Rey company developed cellphone software that let people have a text messaging conversation with multiple participants at the same time, like a written conference call on the go.
But for two years Lahman and his team struggled to find a market for it -- that is, until Apple Inc. recently decided to offer the software at its online App Store. Suddenly, Gogii Inc.'s textPlus application had tens of millions of iPhone owners as potential users. Since June, the free app has been downloaded more than 2.3 million times.
"We ran down a lot of dead-end corridors until we were discovered by iPhone users," Lahman said. "Apple has fundamentally changed our business."