Global app designers are converging on Amsterdam this weekend to share ideas and develop new mobile applications. “People who want to make movies go to Hollywood. People who want to make apps come to Amsterdam.”
Appsterdam, as the gathering is called, has been organised by Mike Lee, the American who designed the famous, extremely addictive game Tap Tap Revenge. Some 200 app designers are expected to join the meeting.
There are nearly half a million mobile apps by now and more are invented every day. Some are free, others cost dozens of euros. Many are clever and useful, and some totally useless.
Lee now lives in Amsterdam, or Appsterdam as he his calls it. For him, the city is the perfect alternative to California’s Silicon Valley, a victim of its own success. It has become too expensive, both to start a business or to buy a home, and all creativity has been bridled by big bucks.
By contrast, Amsterdam, to his mind, offers a creative environment that is open and welcoming. Unlike the Netherlands, he says, tough immigration and visa laws make it harder for people to move to the US.
In addition, Lee sees Amsterdam as the perfect place for young creative minds.
Ironically some Dutch app companies, such as Service2Media deliberaty shun the capital to avoid the murderous competion to attract the best talents.
The event’s programme includes a trip along cultural highlights, including the Heineken brewery and the red-light district. Such activities, Lee underlines, are essential to create a lively, closely-knit app community.