Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Story of iBeer

Quinn Myers (via Nick Heer):

In the year leading up to the App Store’s debut, Apple sought out developers to create software that put the iPhone’s prowess on display. One of those developers was down-and-out, 37-year-old magician Steve Sheraton. “Apple started scouting for developers, and they approached me because I’d made a YouTube video where I made the phone look like a glass of beer,” Sheraton recalls. “They wanted me to make an app out of that because they obviously thought it would show off the phone pretty well.”

To be sure, Sheraton’s path to creating an app that would be featured in tandem with the new App Store was several years in the making. The idea itself harkened back to Sheraton’s career in magic. “Anything that uses visual effects to cause shock or humor is up my alley,” he tells me. “I built the very first iteration of this mechanism for the Palm Pilot, called E-spresso, which turned the little monochrome screen into a cup of coffee — but because it didn’t have an accelerometer, I just made it a video that you could time with your drinking motion.”


Before the App Store was even a concept, Sheraton started selling the beer-drinking video file for $2.99. “It was just a little video file that people had to hardwire in and download via iTunes,” he says. “But I probably made around $2,000 a day for the longest time from that.”

Dave Mark:

A Reddit AMA with the creator of one of the first iPhone apps that went viral, made millions.

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