People in the business of making mobile applications know the name Mike Lee. He was co-founder of Tapulous (now owned by Disney), which created the infamous iPhone game that broke the ice for the game genre on the phone – Tap Tap Revenge – and then worked at Apple before going freelance. Well, Lee has a new idea to create a developer-friendly place as a new sort of Silicon Valley for app makers.
He’s calling it Appsterdam.
Now, when most of us think of Amsterdam, we think of things akin to Harold & Kumar or Half Baked. Turns out, there’s more to this most famous of Dutch cities than just hints of legalities that aren’t so legal elsewhere. At a recent meeting of developers that congregated in the city, Lee made his case for the new developer’s Mecca.
“I became disillusioned with the way the United States was going in general. I myself had no health insurance and no way of getting health insurance as a self-employed person.” Lee told them. “So I decided to spend a year traveling around the world and talking to developers and looking for a place to live. I went everywhere. Big cities like Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia but also Argentina, Taiwan, Cambodia. The conclusion I came to was that Amsterdam was the most livable city in the world. Even the stray animals look fat and happy here.”
He sees the idea as a sort of independent label club for non-mainstream, independent application builders. Sort of a contrast to the Hollywood-like atmosphere of Northern California’s Silicon Valley, Appsterdam would be the underground New York record label hangout for developers.
Beyond just a Meetup or annual conference, Appsterdam would be a whole community wherein people can exchange ideas, bring their families together, and more. Think of it as a Google Campus for the indie app developer.
Lee’s ideas have legs and a lot of buzz in tech circles is making it fly.