From my early app store experience, I was inspired by a comic book effect app and started hacking away with open GL shader languages (GLSL). It took me many sleepless nights to finally put together a half ass app. Then I found out another guy has already created a similar app, but the effect is apply in the live camera (ToonCamera). I immediately went back to research, after yet another couple weeks of sleepless nights, I finally cracked it. Along the way, I found half a dozen GLSL shader codes on a couples of sites.
Coming from a software architect/developer background certainly help me quickly refactor the code into reusable components. The result is a series of GLSL effect apps dominating the US, UK Entertainment Top Chart.
The same applies to web apps. Software As A Service has been taking the software industry by storm, not because of commoditization of cloud platform, not because of the popularity of micro services, and certainly not because of army of aspiring solopreneurs. SaaS, in terms of technology, have been around since the beginning of the dot com boom. The only meaningful difference between traditional software and SaaS is in the charging model. It was called “utility computing” long time ago. There’s really nothing new under the sun, the only difference is new players playing the game.
To build a SaaS app cheap, it has to start or refactor into a few reusable components. Those components or a code base will be used as the building blocks to build a dozen SaaS.