The Wall Street Journal reports that venture capital (VC) companies are “willing to take a chance and invest in a potential [app] game-changer even if it has no traction and no users,” stating that Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Buyers had all recently made investments in “app makers who have come to them with an idea – and not too much else.” Following a discussion at last week’s AppNation event, it was noted that a so-called ‘me-too’ app (e.g. one that follows the path of an established leader) needs to show “real numbers” in terms of revenue and subscribers to attract attention, but “a company coming from left-field – with a potentially catchy application that other people have not thought of – might get funding even if it can’t boast users or revenue.” The news is not all good, though: in crowded categories such as mobile gaming, investors want to see regular users before making an investment; and some have called for an improvement in the payment capabilities of Android to enable apps on that platform to be properly monetised.

Meanwhile, Kevin Talbot, co-managing partner of BlackBerry Partners Fund, told Mobile Apps Briefing in a forthcoming interview that “the problem with individual apps is that it becomes a hit and miss proposition and we aren’t smart enough to be able to pick the hits.” The primary issue is that while a handful of applications are able to generate significant revenues, the vast majority fail to ever achieve the results necessary to make them a viable investment proposition – and it is not always clear which products will be a success. Without the ability to generate a steady revenue stream, George Linardos, a Nokia VP, this week compared app development with playing the lottery – the rewards are potentially huge, but with the odds heavily stacked against developers.