Fast Company has an interesting article about the Apple App Store, calling it more casino than gold mine for developers. You can read it over here.
Back in the '80s, a catastrophic failure to sell software was a more obvious and public humiliation. Take Atari’s "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" (1982), a failed video game which left the company with losses of over $100 million and the embarrassing problem of what to do with 3.5 million unsold E.T. cartridges (the answer, apparently, was to bury them in a New Mexico landfill). But today such failures are even harder to see with the naked eye. For every Appillionaire, there are several thousand invisible, failed app developers. These developers have had their dreams of app superstardom cruelly smashed into a million little pixels..