Josh Elman, a well known venture capitalist and president of product at Robinhood (stock trading app) has been poached by Apple to improve the App Store’s discovery. Elman shared the development in a tweet on Monday. He also added that he would no longer be the board partner at Greylock Partners and board member of Discord and Medium.
Apple has had a rough year with developers in terms of relations. By hiring Elman, the company could change the course of the ship and improve things in the process. The App Store (iOS, macOS) is under scrutiny by regulators and critics alike.
Could strengthen developer relations
Elman could bring good vibes to Apple’s developer relations. The company also reduced the fee it charges to 15% down from 30% for small developers recently in a move to improve relations. In his tweet, Elman added that his work at Apple will help customers “discover the best apps”.
Josh Elman previously served as a board member and investor of Houseparty which has since been acquired by Epic Games. It’s worth pointing out that Epic Games is the creator of Fortnite which disagreed with Apple’s fee and had implemented its own payment method in Fortnite. After which, Apple kicked off the game from the App Store as it broke the basic rules and developer guidelines.
Apple is currently under an antitrust investigation from European Union to assess whether the app store’s rules violate the European competition rules. The major concern of course being that Apple only allows its own payment system for in-app purchases and does not let developers deploy their own. On the other hand, the case with Epic Games is still ongoing as the company is suing Apple for removing Fortnite from the App Store.
It will be interesting to see whether Elman will bring a positive change.