In mobile market, more firms are going after developers, not just their apps

For many independent developers, the difference between a traditional acquisition and a so-called "acqui-hire" may seem of little interest, given that the odds of being involved in such a deal must feel similar to winning the lottery. But those who follow the mobile market closely say the growing number of acqui-hires--where a firm is bought up not necessarily to get the app but more for the developer behind it--could have a big impact on the competitive landscape for apps and provide an indication of what skills will most likely make developers successful. For example, if you've created a mobile app and have a competitor who gets acqui-hired by Facebook  (NASDAQ:FB), it not only means Facebook may be interested in integrating that app into its social network, but also that something about the vision, business savvy and development talent of its creator is valuable enough that other developers could learn from their approach to the market. For more on this trend, check out this FierceDeveloper special report.