As many John Cleese fans will know, Mr Cleese is now on wife number four. Mr Cleese, who is best known for his roles in Fawlty Towers and Monty Python, has made it clear that his three divorces have had a significant financial impact on him, leaving him financially drained. His last failed marriage is believed to have cost him £12 million, including a payment of £600,000 a year for seven years, forcing him to consider creative ways of earning additional income.
Last month, "The Ministry of Silly Walks" mobile application (otherwise known as an app) was launched and is expected to earn Mr Cleese, who has lent both his sketch and voice to the app, more than £100,000 this year. Mr Cleese stands to benefit from one of the great advantages of mobile apps, in that, with the correct equipment and skill, they can cost very little to create, meaning more profits for those holding an interest.
From maps to restaurant finders, weather reports to online shopping, over the past 10 years apps have cemented their place in our daily lives. In an age where consumers want answers immediately and services instantly, convenience and simplicity are given high value.
However, one wonders if Mr Cleese could have avoided such expensive divorces
Given the adverse effect on his financial health that has already occurred, one might have expected Mr Cleese to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement with a view to protecting his assets in the event of a subsequent divorce. Such an agreement is made between the parties prior to the marriage taking place and sets out how the couple wish their assets to be divided should they later separate or divorce. These types of agreement are becoming increasingly popular, particularly between people who are marrying later in life or have substantial assets to protect. A pre-nuptial agreement ensures a degree of certainty and provides comfort to both parties that a lengthy dispute is not likely to be on the cards should the marriage fail.
There are other, usually less expensive, ways to resolve issues that arise on separation rather than litigating. These alternative forms of dispute resolution include mediation, collaboration and arbitration. These methods are all voluntary and can be an effective means of resolving conflict in a more constructive and often less costly manner.
So, is app development a good way to fund a dispute?
Regardless of Mr Cleese's success this year (in his current marriage as well as his app!), it may be wise to hold off investing everything in an app development project. A report due to be issued in September by Deloitte suggests that app downloads have decreased substantially over the past year, perhaps placing the UK's app development industry on shaky ground. Whilst app usage is at an all-time high, current research suggests that almost a third of smartphone users are not downloading apps on a monthly basis. As app quality increases, consumers find themselves content (finally!), and if consumers are happy with an app, they are less likely to download additional apps.
Significantly, 90% of smartphone users are not willing to spend money on an app which could be cause for concern if the entire mobile app industry stands on the shoulders of only 10% of smartphone users.
[On balance, it's probably better to invest in a pre-nuptial agreement!]