In grade school, your popularity was primarily determined by how quickly the other kids chose you when it came time to pick sides for baseball, basketball, or soccer. The business model that will be developed for the next decade depends on the developers and ecosystem partners who choose you.
You may significantly influence this choice more than in grade school.
Does it matter if developers are involved
Companies like eBay, Microsoft, and Adobe have focused on the developer community. The developer community is an essential consideration for technology firms within Web 2.0. Even if you don’t do software or deliver on the Web, this applies to your company. The developers are now what the channels were in the 1980s: an essential part of your chain to extend your reach.
The development of technology hardware and software has evolved beyond the simple creation of a “widget.” Vendors are not just “design it and build it and sell it.” They also meet customer needs. Technology today is more about integrating different technologies and solutions. Zillow, for example, is built with Google Maps. Google Maps, however, is made with Telcontar and Navteq technology. These companies are not the complete solution. The combination of technologies can create a solution for the customer (or, in this case, many).
No one vendor can create winning solutions by themselves.
Telcontar, the leading technology behind Google Maps, is only known by a select few in the industry. Google is what the public knows, as it was Google who formed the developer community that enabled many applications to be built on the platform. This case shows that platform success increases as the platform’s value increases. It then attracts consumers, developers, and businesses who want to use, develop, and do business on it.
The multiplier effect
The most fascinating creatures on Earth are developers. Through them, and with their help, any platform can become enjoyable. When I was working at Apple, I became enamored with a simple screensaver. It was the first screen saver of its kind and made my computer screen look like a fish tank. It was cool. In addition to that coolness, developers build on the foundation created by a vendor and then multiply it. Developers create new applications that change the lives of users. From a vendor’s perspective, it is like going from 2,000 to 20,000 software engineers. It’s an inexpensive multiplier.
Vendors benefit from this multiplier. eBay no longer offers ecommerce services when it creates a community of developers. It provides an established global platform for ecommerce. Developers can integrate many models by releasing APIs and using their user interface. The company reaches critical mass, and the competition has to use more energy to replace it. The competition may decide that the market is challenging to enter. As the company becomes a platform for 1,000 (or even better, 100,000) other companies to support, it gains in strength.
The developer strategy should be viewed as a core company vision. For example, the mobile market has received much attention regarding its developer strategy. Nokia, Europe’s dominant mobile phone manufacturer, and Motorola in the U.S. have recently invested in new talent and developer programs. Why? Nokia will have a better set of applications for users if it has more developers than Motorola.
A cascade of Better developers, solutions, better value, and more customers will result in a higher value proposition for your developers. A cycle of upward movement is created, leading to a certain level of dominance in a category. A developer-centric business model can only be integrated into a company’s model to add value, speed up results, and provide customer benefits. This is not a minor issue, but it has been ignored and pushed to the side in this industry.
How do you build a developer’s community
I developed a server developer program at Apple. My task was to create a differentiation strategy for high-profit servers by adding an application, finding a way to market, and adding more value to the customer. I learned from that project that developers are among the most creative, intelligent, and curious people. It’s both easy and challenging to get them on board.
Platforms are chosen for two main reasons. The coolness factor is one, but the economic aspect is another. This nets out to: “Feed them, and Entertain Them!”
They must be passionate about the software they create. It’s a form of invention. You’ll gain their involvement if you give them the chance to showcase their talent and creativity on your platform. Apple’s developer community has always been a strong one. Apple was a platform alternative to Microsoft and distinguished itself as a company that valued user-friendliness.
Like other inventors and developers, they likely did not take many classes in business or marketing. They must know how to reach the market. The vendor that they choose must be able to provide them with a path toward economic success for their product. Their work will be wasted if they don’t have a straightforward way to market and the chance to earn money. This is something that any company that wants to attract a developer community should consider.
Your company, no matter what its size or shape is today, can benefit from an active developer program. It takes more than 20 push-ups to get in shape for the developer’s community. You need to improve your overall fitness. You can start by focusing on the following:
Do you have an open-minded culture towards developers
Only in a culture that values developers can build a great program. It is essential to have a developer kit that includes APIs and technical support. You should also give the teams in charge of business development access. It can’t happen independently of the rest. The commitment must be at the highest level.
Macromedia was well-known for its Flex platform and the developer community that it fostered before Adobe acquired it. Shantanu Narayen’s first major speech after the acquisition was all about the developer community. He also spoke of Adobe’s staff retention plan and increased investment. (https://www.stephencollins.org/ adobe-developer-relations-speech-from-adobe-president/)