Creating Successful Developer Programs

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Presentation for 'Business of APIs' Conference, San Francisco, 10/15/07, Dave McClure.

Presentation for 'Business of APIs' Conference, San Francisco, 10/15/07, Dave McClure.

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  • 1. Creating Successful Developer Programs: All About the Geeks Dave McClure Master of 500 Hats http://www.500hats.com http://500hats.typepad.com
  • 2. 7 Habits of Highly Successful Developer Programs
    • Audience : Identify Your Main Geeks
    • Product : Make Sure It’s Cool
    • Geeks : Takes One to Know One
    • Metrics : You Get What You Measure
    • Biz Model : Bake it into the API
    • Education : What Lombardi Said…
    • Marketing : Sell Them, Not You
  • 3. Who’s Your Audience?
    • Who are you trying to reach?
      • end-customer
      • developers
        • indies?
        • small co’s?
        • enterprise partners?
    • What Makes Them Tick?
    • What Problems Do They Have?
    • Are there geeks who are ALREADY solving your customers’ problems?
      • if so, find & recruit them to your cause
      • if not… better find some fast.
  • 4. Your Product = Better be Cool
    • To get Geeks behind your product, it needs to be Cool
      • cool = new, innovative, useful, latest tech
    • If it ain’t cool, MAKE it cool.
    • Provide [code] examples
    • Find developers who are already solving the problem; see if they will use your tools
      • if not, back to the drawing board
    • Your #1 Job is to help geeks:
      • 1) Make Money, OR
      • 2) Become Famous
      • (either one works)
  • 5. Your Team = More Geeks
    • Q1: Are you a Geek?
      • A: if Yes -> Good. Now Go Find some More
      • A: if No -> STOP. Do not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $200
    • Hire EXTROVERTED Geeks (tough)
      • Bloggers / Writers
      • IRC / Wiki / Forum Addicts
      • Hang Out at Conferences & Draw a Crowd
      • Enjoy writing code samples & helping others
    • Recruit “Geek Advisory Board” with Target Expertise
      • Target Languages / Platforms
      • Customer Verticals
      • Already Successful / Making Money / Well-Known
  • 6. Geek Metrics
    • Have Some.
    • Aligned with overall
    • business goals.
    • Examples:
      • # new customers
      • # downloads
      • # active developers
      • # transactions
      • $ revenue from APIs
    • TIP #1: Make Sure Your (non-Geek) Boss / Business Unit signs off on your metrics & goals
    • TIP #2: Assume <1% of downloads convert to active use
  • 7. API Biz Model = Biz Model
    • Bake your Business Model into your API
      • no free rides, unless your product is free
    • Ultimately, your API is just a [hopefully] big business development deal
      • if your API helps geeks make $$$, YOU WIN!
  • 8. Education = It’s The Only Thing
    • To Win , You Must Educate (Product Mktg)
    • To Educate , You Must Speak (Blog)
    • To Speak , You Must Do/Show (Code Examples)
    • TIP: DO NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION OR LOGIN TO EDUCATE. EVER.
    • PERHAPS Require Reg / Login to Make Money / Get Fame ( but only if absolutely necessary )
    • EARLY BETA PROGRAMS = VIRTUE
    • NDAs & LEGAL DOCUMENTS = CARDINAL SIN
  • 9. Marketing = Sell The Geeks, Not You
    • What do Geeks Crave?
      • Respect (always)
      • Attention (sometimes)
      • Money (sometimes)
    • If you help them -> BFF
    • Sell Your Best Geeks, Others Will Follow
      • Product Directory of 3 rd -party apps / services
      • Preferred / Certified developer program
      • Affiliate / Incentives for your geeks
      • $end them a $teady $tream of customer$