How to create service envy on the AT&T developer site?

November 15, 2009

Creating the sustainable service envy is a very complicated process. First and the most important step is creation of a killer product, capable of being a subject for service envy. Extensive research and planning define the success here: finding solutions for problems most mobile application developers face in their day-to-day practice and offering those within a single platform would do it.

Unfortunately, I currently don’t have enough resources to research the topic of mobile application developers’ needs, so I can’t proceed without the following disclaimer: I’m currently operating basing on a limited knowledge of the problem, generously brought to me by a major search engine and on my assumptions.

Tools. Did you know that the first rule of social production is: “Give them tools!”? Releasing SDK won’t be enough. Giving developers more tools that help make their lives easier is the very first step to attracting them. Project management tools, bug tracking systems, interactive feedback soliciting form, some kind of a checker for compatibility across devices etc.

Monetization. Although a lot of developers I meet are really smart and have at least some kind of the business vision of products they work on, none of them would refuse to get some kind of assistance with bringing their applications to the market. Offering them a competitive way to marketplace their products would be good enough to create service envy.

Reputation is one of the most powerful non-monetary riches, truly the currency of Internet. Helping developers to create their personal brand and reach a certain level of reputation and recognition can be as powerful as monetary reward. Unfortunately, a brand of cell phone service carrier isn’t the best to be affiliated with from a standpoint of developer’s recognition (comparing with Apple or Motorola): it’s just to broad and doesn’t provide a direct connection to the technology used. However, there is an advantage in that developers could create applications that could be supported on different platforms and not be locked within certain technology.

Social production opportunity could be an additional advantage which could gain more weight once the number of developers using the platform grows.


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