Ars Technica has an interesting post revealing some sordid tales from the world of iPhone development. The tales center on iPhone app developers who claim to have developed apps that they really didn't develop. And they're getting away with it because of an NDA culture that permeates much of the development world.
NDAs, or non-disclosure agreements, of course, are those pesky little agreements that you've probably asked been asked to sign a million times if you work in the world of technology. In some markets, just about everyone asks that an NDA be signed for the smallest of things. Sometimes I half expect to be asked to sign an NDA if I ask where the bathroom is when working on-site with a client.
When Steve Ballmer repeated the now-famous and parodied words, "Developers,
developers, developers", he may have been far more sane than he looked at the time.
From Apple to Facebook, some of
today's most successful and popular internet companies are taking
advantage of third party developers to extend their products and make
them more useful and appealing. In many cases, these companies owe some
of their success to developers.
The app economy generates big bucks for Facebook's most prolific developers. Thanks in large part to virtual goods, the companies which develop some of Facebook's most popular apps are reportedly pulling in over $100m/year individually.
But what's good for Facebook's app developers isn't necessarily good for Facebook's users. App developers are understandably willing to go as far as Facebook will allow them to in their quest to acquire more users and generate more revenue.
If you've used Facebook, you've probably lamented a few things. Despite the fact that Facebook generally has a clean interface, navigating all of its features is not the easiest thing in the world. And Facebook isn't the most responsive website either.
In an effort to simplify the experience and make it faster for those who don't have a high-speed connection (or a lot of time to waste), Facebook has launched a version of its website called Facebook Lite. Currently it's available to users in the United States and India via lite.facebook.com but most expect it to be rolled out globally sooner than later.
It's a good to be an independent developer. The number and variety of
development platforms on which to build has exploded over the past
several years. From the iPhone to Salesforce to Facebook, opportunity
knocks at every turn.
But if you're an independent developer, choosing which platform to
develop for can be a difficult task. Many developers today decide to
develop for the platforms that seem to offer the quickest path to
Facebook, which just announced that it had reached the 250m user mark, continues in its quest to build a sustainable business. Currently, Facebook's self-serve PPC ad platform accounts for the largest share of the company's revenue.
In an effort to grow that chunk of revenue, Facebook is adding on to its self-serve ad platform to meet the needs of developers and I think this could open up a potential arbitrage opportunity for savvy developers.
In 1963, McDonald's reached a significant milestone that it would go on to proudly promote: 1bn hamburgers served. The milestone was achieved a mere 23 years after Dick and Mac McDonald opened the first McDonald's restaurant in California.
But in the internet age, 23 years is an eternity. Just ask Apple. It announced yesterday that it had hit an impressive milestone of its own: more than 1.5bn apps downloaded in the App Store's first full year.
A lot has been made about the significant amounts of money some of the most successful (and lucky) iPhone app creators are making.
The lure of instant fortune has turned iPhone app development into a get-rich-quick pursuit for thousands of developers who all hope that the App Store does for them what it has done for the most successful app developers.
As more and more web-based companies look for new ways to distribute their service and enable third parties to help them build out their services, the availability of APIs seems to grow larger every day.
It's now possible to develop applications for social networks like Facebook and MySpace, for retailers like Best Buy and just about everything in between.
Offering an API seems to be the internet equivalent of wearing the latest high-street fashion. And it needs to stop.
Facing perhaps the toughest economy for retailers in decades, Best Buy is turning to a new group that it thinks can help it boost sales: developers.
The consumer electronics retailer, which operates in the United States and Puerto Rico, may have gotten rid of its biggest competitor after Circuit City was forced to shut its doors but that doesn't mean that Best Buy can relax.