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Vendors Must Cater To Developers Or Die
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jemison288
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jemison288,
User Rank: Moderator
1/9/2014 | 10:04:09 AM
Re: Aren't we there already?
I'd disagree with both of those statements, actually.  It's true that there are a lot of firms that have freemium or ramped pricing, but many do not.  And it's not just Oracle and VMware -- there are a number of startup payments providers (I mentioned Zuora in the piece, but also Aria Systems) and database vendors that need to be working with developers, but don't do anything to enable them.


Also, if you are a startup, you're nuts to have the attitude, "man, I won't charge Wells Fargo much, because they'll be a great reference customer!"  You want Wells Fargo as a customer because they'll get massive value (because they're so big), *and* because they can pay a lot.  You don't want to kill of a large amount of your potential revenue by giving stuff away to the biggest players.
MarkS229
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MarkS229,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/8/2014 | 11:10:49 PM
Aren't we there already?
I think most of us have, perhaps subconsciously, already evolved/migrated to this way of thinking. Forticom/SteelPlatez permits free use of the online authentication server, to anyone who can put together a web page.

As for not overcharging, I think we're all aware of the importance of a reference site, and I guess most small/medium companies would happily give their product away to major banks, telcos, government departments, just for the privilege of being able to point to them, and say 'That's our product, and look how pleased they are with it'.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
1/8/2014 | 5:33:11 PM
Re: Evolution is tough
>So I am not trying to say that vendors need to price their products at less than $10/month/user in perpetuity.

 

Price your product so that startups don't magnify their possible losses if they fail. Charge little or nothjing to test the waters and scale the fees with the customer's success. If you're preying on customers by charging too much at the outset you'll either drive startups away or contribute to their odds of failure.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
1/8/2014 | 2:41:13 PM
Re: Evolution is tough
This developer focus applies to a growing number of companies outside standard software developers, as they try to get their services embedded in other companies' digital channels. Walgreens for example has APIs for its photo printing and prescription-filling services, hoping third-party app makers offer them as part of photo editing apps or healthcare apps.
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
1/8/2014 | 1:36:51 PM
Re: Evolution is tough
Company I was working for went through a convoluted process to get signed up with a payment processor, one of several that were in the pipe at that time. I kept hounding them for API docs.

Finally, after a few weeks (during which time I had integrated with 2 other payment processors) and many promises to send over the API docs, an email arrives. It has about a dozen PHP files attached. What the... ?!?!?!

We never used that company.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
1/8/2014 | 12:54:28 PM
MongoDB Owes Success To Developer Focus
MongoDB's huge success is in large part attributable to its focus on developers -- catering to them, making their life easier, etc.
jemison288
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jemison288,
User Rank: Moderator
1/8/2014 | 12:53:32 PM
Re: Evolution is tough
The first monthly payment we made to Amazon Web Services was for around $1.50.  Within 2 years, we were paying around $15K/month.  What's great about technology--and why software is eating the world--is that the benefits to software are huge.  And while individual software developers don't have huge expense accounts, they do have enormous influence on the future of an organization's spend.


So I am not trying to say that vendors need to price their products at less than $10/month/user in perpetuity.  I'm saying that they need to have an offering that allows developers to get up and running without human interaction or waiting that would serve as an on-ramp to very large checks down the line.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/8/2014 | 12:35:05 PM
Evolution is tough
Joe, You call out VMware and Oracle as examples of companies that have to change. However, this call to action reminds me of the disruption that hit the publishing industry, with customers demanding easy access to content, with no or very minimal cost.

That begs the question: Where is the R&D money coming from to create all this great software? Maybe, at volume, a $10/month per seat cost can maintain the infrastructure, but I'm not seeing where the ongoing innovation comes from.


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