Caroline Lewko: don’t expect mobile developers to be part of just one community

The UNTETHER.tv series m-pulse is well is mid-way into its month-long look at mobile developer issues and opportunities. Rob Woodbridge and I, the show hosts, recently connected with Caroline Lewko, the Connector at WIP (Wireless Industry Partnership), to discuss the practical marketing ‘stuff’ developers must master if they’re serious about making money from their apps.

The real news is the Mobile Developer’s Guide To The Parallel Universe, a new resource from WIP that lays out the business basics and makes good on WIP’s promise to make the path easier for mobile developers to reduce cycle times. From app store strategy (multi-store strategy vs. single-store strategy), to revenue models (freemium, subscription and ad-funded), this new publication has it covered.

But this episode looks beyond the ‘marketing stuff’ developers need to follow if they are serious about marketing their apps and growing their revenues. In my regular companion post over at MobileGroove, I used the interview with Caroline as a jumping off point to discuss the larger shift underway, which I’d like to call out specifically here. Yes, app developers are becoming businesses (as they must). But developers are also becoming the source of innovation and value without which no business can survive and thrive — period.

Cultivating the developer community

Against this backdrop, building a developer community is becoming a business imperative. It’s a tough task — and there are no easy answers. Caroline over at WIP — which also provides consulting to companies building developer communities — offers valuable insights into what flies (and fails).

Number one: You can’t own a developer community — and you can’t expect developers to be part of just one community.

Importantly, developers also need to feel they are a key piece of the ecosystem and that their contribution truly matters.

Sports content giant ESPN doesn’t need convincing. It recently launched a Developer Center to provide third-party developers access to its stockpile of editorial content, stats, and other data.

In my recap, I tried to connect the dots to suggest that this is just the beginning of a wider trend that will surely see more content companies — even brands — open up their APIs to jumpstart innovation around their offer. Mobile apps are simply a new game with old rules. Take out Henry Chesbrough’s milestone book Open Innovation, read it with apps in mind, and you’ll see where this is going.

Opening up APIs can unleash a torrent of business innovation, enabling developers to build value-adding mobile apps. It’s an exciting space, and UNTETHER.tv continues its focus on the business of mobile apps with Ray Anderson, CEO of Bango, a company that has inserted itself in the monetization models of top apps stores and emporiums including Facebook and Amazon.

If you’d like to check out the latest episode of m-pulse, it’s embedded below. And don’t forget to read my detailed companion post on MobileGroove.

If you have a good company or a great story, then submit it for consideration (peggy AT mobilegroove DAWT com). It may be that we include YOU in an upcoming segment of the show.

About the author

Peggy Anne Salz

Peggy Anne Salz, Top 30 Mobile Influencer, is the chief analyst and founder of MobileGroove, a top 50 ranked influential destination providing custom research, strategic consulting and Thought Leadership content for the global mobile industry. A nine-time author her work includes two books about mobile apps, as well as dozens of reports, white papers and articles covering mobile marketing, mobile search and social media. Peggy will be a regular here at untetherTV, where her posts will also summarize the key takeaways from Apponomics: The Insider's Guide to A Billion Dollar App Business, a free book you can register to download here.

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