Today I read a tweet, that lead me to read a great blog post, that lead me to think once again about a subject that I’ve discussed once before. Although the subject of the blog post is “Who’s responsible for sales?”, when you read this just do a mental cut and paste and substitute the word “Evangelism” for “Sales”.
In a company with a core platform offering, the same “we’re all in this together” mentality is required to build, evangelize, sell and support your API to developers much earlier in the cycle than putting your product in the hands of your first customer. In many ways, if you don’t think about the developer community as customer number one, you’re probably going to have a hard time offering customer number two, the consumer, any sustained differentiation.
I’ve touched on this once before in a previous post, bottom line, if a platform orientation is critical to your product or business success, then everyone on your team, better yet, your whole company, is an Evangelist. While I’m an Evangelist all day, everyday, your whole firm needs to view developers as strategic partners, and your most important early audience and hence, treat each interaction with them as an opportunity to Evangelize. Who knows, they may like what they see and turn into the best Evangelists of your platform. This approach worked for us at BlackBerry, and I know if you’re committed, will also work for you.