dean.jpgA while back I mentioned the Presdo API contest I was going to be one of 4 judges for: well, after much deliberation (and a bit to eat and drink) Ben, Allen and I cast our votes, Mike chimed in from afar and Dean Mao walked away with a new iPhone, as did the two runner-ups.
That’s nice, I can hear you say. So what? And why do you think I won anything?
Presdo – which makes an extremely cool calendaring webapp – is part of a growing trend in our industry: software companies offering prizes and even financial backing to developers, startups and microISVs. For example, today Google announced the winners of Android Developer Challenge and twenty of the 50 finalist teams will receive between $100,000 and $275,000.
That’s a sizable chunk of change. And the attention won’t hurt either.
The reality is twofold: NIH (not invented here) is very, very fast giving way to PUOP (please use our platform) as company after company realize their “ecosystem” of developers and fans are critical to their success. If you’re a developer thinking about going microISV, that means there are and will be in my opinion more and more software companies competing for your attention, support and membership.
Secondly, if as a microISV or startup you are casting about for new ideas, fresh ways of building on all that hard work you’ve already done, a few hundred bucks, a nice meal for the judges and a willingness to respectfully listen to the ideas of people who’ve you’ve never heard of, who you don’t employ, may make the world of difference.
Either way, you win.

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