Brands are in the midst of monumental change, and a key aspect of that change is that brands are becoming digital and digitized. Brands need software developers–and good ones–or their feet will be nailed to the floor as the rest of the world moves on.
Brands in the digital era are also collaborative, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, online forums and the like, and a brand’s collaborators are also its developers. They have a hand in its future, too.
Nurturing developers to build the best brands
It thus pays for a brand to nurture its developers with capable development tools and a process that makes development (relatively) easy. For software companies–who have the inside track on brands of the future–the standard developer toolset is the SDK, the Software Development Kit. Developers need a solid SDK to create solid apps. If a software company falls short in its SDK, it risks losing its developers and potentially, its brand.
A developer’s complaint against RIM and the PlayBook
Are digital tablets important to the future of business and culture? Absolutely. It’s therefore news when a developer details a long list of factors that make developing applications for a particular tablet unnecessarily difficult. One such developer complaint surfaced this week: “You Win, RIM! (An Open Letter To RIM’s Developer Relations).” In it a developer cites major (and unnecessary) obstacles that block the application development path for the spiffy new RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, leaving the developer to throw up his hands in despair.
The complaint is written with the passion that builds brands, or tosses them aside. Here’s how it begins:
You win. I concede defeat. I no longer want to attempt developing an app for the PlayBook. Are you happy now? Surely you must be. Considering how terribly designed the entire process is, from the registration right through to loading an app into the simulator, I can only assume that you are trying to drive developers away by inconveniencing them as much as humanly possible.
Brand touchpoints critical to developers
The entire complaint is worth reading for the light it shines on brand touchpoints critical to software development. These touchpoints are like building blocks. If they don’t fit together quickly and securely, building the desired app becomes problematic. RIM certainly knows this, too.
Did the RIM brand team vet the PlayBook SDK? It is certainly a brand-building document.