Recently RIM contact developers asking for feedback on why we were or were not planning on developing for Blackberry 10.
I was paid $50 for my opinion - in Amazon vouchers. I hope this hasn't comprimised the honesty of my answers.
These are just my thoughts - I can't claim that they would solve RIM's problems, but I do think they would be a good way to help reclaim developer mindshare.
What are the main reasons why you are not planning to develop applications for the Blackberry 10 platform?
- Platform won't be available until 2013!
- Probably no Linux platform.
- Tiny marketshare unless majority of phones are upgradeable.
- Can't get any reference hardware / emulators to test on.
- Finally, and I hate saying this because I've had BB's since the the black and white days, will BB10 ever come out? Will there even be a BlackBerry.
What specific things could the Research in Motion developer relations team do or communicate that would make you more likely to develop applications for the Blackberry 10 platform?
- Linux based SDK and toolkit. I'm not buy a Mac or a copy of Windows just for you!
- Remove the ridiculous signing requirements. I don't want to have to use your signing server - especially with its atrocious uptime.
- Provide high quality, open source programs which we can build on. I don't want to have to start from scratch.
- Developer incentives. Microsoft are literally paying some developers to develop. Nokia are giving out hardware. Google already have great mindshare and yet still give out thousands of dollars of goods to devs.
Reference hardware would be really useful. Paying me market rate for for several weeks development would be nice. Running competitions is a waste of time.
- Turn up at hackdays. I attend - and I'm not exaggerating - 100 developer events a year. BlackBerry rarely turn up. When they do, they do a presentation, give hardware out as a prize, and then disappear. They need to stay, teach people, talk through their concerns, offer prizes for software developed specifically for RIM.
- Don't offer money. (I realise this contradicts the above!) Most developers can afford a phone, a kindle, or most prizes. Offer us things we can't buy. Promotion in the app store, a meeting with your investors, a UI consultation with your best team, business advice from your CEO! The sort of stuff we can't get elsewhere.
- FIGHT THE FUCK BACK! Seriously - no one wants to go invest in a platform which looks like it's losing. I don't know how you do that - but make it convincing!