For the past eight years, there are one or two calls a week on my calendar for which I get unreasonably stoked. Sometimes it is an entrepreneur, sometimes it is an engineer, sometimes it is a reporter or an analyst or some other constituent on the periphery of the software game trying to get an inside look. All of them come with a core question:
“What is this developer evangelism thing?”
All those calls were super fun. I got to know super interesting founders at different stages of their companies, learned from outside macroeconomic perspective on the revolution of software and witnessed a gaggle of ridiculously talented developers grapple with the mighty talent they were just learning to wield. They all brought different notions of what a business-to-developer company should look like and all came with novel ideas on getting their work in front of developers.
Ever so often on those calls, one would say, “Rob, you should write a book!” or “I assume this all on a blog somewhere I could read?” or “This would make a rad podcast.”
I’d always say, “Nawww – there’s already a ton of books out there on this stuff” or “I think it would sell like ten copies” or “I’ve played enough empty rooms.”
But the real secret was I always demurred because I just loved the phone calls. In exchange for a little domain expertise I got to sit courtside for the first generation of exclusively developer focused companies.
They would go from a few endpoints and some hackathon projects to listed on stock exchanges powering the biggest enterprises in the world.
If you believe software is a gold rush,
developer-focused companies are selling the pick axes.
If you believe software is the gold rush of our generation, developer-focused companies are selling the pick axes. That first generation of companies evidenced that real organizations with global impact could be made around serving exclusively developers. Just four of these companies – Twilio, Atlassian, GitHub, and MongoDB – represent $42 billion of market value at the time of this writing and are only getting started.
Software that makes software will be the most valuable products for the next twenty years. It is is one of the reasons why I’m starting one of my own.
Getting It On Wax
With those obligations, unfortunately, I can’t take as many of those phone calls anymore. Rather than let all these lessons die on the vine, I’m saving as many of them as I can here for posterity. Should folks find them useful, I hope they’ll join in and share their own.
Getting these ideas on wax here is about inviting you to a surface web discussion about serving developers and the products, teams and companies that work inspires. A public spot to swap inside baseball about the devrel game in a format where it is memorialized in a easily searchable place that those that follow us can use later.
It’ll also be another spot for some photos of my dog Ada who will serve as our default mascot when we lack a good illustration for an idea.
There aren’t a lot of people handing out the pickaxes this go round. I hope you feel warmly welcome to talk about what it’s like to be one of those few here with me.