I don’t have an N8. Apparently some folks at Nokia are surprised by this. Maybe they bought into the corporate line about Nokia really caring about developers these days. Nokia gave Om a phone at Mobilize (and his “Thanks, but do I have to use it?” response probably sums up one of their flaws in gauging the right avenues for promotion), a few of the business folks at Mobile 2.0 had one, but I don’t have one. Normally, this wouldn’t surprise me actually. Despite all the talk about companies who love developers, what they really mean is they love folks who blog about developing. Those of us who just keep building high value businesses and aren’t necessarily quite so vocal, not so much.
However, I interacted with Nokia because a few people had said “Oh, you should definitely have an N8, lets get you one.” So now that the time has been wasted, I’m attempting to draw at least a little bit of positive out of it by sharing back with those who care about such things.
First, the point of a developer device program is to lower the activation energy necessary for a developer to put something together for your platform. Meaning, if you’re offering a program to get me a $500 device to encourage me to make something of value on that platform, you can’t just replace that $500 with an equivalent amount of annoyance.
The kick in the crotch I suppose was that I fell for it. There was lots of talk about Nokia getting developers back up and running on their platform. When a few folks said I should be able to get a device, for a minute, it sounded good. Then I filled out a bunch of forms, got up to the section with an NDA, and realize this was a loaner program. Doh! Well played Nokia! You almost got me.
Now I’m just annoyed by the whole thing. Annoyed enough I’m not going to head out to the Nokia developer event on Tuesday at CTIA, where supposedly they’re giving away N8s for free anyway. The three dozen people I heard this from all say it’s a secret. So shhh! Don’t tell anyone. Me, I’m torn between being convinced that enough people know about the secret that it’s probably a Nokia ploy to get more folks to the event, and just not caring about the platform. So instead, I think I’ll just watch the numbers, see if the platform seems to be headed for a turnaround at all, and fork over the cost for the device if the numbers say it’s worthwhile. See how that works?
Om’s other comment on stage, about Apple not having to buy developer love with million dollar contests – they just built a platform that developers wanted to be on. That’s also something you might want to take to heart.