Turning developers on to your Open platform
All too often the company is so tied up in its existing business that its idea of an "open API" is 10 hits/day, strictly non-commercial use, SOAP-only, with fax-in paperwork only downloadable with the latest version of IE on Windows. They're looking at the API purely from the point of view of the provider. But if you want me to use this API, you'd better start thinking about it from my side: I want something that's easy to start using and that will scale with the coolness of the apps I build.
Damn right. Having recently tried to use eBay's developer program, I can tell you how important ease-of-use is. In this case, I spent a hour filling out various forms and waiting for emails and clicking confirmation links, only to figure out that I couldn't even attempt what I wanted to do because that feature wasn't supported in the Developer Sandbox. Most frustrating.
I appreciate that eBay is trying. And I'm grateful that they're willing to partner with outside developers. But they've clearly missed the boat on making it easy for casual developers to jump in and do something cool.
My goal is to see something interesting with an afternoon's work. Your job is to make your dev program and API easy enough for that to happen.