Why Danger Is Messing Up Their Developer Program

For a while now, I absolutely could not understand why Danger didn’t come out with an SDK from the very start for the Hiptop. It seemed like the obvious thing. They had a cool new device that everyone wanted, and plenty of developers interested in creating applications for it. The obvious thing to do is to follow the original Palm strategy of getting tons of developers writing applications and getting people hooked on the platform. Yet, it took Danger over six months to release an extremely limited beta SDK. I asked someone about this recently, and they said it’s mostly T-Mobile’s fault. T-Mobile, like any carrier, wants to have control over what the end user can do so that they can charge them for everything. Here’s the first time I’ve seen anyone make that same argument online. The prediction here is that Danger is going to wilt away because it lost its chance to really get the developer community on its side. The real blame, of course, ends up in the hands of T-Mobile for restricting Danger this way – but Danger could have made sure not to set up such a limiting agreement when they signed their deal with T-Mobile. Personally, as a Sidekick user, I’m already considering other devices that are coming onto the market these days, because I’ve been shocked that no new applications have come out for the Danger device. Clearly, the team within Danger did a great job to start – but it’s lacking some applications that I would like to have, and which the developer community clearly would develop for them, if they were only given the chance. It’s unfortunate, but it’s beginning to look like a case study in what not to do.

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