Why TADHack Matters

Rising tide lifts all boats, Building the Telecom Application Developer Ecosystem
Rising tide lifts all boats

Raising the cash for TADHack this year has been an interesting experience, interesting as in the alleged Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times”. After the success of TADHack 2014, responding to the many requests for TADHack-minis, and meeting the demand for additional locations; the events have become quite large. In the interview with RealTimeWeekly we shared TADHack’s philosophy, status and plans. With this weblog we wanted to clarify the benefits of being involved in TADHack, as well as highlight a key challenge facing the market.

Sponsor benefits:

  1. Independent collateral. Slides no longer cut it, people expect to be shown when claims of service innovation are made. TADHack provides real independent demonstrations. Also the sponsors and partners involved are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with peers / competitors proving the confidence in their platforms and technologies.
  2. Developer awareness. We’re reclaiming the word ‘telecommunications’ back from carriers, it is an exciting time to be involved in telecoms as its become democratized by the Internet, all developers should be aware of the potential it offers.
  3. Build ecosystem. We must work together to raise awareness of the power of telecoms, its simply too expensive and ineffective to act alone. No one ‘owns’ a developer, they are too smart, they will use what’s right for them, look at companies that use Twilio, Tropo and Nexmo at the same time to meet their specific needs.
  4. Some Leads. Telcos are increasingly following what TADS is doing, many of the TADHack locations are run by telcos, they’re investing in building the ecosystem.
  5. Solid base for TADSummit. For those sponsors involved in TADHack their claims of service innovation are proven, discussion at TADSummit can then focus on commercials and go to market. As I’ve mentioned before TADHack and TADSummit are a one-two punch for service innovation. TADS isn’t an industry marketing event with a ‘beard’ of a hackathon tagged on with a couple of wrangled developers in attendance.

Developers benefits:

  1. Most communications technology, platforms, services and related technologies are available to play with in one event, this is unique.
  2. Meet the people building the platforms, its the only way to learn fast, utilize the power of what they’ve created, and understand what is means to your business.
  3. Meet a diversity of developers, product people, and user experience experts across students, enterprises, start-ups, and hardcore comms geeks. Team diversity is critical to success, as shown at TADHack last year.
  4. Global promotion. Check out the TADHack weblog and TADHack YouTube channel, our focus is helping developers be more successful through using telecom capabilities, and we’re delivering on that! Its not just growing your business, its getting hired into the sponsors’ or other attendees’ organizations, we have some attendees just looking for developer talent.
  5. And of course there are lots prizes, we share the love (cash) with developers :)

The main challenge

  • Return on Investment. TADHack is not considered by some marketing groups that relevant because it does not deliver many telco leads, that’s not the focus of TADHack, though we do have telcos coming to the events and running TADHack locations. Some marketing organizations are unable to invest beyond chasing leads – this is a problem that needs immediate CEO intervention – its destructive short-term thinking. Part of marketing’s function is building markets and that is done collaboratively.

Final points

  1. Development is the new Operations.  Dev tools have become so powerful we can move from idea to realization in hours. Development is no longer a dark art, hidden in some corporate recess or off-shore operation. Its now open, multi-dispinary, real-time, and more tightly bound to creative processes. Its as much external as internal focused – this is why TADHack is important.
  2. A rising tide lifts all boats. Twilio has spent millions to build developer awareness, raising the tide by yourself is expensive, we have to work together. Marketing dollars need to be funneled to market building activities rather than just chasing leads, many of which many are already known to sales. Get involved in TADHack, don’t get stuck in the mud!

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