For the question market above you can mark who’s gunning for the hearts of developers after Nokia and Google as you please or know. Generally, developers are early adopters, gadget-freaks, experts with local knowledge and influencers. This I think these 2 companies recognized and moving fast to capture their hearts before their competitors.
Google has been the most serious of these companies by organizing tech events, sponsoring events and getting the industry engaged! You could argue that they are doing it for their bottom-line, sure, they are but one thing you must not forget is that, these events take us into their world, giving us first-hand access to their technology and infrastructure and giving us opportunity to become as big as our imagination can travel! No, company on earth (maybe NGO) will hold you by the hand and say this is how to build companies that can compete with us and probably defeat us in the market place. The decision is usually left to the entrepreneurs to take; you said you want to successful, uhn? The question is, how bad do you want it? Can you sacrifice your school for the success you dream of? Can you sacrifice you regular pay check for your vision? Can you dedicate 10,000 hours to learn an art and become expert/world class in it? Are you ready for a fight for the long term? Like Seth Godin said;
“Most people are searching for a path to success that is both easy and certain. Most paths are neither.”
So, Google can give you the platform, technology to sharpen your skill and increase your imagination but may never show you how to become mega successful just as you were not taught how to become a billionaire in school.
Look at this scenario; You set up a site on App Engine hosted for free, make money from Google Adsense, develop better business model, make million dollars, buy better servers, gain 80% market share, beat Google at their game (globally or in your local market) become a multi-billion-dollar company, get into Forbes Billionaires’ list, have lunch with Bill Gates, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, Mike Adenuga or even Barack Obama. All these are possible through the path above but will Google or any company tell you these? No! Your gut (and maybe me, J lolz) can tell you!
Nokia on the other hand has been trapped in its past success but the revolution currently sweeping the company can bring about a change. They tested the water by sponsoring mobiFest (We were a partner) last year, organized mobile app development training in April and planning to organize version 2.0 probably next month, have sponsored Social Innovation Camp and Garage48. The company as much as I can tell (After having a chat with their developer outreach department and other key people driving African strategy in the company) is ready to engage the community and move to the next level.
I still wonder why Microsoft is still trapped in the old-school, yea…old school! The usual corporate event, enterprise this and that. I mean get involved with the coders who can build on your technology to address the market more than you can like do. I don’t want to be offensive but history has shown that innovation don’t usually come from those who are hyper—comfortable. Get involve with guys that are hungry for success, empower them and see them help you sing your praise.
Our local giant?
It’s no doubt that companies like; Socket Works, Sidmach, Chams and a host of others are local giants, but really they are far asleep on their regular cash flow from government contracts and other big-ticket deals. I’m not be too concerned with these guys because really, what have they built or innovated? They keep build apps on solutions that are everywhere and earning far too much for what they do.
So, my main concern really is to see you and I, yea… I mean the under 30 guys, who might still be single or married (maybe) and hungry for success and recognition. Get your hands dirty doing neat stuffs. If you get help from Google, Microsoft, Nokia or anywhere, embrace and let your imagination run weird!