Developer adoption matters above all else in the early days of technological change. That is why all of these companies are placing big bets on training and documentation programs.
I have asked myself: why developer adoption? Was new technology adoption always targeting developers? And I think I have a couple of answers:
- targeting developers is the easiest way to get feedback from people that will use your product. Keep in mind that business solutions rarely rely directly on technology. They usually rely on their technical teams which rely on technology, so most of the time your product’s users will be the developers, not the businesses
- more importantly, developers will quickly come up with use cases and scenarios where your product fits (nb they will also complain a lot about what doesn’t work). You could then use these use cases/scenarios to build your pre-sales/sales pitches
- last, but not least, developers will do a part of the marketing and PR for you. If they don’t, then your product might not be as useful as you thought of it.
On the other hand, if your product positioning is not very clear, betting your adoption on developers only might also be interpreted as a a weakness sign (as in “hey, they have no idea what their product should do”). Some will see your product as a vitamin instead of a painkiller. Not to mention, that developers will say both good things, but also a lot of things about what they don’t like and where your product sucks.