Max Levchin: Web 2.0’s Tom Sawyer?

Great post on Max Levchin’s blog on how to engineer the social conditions that make people want to build on and into your platform.
Some observations from his list:

  • Visiting and engaging the CTOs of pre-launch partner companies will create instant camaraderie between the platform development team and the developer community.
  • Treat developers equally, but leverage the best ones by letting them closer in. Plan and manage a community, and introduce a community manager early – ideally, these are pretty technical people that gain fast credibility with hard-core developers. Introduce a few colorful personalities to make developers feel welcome, pre-launch.
  • Shift the support/documentation load onto the early developers.
  • Respond very quickly to platform issues, and take the early scaling problems seriously. The feeling of “this must be really important to them” will carry a lot of weight with the developer community in the early days.
  • Emphasize the money-making nature of the platform.

There’s lots more, all shrewd and all true. Talk about getting a fence painted.