I think it's fair to say that Naveed has been "working like crazy" since the very successful Innovate09 conference. However, I did manage to catch up with him recently for a few minutes for a quick chat. Here's how that went.
Naveed, can you briefly describe your role at PayPal and the work you
did before joining PayPal?
I manage and run PayPal’s Developer Network. As some of you might know already, I love building communities and engaging networks, that’s my passion. That’s why I took the role at PayPal, so that the Developer Community had direct access with us. Whether its feedback on our roadmap, technical content (API’s, SDK’s, Sample Apps & Code) on x.com <http://www.x.com/> or events, my team and I are here for the developer community to make sure we are all working together to be successful, and yes, to make more money.
Before I came to PayPal I worked at AOL for 12.5 years. When I left I was running the AOL Developer Network, where I helped grow the community to over 3 million developers and helped create a portfolio of 20,000+ apps for multiple brands (AIM, Winamp, Bebo etc) in the network.
Naveed, what were your top goals for your first developer conference?
I wanted to make sure that everyone felt included and walked away knowing that PayPal really cares about developers. I wanted to get direct feedback from the developers about our products and our roadmap as well as discover the possibilities that PayPal X opens up for them. I wanted to get to know them a bit better, have fun doing it and last but not least do everything in my power to help them become rock stars by changing the world of payments in a fundamental way.
How well do you think you accomplished those goals?
I think we did really well with Innovate09. Obviously there was a lot of great press and attendees really seemed to enjoy themselves with the keynotes, breakout sessions and netbooks :-). But the real proof will be when we start seeing the apps that they create – and the money the developer community makes from them.
Naveed. what were the biggest surprises for you at Innovate 2009?
For a first year developer conference we were SOLD OUT!! I think that came as a nice surprise, cause with so many other conferences to choose from these days, we got the attention of the community and they responded really well.
What are the next steps for those who attend the conference as well as for those who were able to join the fun in
Well, develop apps, for sure! Get engaged with the PayPal X Developer Network. I have seen this over and over again that – the developers who are most involved in the community (sending feedback, posting on forums, writing blogs) tend to be the most successful.
Naveed, what really cool stuff do you have going on for developers right now?
We are giving away $150,000 in cash and prizes for the best apps based on our new APIs -- the deadline to sign up is Dec. 16 (final apps are not due until Feb. 7). Check out the PayPal X Developer Challenge site for all the details. I can’t wait to see all the cool stuff developers come up with and to give away some cash.
Bonus question: Do you really think the Red Sox will ever win another World Series or is that just a Scott Thompson pipe dream? Do you have any personal (pipe) dreams?
Is there a way I can answer this and still keep my job? My money’s on
My personal pipe dream? Making the world a better place through the Anwar Foundation <http://anwarfoundation.com/> in helping underprivileged communities around the world.
Thanks for your time, Naveed. I'm very excited about our collaboration focused on growing our communities, expanding our networks and ensuring our programs continuously evolve to meet the ever changing needs of our developer audience. As Humphrey Bogart said to Claude Rains at the end of Casablanca, "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
I hope you have enjoyed this chance to meet my new friend Naveed Anwar. Please let us know what you think of My developerWorks (now running on Lotus Connections 2.5) and X.com by posting your comments and feedback in this blog.