In early November, I got the chance to meet with Naveed Anwar,
my developer program colleagues, as he kicked off the X.com
Developer Network at PayPal's Innovate09
Conference. Naveed and
I first met earlier this year to discuss our respective developer
programs, IBM's developerWorks
and PayPal's X.com
. It was exciting to see many similarities between our programs, but it was even more exciting to exchange unique best practices and lessons learned (sometimes lessons learned the hard way) and to discuss our efforts to greatly expand the use of social networking capabilities throughout our developer programs. I'm looking forward to a continued and growing collaboration with Naveed and his x.com team as we tackle similar goals and challenges.
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
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 San Francisco?
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.
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
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
Is there a way I can answer this and still keep my job? My money’s on Nigeria in the Football World Cup…ahem… :-)
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.