Advice to OAuth Providers: Consumers, Consumers, Consumers

Gabe Wacho offers some good advice to OAuth providers:

Understand that many of the consumer applications of your service are driving users to your site, and in the world of composable services, your consumer application developers will often have choice. Choice means power. Recognize.

Several good points in his article. The main message, though, is to target consumers, not just end-users. This is sound logic, like a chocolate manufacturer seeing its retailers as a customer, as much as the guy who eats the chocolate. Stated in strategic marketing terms, Porter’s Value Chain reminds higher-level suppliers to see through the eyes of those they supply to, so they can understand how they add value further down the chain. e.g. our chocolate manufacturer considers how it can help a supermarket add value to the chocolate bar, e.g. by its product design, packaging, reporting systems, delivery mechanisms.

In the software world, one company which heavily relied on this principle is Microsoft. As mentioned in The Story Behind “Developers, Developers, Developers!!!!”, MS traditionally focused heavily on developers to make the platform flourish. On the whole, companies on the web are pretty good at this nowadays, with developer blogs and the general use of Documentation as Conversation.

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