Leave the Services Clients to the Services and Build Something Really Interesting


Twitter's Ryan Sarver made news when he posted a message that asked developers to stop developing Twitter clients. There's been a lot of talk about this and certainly, if you're the developer of a Twitter client this isn't good news. Still, it seems like a natural idea to me. The providers of services like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare are likely going to be the dominant providers of clients for those services. But clients for a single service are the least interesting clients and provide pretty low value to their users.

Where the real value lies, and something the services are likely to never do as well as others, is in mashing up service offerings from multiple companies. I'm not talking about clients that let you post to multiple places at once or even ones that automatically tweet when you checkin on FourSquare. I'm thinking of things that add real value. Brad Hintze sent me this scenario this morning that links FourSquare to TripIt and Expensify:

I book a flight and hotel and forward the details to TripIt. Expensify responds to the TripIt event and watches for an airline transaction and creates a report for my trip that was just scheduled. I check into Foursquare at the airport, Expensify responds to that event and automatically begins tracking all of my expenses. While I am on my trip, Expensify continues to respond to events from Foursquare. If there is a transaction that matches a checkin it adds a comment to the transaction noting who I was with at the venue (i.e., dinner with Sam, Doc). After I check back into my home airport again Expensify continues to monitor transactions for a few more hours and then generates a report for me and emails it.

People would pay for something like this. As a developer, I'm more interested in that kind of value than in being a free client for someone else's free service. Bring it on!

If you're interested in this kind of application come to Impact next week and we'll show you what we're thinking. Use the discount code "fulling" to get $50 off.