If You Build It (and a whole lot of people work really, really hard for six years) They Will Come

AppExchange Crosses the One Million Installs Milestone

Six years ago salesforce.com launched the world’s first app marketplace, you can check it out here: http://web.archive.org/web/20060316041420/http://www.salesforce.com/appexchange

We launched it before cloud was cool and the only thing we had to compare it to was Amazon, eBay and iTunes.

It was years before there was an App Store, Android Market or a Google Apps Marketplace.  What started off in 2005 as a drawing of “on-demand” apps on a napkin has now transformed how we consume technology.  A marketplace that has connected customers with cloud applications one million times.

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While the million installs milestone is impressive, what’s far more interesting is the fact that apps and app marketplaces have completely changed how we find, try and buy technology. What apps and app marketplaces have done is expose the strength of platforms. And because the strength of the platform is now exposed so publically, it has become the key factor in purchase decisions of customers. We no longer decide what phone to buy by comparing talk time and battery life, instead we willingly cede the actual functions of the phone in exchange for the apps on the app store.

Similarly, when we buy enterprise applications, we no longer just evaluate them against the requirements of our projects but rather consider their potential as a platform and look at the strength of their ecosystem as the clearest measure of its long term value.

This dynamic has ignited an explosion in both consumer and enterprise mobile cloud apps. And the funny thing about marketplaces (and platforms) is that the bigger they get, the faster they grow. It’s a snowball effect. More customers lead to more opportunities for new apps and more apps lead to more customers and the cycle just keeps repeating. You see this in the Apple App Store and the Android Market, and we see it in the AppExchange. One million installs is a great achievement for us and for all the partners who helped make it happen, but honestly the next six years will be even more exciting than the last six years.

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