The various musings of Michael Hiles

FbStart Launch at 1871 Chicago

Chicago… what a great town for money. It was one of only three cities in all of North America selected to host the launch of Facebook’s FbStart program. San Francisco, Chicago, New York. That’s it. When I heard about the event and got the invite from my good friend Christopher Brock, I was all in for the road trip.

The event was held downtown at the 1871 Chicago accelerator facility in the Merchandise Mart building. Facebook really pulled out all the stops with the event, featuring multiple speakers, free beer, and great conversations.

Some highlights…

  • FbStart gives prospective application developers up to $80,000 in services, including some Facebook ad spend. Pretty generous.
  • You have to apply and be selected for the program. They don’t take all comers.
  • Third party app developers have a huge, uphill battle in front of them based on the statistics presented by Facebook. Since many app developers already use OAuth to create accounts and connect users to their apps, Facebook has access to lots of onboarding and usage data. The hard numbers are pretty abysmal for app developers. It’s like… almost ZERO chances of your app gaining any sort of consistent usage base out of the gate.
  • Facebook is opening up several areas of their platform to developers. Analytics will now support third-party data sources. Facebook identity services will allow you to use their platform for identity management AND will not require a Facebook account! Messenger Bot will eat mobile apps.
  • I have a keen interest in Messenger Bot based applications as an entirely new business value ecosystem.


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