B2C + B2D List

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Part
01

B2C's that grew to offer B2D's - Part One

We began our research for B2C companies that expanded into B2D offerings by exploring B2B companies that are also B2C or discussed B2D companies as a concept and new process in relation to startups. The companies found this way did not offer B2C products or solutions prior to offering B2D ones. The first company we identified that fit the search criteria was Amazon, and its web services. From that point forward, we searched for individual companies that offered B2D services and solutions in addition to their B2C ones and were able to find four additional companies: Instagram, Apple, Google and Adobe. Of these five companies, we were only able to find information about failed ventures for Amazon, although it was not directly related to the services it offers. All five companies promote their B2D offerings in a positive light.

AMAZON

Amazon started as an online bookstore in July 1995. By 1997, the site offered more than 2.5 million books and by the end of the year, company sales totaled USD $148 million. The company then counted with 1.5 million customers in over 150 countries. When eBay first launched, Amazon tried to build a similar auction-based platform to compete called AuctionWeb. It launched in September 1995, but was unsuccessful. Eventually, Amazon launched successful B2B and B2D business ventures, and offering valuable services to a variety of businesses and developers.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is Amazon's B2C platform. They offer services to build sophisticated applications that are flexible, scalable and reliable. AWS offers a wide range of products and cloud solutions which are grouped by application and industry. In 2006, AWS began offering IT infrastructure services to business in the form of cloud computing and are available worldwide. The benefits of AWS for businesses include its low cost, its durable and reliable platform, and its security. AWS benefits from the reputation and notoriety of the Amazon brand to attract clients and position themselves as a serious player in the B2D industry. AWS provides application hosting services, website maintenance, enterprise IT, backup & storage, content delivery and databases.

Amazon Advertising Platform is a demand-side platform that allows clients (businesses) to create advertisements that will be delivered through Amazon-owned-and-operated outlets (Amazon.com and IMDb), leading publishers' sites through direct inventory from Amazon Publisher Services, and through third-party exchanges as well.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram was launched as a photo-sharing platform on July 16, 2010. Nowadays, the platform is host to over 50 million users. This large base of selfie-takers is a great market for companies to showcase their products and services, which led to Instagram's development their API platform.

The Instagram API Platform can be used to build high-quality apps and services that help individuals share their own content with 3rd party apps. The platform allows brands and advertisers to better understand and manage their audience, helps broadcasters and publishers discover content and get digital rights to media. Some ways in which Instagram's API is allowing users (companies and individuals) to use the site to market their brand is through search tags, incorporating photos to websites, viewing photos from specific locations in real time, make custom items and create live event feeds.

APPLE

Apple is the oldest company on this list. It was founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniac and forever changed the computer industry. Throughout the decades, Apple has evolved from offering hardware products, to software and cloud solutions. They have leveraged their reputation for innovation and vanguard to showcase and develop a sophisticated B2D platform called the Apple Developer Program.

Apple's Developer Program offers services in every step of the development journey from "code to customer". It gives developers access to beta software, advanced app capabilities, extensive testing tools, and app analytics. Apple offers enterprise programs that can be used to create solutions fitted for an organization's needs. An MFi program allows developers access to resources needed to develop/create accessories for Apple devices.

GOOGLE

Google was founded in 1998, and in its infancy it was only known as a search engine. Through the years, however, Google has grown to become one of the most recognizable brands in the world, with a reputation for innovation and world-renowned server service. Google's B2D platform is known as Google Cloud Platform (or GCP). This new platform frees users from the overhead of managing infrastructure, provisioning services and configuring networks. GCP makes available to developers and businesses google's core infrastructure, data analytics and machine learning to allow companies and clients to focus on their priorities of client acquisition, sales and revenue, while outsourcing their development needs to an expert in the field.

ADOBE

Adobe is a software company founded in 1982 that created software products deemed by the public to be "sincere, trustworthy and reliable". From this reputation, Adobe developed into a global company that offers software and solutions to a wide array of clients. Adobe's B2D platform, known as the "Dev Center", supports programs specifically designed for developers who require assistance in addressing complex technical challenges in their projects. Adobe leverages its history and expertise in those fields to offer a wide array of solutions for their clients. Solutions offered include developer programs, developer kits, developer knowledge base and interactive forums.

Conclusion

In the past couple of years, as the B2D market has begun to flourish, companies that have had successful experiences in B2B and B2C markets have expanded to offer services and solutions to cater to clients within the B2D market. Some companies that have had successful expansions into he market are Amazon, Instagram, Apple, Google and Adobe. They have leveraged their competencies and the power of their brands to establish themselves as key players in the B2D market.

Part
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Part
02

B2C's that grew to offer B2D's - Part Two

Our exploration of more B2C companies that expanded into B2D markets takes the same methodology and research criteria used to develop the first list of companies. The companies identified are Visa, Skype, LinkedIn, Squarespace and DropBox. Of these companies, we were only able to find a failed venture for the Skype corporation's parent company, Microsoft, which launched a failed version of a developer center in 2013, before it was taken over by Skype for Business. All five companies have found was to use their brand power to promote their B2D services to their clients and partners and in all cases, companies view B2D offerings as a key market for future growth.

VISA

Visa is a global payment company that operates worldwide promoting the use of digital currency. The company is a third-party intermediary between the client and the merchant. They rely on worldwide recognition and operations to forge relationships with merchants and gain customer's trust and preference. In 2015, Visa launched the Visa Development Center, a platform for developers to connect and form a community. The Development Center will work with financial institutions, merchants and technology companies striving to meet consumer demands in a world increasingly reliant on devices to buy and sell goods and services. Visa wants to leverage its B2D operations to reinforce its B2C market and make visa payments the first choice of all retail platforms.

SKYPE

Skype was a communication software geared towards consumers that was purchased by Microsoft in 2011. Since then, Microsoft has expanded the business and integrated the program into their existing office suite. In 2013, Microsoft launched Lync, a platform that allowed for integrated communications and interaction, supported by a secure, enterprise-grade IT-managed platform. This platform was mildly successful, but limited to Mircosoft-powered devices. Microsoft's B2D offering did not truly take off until 2015, when they replaced Lync for Skype for Business, a developer platform that works across various operating systems. The new Skype Developer Platform provides opportunities to customize and extend communication capabilities. Apps can be customized for clients through use of varied developer resources which include how-to documentation, SDKs and references, and code samples developers can use as a starting point.

LINKEDIN

Linkedin is a social networking site that launched in 2003 that connects individuals in a professional setting. LinkedIn's developer network allows for current Linked in members (currently over 332 million) to connect with other developers. Within the LinkedIn platform, users and companies can develop their web pages, customize them to their liking and share updates and exciting news to their existing network. LinkedIn leverages its power as the preferred professional networking platform to attract talented developers and world-renowned companies to work together and create value through the use of LinkedIn's Platform.

SQUARESPACE

Squarespace is a website dedicated to creating websites for consumers and businesses. It acts as a third-party connector between bloggers, retailers and freelancers and their readers and customers. Squarespace offers a variety of products, which includes basic templates for anyone to be able to create their own website. It's ease of use and sleek design has made it one of the most popular web-builder sites, appealing to over 1.2 million customers. Squarespacet's excursion into B2D markets was seamless and quick to follow its success in the B2C market. Users have the ability to expand beyond basic templates and create their own custom code through the use of Squarespace's Developer Mode. Developers can create their own customization to their websites to enhance end-user experience.

DROPBOX

Dropbox began as a cloud computing website that offered consumers digital storage space. It has evolved to be a developer haven within the storage market. The Dropbox Platform provides thousands of pre-integrated apps for users to create additional productivity and collaboration solutions. Dropbox Business API enables an entire suite of security, compliance and admin solutions, and also the development of new applications.

CONCLUSION

Companies that seek to remain relevant, must listen to market signals and adapt properly. The B2D space has flourished in the past couple of years, and companies that find themselves in a position to build their own platform to attract developers will reap great rewards. Companies like Visa, Skype, LinkedIn, Squarespace and Dropbox have taken appropriate steps to ensure they remain relevant and become important players as the B2D space continues to grow.
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