We‘ve come a long way since VisionMobile was founded in 2005. I founded the company just after I had left Orange (the telco) as a means to build a strategy consultancy for the era of mobile. That was two years before Android and iOS were introduced to the world, and ended up impacting every single industry out there. We, much like the tech industry, have come a long way since then. We ‘ve expanded our research scope from mobile to almost everything touched by software – surveying 40,000 developers annually across mobile, IoT, cloud, desktop, web, games, ML and AR/VR. We pivoted from a strategy consultancy to an analyst firm helping top-100 tech platforms understand developers and measure developer satisfaction with their products. And it’s time to change our name to celebrate that change. But before we get there, some history.
In our first five years we were the mobile strategists, advising mobile software companies on their positioning and strategy. We delivered open source training, measured openness, measured the performance of Symbian vs Android, tracked software players in the 100 Million Club, and mapped the hundreds of players making up the Mobile Industry Atlas.
During our next five years (2010-2014) we were the mobile software analysts. Our team of 10 worked with the top telcos and handset makers to help them navigate the software disruption. We deciphered software business models, analysed the annual Mobile Megatrends, and launched the Developer Economics research series, measuring mobile developer attitudes, monetisation and mapping out enterprise dev tools.
Our third and final phase started in 2015 when we evolved to an analyst firm, launching a set of subscription services. We’ve now found our purpose, earning the trust of Microsoft, Intel, Google, Amazon, Facebook and many more top-100 technology firms, who we help to understand developers and measure developer satisfaction with their products. Our Developer Economics research service now surveys 40,000 developers annually, across mobile, IoT, cloud, desktop, web, games, Machine Learning and AR/VR, from hobbyists to professionals and across 150 countries.
It’s time to change our name to reflect that mission. SlashData (slashdata.co) reflects how deeply we understand developers with data, both of which are at the core of our business. “/” is a common symbol in software development, while “data” captures the DNA of our business, and the core competitive value we deliver to clients.
As SlashData, we have an exciting roadmap ahead of us. Helping the world understand developers, from population sizing, to key developer metrics and where to reach devs; and helping the top-100 tech firms measure developer satisfaction, and competitive developer attitudes. You’ll see us launch a lot of new services and formats. Our second Future Developer Summit is being held on Oct 10 in Palo Alto, and watch this space for our developer satisfaction awards launching very soon!
P.S. Even the re-branding project has been a major learning. We first asked the team to come up with a new name. We flooded a spreadsheet with funny-looking to boring sounding names. But we didn’t feel that, we, the management team had the expertise to ask the right questions – should we keep “Vision”? We imagined puzzled clients hearing a name they haven’t heard before. Should the name be serious or whimsical? Do we need to make the domain name availability a priority or a second thought? So we went to an external agency (who shall remain nameless) crying for help. A month later, we had some more names – but we simply felt they did not express our identity or sector well enough. And just as we were getting to a 404, Christos our designer, suggested /data. It was love at first sight for most of the team. So we went for a bold change – a name that does not carry a legacy to the past, but one that will carry us forward for the next 10 years.