The thing I like most about the AppExchange is it’s openness.  Anyone can publish an app. Anyone can decide if they want to give it away or charge. And anyone can decide if they want to make their app simple or complex.

The AppExchange is a tool for reinvention.  It’s a mechanism for driving change.

For some people, the AppExchange is a completely new and totally unique path to personal growth.

If you like stats, check these out. More than 1,800 apps. More than 1.7m installs. 70% of the Fortune 100 have installed an app. The stats go on and on. Read Adam Seligman’s presentation from Business App Bootcamp for more.

I’m thinking about this today for three reasons.

First, I had a chance to listen to the excellent Button Click Admin podcast this week featuring none other than Michael Farrington (@MichaelForce).  If you’ve been around the community a while, you’ve probably run into either Michael or his excellent apps Field Trip and Draggin’ Role.  44 5 star reviews and 28 reviews, 4.5 stars, respectively (as of today).  These are great tools he needed.  So he took his great ideas and turned them into apps.  These apps have created huge career opportunities for him.

Second, Garry Polmateer over at Red Argyle (@DarthGarry) just released High Five, a collection of “Five fields every Salesforce Instance Should Have.”  This app started off as a column on the Salesforce Blog.  This kind of domain knowledge is an obvious shoe in for an app.  If you’re blogging about a solution to a business problem, building an app helps your readers understand your ideas in a much more concrete way.  I’m so glad Red Argyle did this.  They’re reshaping their careers, their business and their world.

Third, I’ve had a chance to spend some time with the good people at Level Eleven, and learn about the story behind their app, Compete (74 5 star reviews!). Bob Marsh (@BobMarsh5) is their CEO, and loves talking about his journey.  The highlight for me?  He went from idea to paying customer in only four months.  Four. Months.  And since then, investment and significant enterprise sales have followed.  Bob’s Twitter profile cracks me a up: could be a decent golfer, but he’s building a business instead.  Smart move.

There are a lot of great stories of entrepreneurs who have created the future they wanted by building apps.  Scott Hemmeter at Arrowpointe has done it.  Jeremy Kraybill and the team at Dashcord have done it.  The list goes on and on and on and on and on and ……. you get the idea.

Getting started is easy.  Taking the first step is up to you.  If you have questions, there’s tons of people who will help if you just ask (including me).  Good luck!


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