Why Philips Targets Enterprise, Commercial, and Hobbyist Developers Separately

This case study is the third part of our series on 8 Real World API Strategies and The Keys To Their Success. In part 2, we looked at how Edmunds has driven growth by focusing on encouraging third parties to be viable businesses via their APIs.

This case study looks at the strategies employed by Philips Hue that have helped the company generate month-on-month growth in developer engagement and in the creation of new products, services and processes that rely on Philips Hue’s API.

The Philips Hue lighting system enables control of colored LED light bulbs via the Philips Hue API. Philips offers access to the API free of charge, and the terms of use allow developers to monetize the apps they build for the Philips Hue.

In 2014, Philips Hue developer adoption grew by 157%, as measured by average visitors to the developer portal. This growth has been fostered by a clear understanding of the different developer personas that are building on the API. The company categorizes developers into categories--including hobbyist, commercial users and enterprise customers--and provides focused developer engagement support for each persona. For example, the company supports hobbyists with home automation DIY forums and sites, and commercial developers through a process that reviews their apps and provides access to the app marketplace. Enterprise developers are supported in their efforts to create meaningful end customer experiences by using the product’s lighting capabilities. On a tech stack level, developers are supported through separate marketplaces based on the mobile or Web platform their app is built on.

The case study demonstrates that by understanding developers’ needs and app development environments, API providers can better meet developers where they are and support them to engage with the wider Philips Hue developer and customer communities.

As the Internet of Things and home automation markets continue to expand, it will be important to monitor Phillips Hue to see how API providers for hardware products can build long-term developer relations.

Be sure to read the next API Strategy article: Comprehensive Platform Support Including Ruby and .NET Drive Podio's API Success




Latest update of the bridge firmware blocks 3rd party ZLL lights, good to know Philips is fully commited to IOT !