Developer Segmentation 2013

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The definitive study of developer segments and the hierarchy of developer motivations

This report analyses developer motivations, needs and profiles based on the most sophisticated developer segmentation model to date.  The report is based on the state-of-the-art needs-based segmentation approach, backed by hard data from 6,000+ mobile developers across 115+ countries. The segmentation report includes a unique profiling and analysis of eight developer segments – the Hobbyists, the Explorers, the Hunters, the Guns for Hire, the Product Extenders, the Digital Content Publishers, the Gold Seekers and the enterprise IT developers.

This report presents the most sophisticated and causal model for developer segmentation, based not on demographics, education, skills or technology choices, but the real motivations that drive developers to adopt a new technology. The segmentation model helps businesses understand which developers to engage, when and how. We have backed this model with unprecedented statistical rigor and hard data, from the largest ever mobile developer survey of 6,000+ developers.

Aimed at stakeholders in the app economy, from developer relations to companies who want to create or improve their developer initiative programmes, this report will help you understand developers and what drives them, based on their wants and needs.


This report is addressed to CxOs, product managers, decision makers and entrepreneurs within all organisations involved in the app economy:
  • Businesses engaged with apps
  • Software houses
  • App developers
  • Telecoms operators
  • Handset manufacturers
  • Developer tool vendors
  • Mobile platform vendors
  • App store owners
  • Developer Initiatives


The Hierarchy of Developer Motivations shows that revenues, in some form or other, are the goal for only 50% of mobile developers. The majority (53%) of mobile developers are motivated by creativity or the sense of achievement. The most important goal of 33% of developers has to do with self-improvement (having fun or gaining knowledge).

Explorers and Hobbyists, i.e. those developers seeking to learn, have fun and self-improve, make up 33% of the mobile developer population but only 13% of the app economy revenues.

Hunters and Guns for Hire, i.e. those developers seeking revenues from the app economy, make up 42% of the developer population and 48% of the app economy revenues.

Product Extenders, Enterprise IT developers, Digital Content Publishers and Gold Seekers prefer - more than average - Android and HTML5 as a platform.

To attract developer mindshare, businesses must understand the motivations of each segment. Speed & cost of development is a hygiene factor for platform selection, while revenue potential underscores the boundaries between segments.

Developer programs need to address developers with success metrics that combine revenues, with reach and knowledge gained. Business and revenue considerations fall on deaf ears for 33% of developers, and sound only partially interesting to another 53%.


  • How do the eight mobile developer segments contribute to the app economy?
  • Which developer segments should you approach, and at which stage of your developer program?
  • How should you approach each segment? How are developer segments characterised in terms of the job roles that developers have?
  • How are iOS, Android, Windows Phone, HTML5, BlackBerry or other developers motivated by different drivers?
  • What are the differences among segments when it comes to selecting a primary platform, tool or API?
  • How do mobile developer segments differ in terms of their goals?


  1. Key Takeaways
  2. About the Developer Segmentation report
  3. Research methodology
  4. Developers: Disruptors, Innovators or Resellers?
    • Regional distribution of the mobile developer population
    • Understanding developers
  5. The mosaic of developer personas
    • Goals, Motivations and Success Metrics
    • Understanding developer goals
    • The Eight Developer Segments
    • The Role of Segments in the App Economy
    • Platform Attitudes
    • Revenue Attitudes
    • Job Roles by Segment
    • Defining Success
    • The Hierarchy of Developer Motivations
    • How Developer Motivations are Mixed and Matched
    • Aligning Motivations and Success Metrics
  6. Developer Profiles and Scorecards
  7. Developer sub-segments
Copyright © 2015 Visionmobile Ltd · Licensed under (CC) BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Developer Economics

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