GitHub. Amazing platform for source code management, daily visited by millions of programmers, designers and software project managers. Also known as Facebook for nerds and Twitter for the code. 9 million registered users and 20 million unregistered visitors every month. Why people were not happy enough with Git and how a startup managed to offer a product that stole the show – all this is a part of GitHub success story.
When Linus Benedict Torvalds developed Linux language that eventually became the core of numerous tech products, he quickly realized the need for real-time cooperation with other programmers, who all together could bring changes to the language. This is how Git appeared – an open-source program, allowing submit or download code, follow and monitor all the product versions. With Git, individual developers could contribute to various open-source projects located in any part of the world and easily communicate with their colleagues. What made it kind of hard to use Git, is its command-line concept: to operate the program, developers were supposed to know a set of complex commands. And this “pain in the ass” was noticed by GitHub founders, who created an easy-to-use social-networking platform for software engineers, providing the environment for wiki-like reference, file management and peer-to-peer cooperation (even in the form of post comments).
In 2012, American VC firm Andreessen Horowitx invested $100 million in GitHub startup, obviously seeing a great business potential. In 3 years, GitHub raised another $250 million and got valued at $2 billion.
Today GitHub is a truly popular hosting platform among app developers, software project managers and freelancers in search of new projects, or simply those who explore open source. There are projects written in all modern programming languages, added by a number of non-code sections like books and different reference materials (topped by “ProGit”).
What really deserves attention in GitHub success story is the product benefits (because the product is the crucial power of any startup) that deal with transaction costs’ reduction for those who collaborate on software development:
1) Search and information costs: GitHub allows you to find any project with minimum time and effort.
2) Bargaining costs – in terms of software development: project managers apply standardized process to monitor code changes suggested by individual developers and then decide whether to accept them or not.
3) Enforcement costs: GitHub helps ensure all-party involvement in the project and keeps a “healthy” community.
As a result, GitHub users get a major product value that fosters the success of the company. Which is followed by the conclusion: to build a successful product, first find the main activity that needs to be changed and make it your core proposition. After all, money-promising are mostly those which reduce some kind of pain.
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