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Google Gadget Ventures: Get Paid To Develop Google Gadgets
How do you help encourage the growth of a widgets or gadgets ecosystem? Being
big is a good, natural start. It has helped people flock to develop
or Yahoo Widgets or
Google Gadgets, just for
exposure to the traffic at these places. But Google wants to encourage with more
than traffic. Now it’s offering cold hard cash.
"We’ve seen lots of people develop great applications for gadgets that we
wouldn’t have thought of or developed ourselves," said Sep Kamvar, who leads
personalization engineering at Google. "We wanted to incent developers, and one
of the things we had been thinking about was to create an ecosystem so people
would invest in their gadgets because it was profitable."
Explaining further, Kamvar said:
"AdSense allowed lots of people to quit their jobs and make money from it. We
want to make the same economic ecosystem for gadget developers. Our main goal
here is to bootstrap an ecosystem where lots of gadget developers can spend time
doing what they love, doing great things with their gadgets and make money from
Grants of $5,000 are the first level of support available to developers.
Those that have built gadgets listed in the
Google Gadget directory
which get at least 250,000 weekly pageviews are eligible to apply. The process
involves a one-page proposal explaining how they would use the grant to improve
Those who successfully earn the first level of support can then go on to the
higher level of funding — $100,000 in seed investment. This is designed for the
gadget developer with a business plan on how a gadget can actually earn money.
The $100,000 investment from Google is meant to help kickstart the development.
As explained, it is only available to those developers that have first proven
their worth by winning an initial grant.
Though the larger grant is billed as an investment, Google said the intent
was to structure the funding in a way to encourage product development, rather
than to be a way for Google itself to earn money off investing in potentially
"The payoff for us is in more pageviews and users. By getting more users, we
get more searches," said Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of search
products and user experience.