Actions vs Skills — Developer Marketing

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Creating a platform is all about attracting developers.

Maybe it’s just my search history, but YouTube seems to be targeting me ads for Alexa developers. This got me thinking about the tone that Amazon and Google are using in attracting developers, developers, developers to their ecosystems.

For Alexa, the tone is very much about getting started: Get a T-Shirt, Build For Free, Get In Early. You can check out the messaging here:

With Google, it sounds like they’ve been drinking a lot of Google-Aid.

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The messaging on the Actions for Google page are about “Extending the Google Assistant” or “From computation to conversation” or “Create a project in 30 minutes” or “Engage Users”. It’s cerebral and sounds like stuff they probably talk about in a letter-named building on Amphitheater Parkway. Check it out first hand here:

As usual, Amazon does a better job of understanding its customers. In this case, it’s the developers. They’re goal is to make a super easy on ramp for companies to add their service as a skill. They put the developer first.

Google, on the other hand, puts itself first. “Help us be better”. Why? Google assumes that developers are already convinced why they should build for Google Home / Assistant. Maybe they’re right about this? Maybe they don’t care? From how they’ve developed so far and integrated other services into search, it seems Google might eventually just have a go-it-alone approach and forsake third party development of Actions.

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