by Brian Solis
I was invited to attend the MySpace party last night in SOMA to commemorate the company’s official launch of its Sandbox developer platform.
The MySpace Developer Platform (MDP) allows developers to create applications that interact with MySpace members and their social data. With MDP, developers will be able to create new products that integrate directly into MySpace pages and get exposure to millions of people around the world.
Facebook can’t have all the fun right?
It was nice to have an opportunity to revisit my old office at 625 Second Street, which I shared with many other cool startups, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. The irony is that we’re no longer there because a big company from Los Angeles needed space in SOMA and decided that this would be the ideal location for their expansion.
But, back to the matter at hand.
MySpace brought a little Southern California style, again, to San Francisco. As noted by the picture above, the line to get in stretched an entire hallway, from the elevator to the front door. Lines seem to be all the rage these days.
After a very welcome reception from Donna Sokolsky, Chris Heuer and I were whisked in to the party and also handed some very LA-style schwag packed in pretty nice black backpack. In the elevator, Chris and I were pleasantly surprised to see some cool stuff, including a FlipCam Ultra.
The party was held on the 4th floor of the LookSmart building and it was completely transformed to resemble one big sandbox and playground to play off the evening’s theme.
It was an interesting mix of developers, bloggers, reporters, various startups, and a few VCs.
After speaking with several developers, the sentiment was consistent…everyone is curious, cautious, and also a bit skeptical. Everyone seemed to agree that MySpace’s motives were suspicious. “No one here even has a MySpace profile,” balked one well known entrepreneur.
Interesting to say the least.
I caughe up with Chris Dewolfe who was ready and willing to talk about the platform and his plans moving forward. They’re absolutely committed to seeing this through. They want to help MySpace grow up a bit if you will…
However, these views and opinions didn’t steal from the fun and vibrant atmosphere. Everyone was anxious to hear what Chris Dewolfe and Tom Anderson had to say.
The most intriguing thing for me was the news that every application currently in development will be launched at the same time, one month from today. Kyle Brinkman, GM of the MySpace Developer Platform, said to Tom Foremski,”We want a level playing field and we think this will encourage quality over quantity.”
As Tom noted, “This approach penalizes developers who work quickly and seek the advantages of time to market–a core principle within the Silicon Valley developer culture.”
Foremski continued, “This is a potentially huge bottleneck in the development process that could strand thousands of applications from reaching launch date. And it will seriously affect the quality of MySpace applications because developers will be discouraged from making improvements because they will have to go through the vetting process again, and again. It will extend the time to market for their apps.”
I don’t disagree.
What we can all agree upon is that MySpace is a well-funded company run by a team that wants to grow well beyond where they are today. Their aspirations catapult well beyond social networks as they seek to create an entirely new platform for popular connectivity and entertainment.
Here are some memorable moments from last night:
Kara Swisher “flips” out
Keith Rabois of slide (center) and Peter Pham of Photobucket (right)
Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester
Duncan Winter of last.fm
Scott Beale of LaughingSquid
Jack Dorsey of Twitter (center) and Ben Metcalfe (right)
Dan Farber of CNET
Rafe Needleman of Webware
Wired’s Megan McCarthy and Hoom from 97.3 Radio Alice Morning Show
Visit my MySpace party album hosted on flickr.