What makes a platform successful? In my opinion, it's the amount of things that can be done while using it. Apple, Google, and Microsoft have done a wonderful job with keeping developers interested in developing for their large user bases. But RIM, the Canadian company that manufacturers BlackBerry hardware and develops BlackBerry hardware, has struggled in this regard.
Today, the company introduced BlackBerry 10, its next-generation operating system that will debut for consumers later this year. It looks like a massive improvement over current BlackBerry software, but that's just the beginning. During the keynote, RIM announced that it guarantees popular developers will see $10,000 worth of sales of apps during their first year.
As with any other offer of "free money," there are a couple of catches. First, to qualify for this offer, developers will need to apply for quality certification. Apparently, RIM doesn't want its App World filled with the countless fart apps and game ripoffs that plague other app ecosystems. Secondly, the developer will have to make $1,000 without any help from RIM. If that happens, RIM will pay the difference to the developer.
RIM is making a great move here. $1,000 can be thought of as a little over 1,000 people purchasing an app, and if it's a really good app, that money can be made in very little time. I just really hope that this entices enough big and small developers to BlackBerry 10 because, based on what I've seen today, I might become a BlackBerry user.