Why I’m Joining The Application Developers Alliance Board of Directors

I spend all of my working time in the domain of software, Internet, and entrepreneurship. Over the past few years I’ve gotten increasingly involved in a handful of political situations – local, state, and national – that directly impact companies either in the ecosystem I’m part of or that I’ve invested in. Many of these political situations stifle entrepreneurship, innovation, or opportunities for these companies.

I’ve come to appreciate the importance of organizations of like-minded individuals working together to advocate clear positions and help acceleration entrepreneurship and innovation. Historically I’ve been very reticent to formally join anything, preferring to help as much as I can as an individual contributor. Recently, I’ve stepped up my involvement in some non-profits, adding Startup Weekend and Startup Colorado to the list of non-profits I’m working with in addition to my longstanding role as chair of the National Center for Women & Information Technology.

When my long time friend Don Dodge reached out and asked me to join the board of the Application Developers Alliance, I said yes. Developers are at the heart of the universe I work in and central to many of the things I do. Making sure they have a voice in the rapidly evolving software / Internet ecosystem on a global scale is important to me. Hopefully I can be helpful.

In the mean time, if you are a company that develops applications or provides ecosystems for application developers, take a look at the current member list and consider joining our effort.

  • Under “Policy Principles”:

    Intellectual Property:
    Protect developers’ work and shield innovators from unreasonable legal attacks.

    I’m not sure how to read that. As a developer and entrepreneur my greatest fear regarding public policy is the apparent ignorance of patent trolling, making it difficult in many cases for truly innovative ideas to make it into the market. I shudder to think what would happen if one of my products were attacked by a patent troll just as they begin to cross the chasm into the mainstream market.

    What is your position on this?

    • Don Dodge

       Kristoffer, Brad has been very outspoken on the patent issue for many years. Patent trolls stifle innovation. The patent laws need to be changed. It will take time and political will to do it. Pointing out the lunacy of certain patents, and how trolls are using them, will help move the political debate.

      • Thanks Don. It’s really great to see guys like you and Brad continue to throw in your support behind true innovation. I think your comment confirms the position I hoped the Application Developers Alliance held on IP and patents. Thanks for responding so affirmatively.

        — Kris

    • I personally am strongly and publicly against patent trolls. I expect that the organization will develop a clear view quickly.

      • DaveJ

        App Dev Alliance might be a good venue for my employee inventions agreement idea we discussed before your vacation.

        • Yup! Front of mind for me.

  • Don Dodge


    Thank you so much for lending your voice to the issues of developers. You are incredibly busy with a million other things, so this is a big sacrifice. You are an entrepreneur and developer yourself, and work with hundreds of startups, so no one knows the issues facing developers better than you.

    Thank you for your support.

    Don Dodge



  • There seems to be a lot of folks from the Association for Competitive Technology wondering why not just bolt on to their organization. I’m always in favor of starting with a clean slate as opposed to bolting on, especially when it comes to advocacy. However, will the ADA seek to join forces with ACT or pursue their advocacy independently?

    • I don’t know enough about the Association for Competitive Technology to have a point of view on this.

    • Jake Ward

      The mission of the Apps Alliance is to serve and support developers in every possible way – in business and industry, in policy and law, in the U.S. and globally.  We are an “industry association” in the nature of MMA, IAB and CTIA, but with a focus on developers. 

      Two relevant examples: 

      1.The Apps Alliance has people on the ground in San Francisco and New York City, not only in Washington, DC.  Many organizations have staff only in DC, or perhaps also in Brussels. 

      2. The Apps Alliance Voluntary Board is led by publicly-named, industry-leading developers, developer relations executives, and companies that directly fund and/or support developers.  Some organizations are less public about their governance. 

      Over many months before launching publicly, Alliance staff met with scores of developers and innovation-oriented organizations to shape our focus, confirm interest, and seek support.  We are pleased to have attracted industry leaders to our membership and Board, and in furtherance of developers’ interests we anticipate working with many organizations.  We welcome all suggestions. 

  • Cool, joined.  As someone who runs a successful community forum, I’d be careful of initial over-fragmentation.  It’s the oldest mistake people make with communities.  A forum for every topic, yet none really shine.  Best practice, when the fire is hot, you take some coals out to start another one. 

  • I just joined as a member. How do we get on this list: http://appdevelopersalliance.org/about/alliance-partner-members 

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