Every company in Silicon Valley wants to become a platform for other companies to build cool stuff on top of. It is the easiest way to attract customers. Coghead—the DIY, Web-based, business-app builder—is no different. Today it is publicly launching its charter affiliates program, whereby software developers can create their own enterprise apps using Coghead and then resell them to their customers. (The program has been in private beta since Coghead launched in October, 2006). Coghead hosts the apps and gives developers a 15 percent discount on its regular $49/month subscription fee (for five users). They build a custom application for software product managers or flower-shop owners or whomever, charge a markup, and get to keep the difference. Coghead takes care of the back-end management and billing as well.
It is the exact same business model as Salesforce.com’s AppExchange. (Meanwhile, Salesforce is already moving into Coghead’s custom-application territory with Force.com, which it launched in September). Coghead faces other competition from Zoho Creator, Dabble DB, WyaWorks, and LongJump. The online database/app creation market is getting crowded, and there is only room for one or two platforms. Salesforce is already one of them. If Coghead can make it easier to develop Web apps for the enterprise than anyone else and attract a following, it’s got a shot at that coveted platform status. We’ll be keeping an eye on its progress.
Has anyone used Coghead? How does it compare to the competition? Please let us know in comments.