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DotNetNuke acquires Snowcovered: our take on this deal

aug 27 2009

Today, DNN Corp. announced the acquisition of Snowcovered. A surprising move, being a very logical one.

eurosignSince we started with DotNetNuke, we have been buying and selling modules and skins on Snowcovered. We were happy we could, not only because we made a healthy profit from selling modules, but more importantly because it allowed us to extent our DNN capabilities.

The modules and skins bought though Snowcovered extended our toolbox in such a way that we could successfully compete against non-DNN solutions. Moreover, having such a convenient shop for DNN extensions not only improved the findability of the available extensions, but for sure promoted the development of new extensions.

 

DNN Corp. started its marketplace early 2007 and until today it has not been very successful. Compared to Snowcovered, user experience of the DNN Marketplace was not optimal, and some important features and benefits (e.g. vendors discounts, PayPal payments) were not there. Improving the Marketplace did not happen, one of the main reasons for lack of success, IMHO.

So what can we learn from this?

  • First mover advantage extremely important.
  • Even if you have an excellent opportunity to compete against a first mover (like DNN Corp. had), you have to do your homework and have to offer a value proposition that is better than the first mover.

 

When the DNN Marketplace started, we were hoping that this competition would also improve the services of Snowcovered. Although Snowcovered was already pretty good, there was (and is) still a lot to be desired, amongst others:

  • Better customer support (for buyers). You are basically on your own when a vendor does not perform.
  • Cheaper (for vendors), a 25% gross fee seems steep, especially for high volume products / vendors.
  • An easier product listing process and support for license management.
  • More options for mediation in case of buyer - vendor conflicts.
  • etc.

 

So were does that leave us, after the acquisition of Snowcovered by DNN Corp?

For sure this acquisition will help grow the DNN community, because prospective users will immediately see a vibrant and trustworthy commercial ecosystem. However, as DNN service provider and Snowcovered power user, we also hope that DNN Corp. will improve upon the current 'weaknesses' of the Snowcovered platform.

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