Google is giving away money…

To Gadget developers that is. A few days ago Google announced Google Gadget Ventures, a pilot project for funding third-party Gadget developers.

The Official Google Blog says Google wants to help developers who want to spend more time developing Gadgets and:

Our hope with Google Gadget Ventures is to help create an ecosystem where developers can spend more time doing what they love—building great Gadgets.

It’s very nice of Google to think about us pour developers, but I don’t think this is the main reason.

Google knows how important the developer community is. Without developers who want to create Gadgets, iGoogle won’t be very popular and people will go to Yahoo, Netvibes or one of the other personalized pages services. I even think there are more Netvibes modules at the moment than there are Google Gadgets. So it’s a very smart move to start awarding developers.

Two different types of funding

Google Gadget Ventures is a pilot project which offers 2 types of funding:

  1. a grant of $5000 for developers who’ve built a gadget that gets at least 250,000 page views per week. You only have to submit a one page proposal how you want to improve the gadget and how you’re gonna use the $5000 to reach that goal.
  2. a seed investment of $100,000 for developers who want to create a business around the Google Gadget platform. You can only apply for this type of funding if you already got the $5000 grant. You also have to submit a business plan about how you plan to build a viable business around the platform.

Other developers?

It’s interesting to see how this is going to evolve. There are many more developers building on top of Google APIs. Will Google start rewarding these also in the future?

Google Maps developers can always use the Google Adsense platform to monetize their Mashups. Some of these days you can even use Adsense ads on your maps.

As a sidenote, there’s also a new product called Lat49 that is supposed to help Maps Mashup developers to make money with their maps by displaying ads within or outside the map. The product isn’t available yet, but according to the Programmableweb blog, they are looking for publishers and advertisers to take part in their current aplha testing.

But what about the things where you can’t use Ads? E.g. Sketchup models of buildings which can be used inside Google Earth, Google Earth mashups or Mapplets? It would be interesting to see if Google starts a funding project for these as well.

In the mean time, I’m gonna think about creating my own Google Gadget. I don’t know what kind of Gadget yet, so any suggestions are welcome 🙂

These are very interesting times for us developers, it’s like Read/WriteWeb wrote:

Conclusion – it’s Christmas for third party developers