80Legs, the recently launched white label web crawling service, is gearing up to launch an application store around its service. But, to combat the ever problematic chicken and egg dilemma with new marketplaces, they are launching a developer challenge to pre-popualate the store.
Working through ChallengePost, 80Legs is trying to get developers to code up useful applications that use the underlying 80Legs technology. I previously called 80Legs a personal “mini google,” and I stand by that. 80Legs faces one important hurdle: great crawling technology, with no applications to actually use it. Who wants to code their own search engine?
Instead of trying to build a whole ecosystem in-house, they are farming that work to independent developers. And, unlike some providers of application stores, developers that build on top of the 80Legs platform keep all their revenue. After their software is purchased, the user pays 80Legs to use it.
Very slick indeed, developers build applications, further the ecosystem, and get paid fully for their work. 80Legs gets a street team promoting their service, and sells to every customer that the developers bring in.
The challenge is simple enough, submitted applications are promised a spot in the app store when it launches on the week of November 16th. There are three prizes for the top three submitted applications. The contest is being judged by Nova Spivack from Twine, Eric Ries from Kleiner Perkins, and three others.
80Legs launched into private beta this April, and presented at DEMO this fall. The company is based in Texas, and employees six people. You can follow the company on Twitter here, or read their announcement on the challenge.