32_GitHub, Parse

For speeding up the pace of software development.

While big players like Apple and Samsung may fight over software patents, many of the fastest-moving companies are in a more collaborative mood. They realize that developers begin with similar software--so when those building blocks are distributed widely, everyone benefits. The companies Parse and GitHub have become crucial middlemen, although both take different approaches.

WHAT IT DOES

Github
It's a collaborative platform: Like a coder's wiki, it allows programmers to co-develop and share code.
Parse
It's a provider: It builds and sells back-end functions for mobile apps, such as login or server storage.

HOW IT WORKS

Github
Web interface lets developers copy others' code, make changes, then send a request to merge changes. Users who buy a subscription can make their code private.
Parse
Developers pay a tiered subscription ranging from free to $5,000 monthly, for Parse to develop and manage elements of an app.

WHY IT MATTERS

Github
"We've changed the way software is developed by lowering the barrier to entry," says co-founder and CEO
Tom Preston-Werner.
Parse
"Mobile development is a mess," says cofounder and CEO Ilya Sukhar. Too much time is wasted developing functions that others have already made.

HAPPY CUSTOMERS

Github
Facebook used it to build a bug-tracking tool; LinkedIn uses it to maintain its People You May Know and Skills & Endorsement features.
Parse
Armani, Cadillac, Food Network, Hipmunk

NEW FEATURES

Github
Custom services for corporations, to let businesses collaborate on code internally.
Parse
Cloud Code, which allows users to build and power their apps on Parse's infrastructure rather than use independent servers.

GROWTH

Github
Revenue grows 300% annually; VC firm Andreessen Horowitz invested $100 million in July.
Parse
It's helped create more than 50,000 apps (as of December), a number that grows 40% every month. Parse's code reaches more than 200 million devices.

Illustration by Bigshot Toyworks

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