The AppExchange is where you go when you are looking for a solution to a requirement and hoping that you will find someone else has had a similar requirement and created an app that can be installed in your own org. The people and businesses behind these apps have different motivations, some created a free app to share with others, others have made a side income from selling a monthly or yearly subscription. Then there are businesses that are dedicated to the development of their app and can be anywhere from 1 or 2 persons to teams of people in large companies such as Veeva Systems and FinancialForce.

AppExchange vendors are entrepreneurs, who develop apps and run an ISV (Independent Software Vendor) business. Some people run their ISV business as a one person part time business and supplement their full time income. Others turn their app into a full time business and replace their full time job. Others build a team and business around the app. 

A common situation is there’s one or two people and they’re supplementing their full time income but they’re not replacing it. The goal is to replace it. It might take a couple of years as the revenue builds over time if the customers are retained.

Then there’s a medium sized business, where, there’s actually a team of people, and there’s the marketing resource and people have more specialized roles and then you get bigger and bigger and bigger and you get, then the situation that funding and, companies and businesses that become much larger and dedicated and you might be industries. Specifics solving a particular problem.

You can choose to stay at a certain level, some people I’ve spoken to, they’re just happy to earn a few thousand dollars a month. Because It’s their baby, it’s their business and they’re just happy, at that they like to keep doing consulting. Other people there dream is to do it full-time. It really depends on what your interests are, what you really want to do.

I interviewed a number of entrepreneurs to find out more about their journey to build an app and start an ISV AppExchange business. But first, it’s important to understand the terminology around the AppExchange.

The AppExchange is an online store that offers free and paid Salesforce apps and lightning components. Think of the AppExchange as the Salesforce-specific equivalent of the App Store. Apps have been developed for specific industries, or for specific functionality.
Idea Exchange:
The Salesforce IdeaExchange is a place where ideas, suggestions, and feedback can be shared directly with the Salesforce product teams. Others in the community can then vote on these ideas. Over time, the most popular and impactful ideas gain attention from Salesforce's product teams and maybe incorporated into future Salesforce releases.
Security Review: The Salesforce AppExchange Security Review is a rigorous evaluation process that apps must undergo before they are made available on Salesforce's AppExchange platform. The review is designed to ensure that any app or integration being offered aligns with Salesforce's strict security standards and how well it protects customer data.