Since the launch of LinkedIn's developer platform in December 2007, it has been just about impossible to get an app built on LinkedIn.

I should know — I have tried contacting LinkedIn on four occasions now with a proposal for an app that I think would make a ton of sense on their platform.  I think the use of the term "platform" is pretty generous here.  It is kinda like a secret society of sorts, and for whatever reason I don't yet know the handshake.

I can understand the motivation — LinkedIn would rather control the types and sources of applications that are created than open a Pandora's Box of Zombies, Vampires, and "electronic hamburgers" that may be created if developers are unleashed.  I think a lot of the fear is unfounded — people go to Facebook and MySpace to screw around while people generally go to LinkedIn to do business.  I don't think junk apps would succeed on LinkedIn like they have on Facebook.  But I can't say I'd bet billions of dollars of valuation on that.

In any event, it should be easier for companies like ours to innovate on LinkedIn.

The risk, which I think has gone underreported, is that companies like ours who have problems will just take our ideas somewhere else, where we're welcome.  But the reality is that it only takes one success to help convert an existing social media site like Facebook into a true competitor to LinkedIn.  One killer business app built on Facebook would create a hole in LinkedIn's boat.

Look, I'd prefer working with LinkedIn.  But I've contacted them for the last time.  It shouldn't be this hard… and I simply won't wait around for them to respond to an e-mail.  I'll move on.  I suspect a lot of other startups will move on also.  And if the community builds social business apps elsewhere, I think it will ultimately cause LinkedIn a set of problems that currently don't exist.