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APIS for Startups - Running your Business Inside Out
 

APIS for Startups - Running your Business Inside Out

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Talk on APIs for Startups and how to think about engineering your business to reach your maximal market.

Talk on APIs for Startups and how to think about engineering your business to reach your maximal market.

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    APIS for Startups - Running your Business Inside Out APIS for Startups - Running your Business Inside Out Presentation Transcript

    • APIS: Running your Business Inside out Steven Willmott 3scale Inc. @njyx, @3scale
    • Thank you for the Invitation!
    • or…: “APIs for Startups:
    • 3scale is… API Management Provider ! Power 400+ APIs ! 120,000 Developers writing Apps ! API Tech Operations API Business Operations Developer Support (Selection) 3scale.net
    • + Apitools Also have a new service for Developers ! Track Transform Analyze API Traffic ! http://www.apitools.com
    • Onward …
    • Agenda Inside Out Business & APIs API Models Execution Not so obvious Gotchas
    • Who has APIs? (and why?)
    • Technical Reasons… ! Business Reasons…
    • Common API Debates Which framework to use? REST/SOAP - What is Rest anyway? Streaming API? Internal / External? Versioning? Make it public? Should we charge? By API Call? Should we put rate limits on? Won’t it kill our Ad- Revenue?
    • Inside Out Business
    • Rethinking what you do
    • Truism #5471: Business is Changing Fast..
    • One of the ways is in how we build stuff.. Build Everything! Build Nothing! 2000 2014
    • Meaning Core Value Reuse as Much as Possible Wrap and Ship
    • But what is Core Value?
    • Engineering Answer Our Beautiful Unique Code! Made by Rockstars over Many Months! (even) our awesome UI!X X XWrong Answer
    • Your Value is one or more of: 1.Your Data 2.Key Functionality 3.Your Audience/Reach That’s all people care about
    • The Following Help but are secondary 1. Being Cool 2. Having a Nice UI 3. Having a Nice API None is a reason for people use you per se Lipstick / Pig
    • I.e. Make sure your Bacon is Good Otherwise Packaging isn’t going to help
    • So.. Core Value Stuff you really don’t want to build!! Open as many channels as you can
    • So.. Core Value Stuff you really don’t want to build!! Web Mobile Customers Distributors Resellers New apps
    • Different Access for Different Targets. E.g. An app for Seniors, who are Piano Teachers and need a very advanced UI -> API? A new humorous content for an 18-25 Audience Demographic -> API? A new advanced algorithm for predictive price plan optimization for retailers ->API?
    • Inside Out Means… Providing potentially deep access to your core functionality to others at whatever level they can handle Reusing the core functionality of others where you possibly can Don’t write code you don’t have to!
    • API Models
    • “A ‘startup’ is a company that is confused about – 1. What its product is. 2. Who its customers are. 3. How to make money.” Dave McClure, 500Startups “A ‘startup’ is a company that is confused about – 1. What its product is. 2. Who its customers are. 3. How to make money.”
    • Here are some options…
    • Mobile Enablement Backend for your own Mobile Apps Multi-platform and/ or supporting HTML5 / SPA Focus: stable backend • Often combined with others • Assume it is not private • Apps drive business
    • Customer Ecosystem Data Integration for reporting (in / out) Increases comfort level v’s lock in Allows self customization • Normally free or bundled • Useful for driving up-sell • Big driver for stickiness
    • Partner Ecosystem 3rd Parties can add value that you can’t Can be smaller or larger Alternative to manual software integration • Increase functionality • Add data • Increase reach
    • Content/eCommerce Distribution Special case of partners Partners resell & amplify Focus: gaining audience / transactions • Partners may pay • Or be paid • Drive transactions to core
    • API As A Business What everyone thinks APIs are about… Access / per transaction fee Instant gratification • Often data on demand • Or functionality on demand • API is the Business
    • Internal Innovation Sorting out internal legacy Cross-department teams made more agile Focus: refactoring • Increase agility • Reduce cost • Up developer happiness e.g.
    • Other Models Many companies use multiple models Models often change over time Some apply more / less to startups Feel free to invent new ones Whatever happens: be clear which your model is !
    • Execution
    • “I find your lack of faith disturbing”
    • Skipping the Captain Obvious Errors… (e.g. poor docs, crappy design, …)
    • 1. Make it valuable
    • 2. Have a plan and a business model 
    • 3. Make it simple, flexible and easy to adopt
    • 4. Make it managed and measured
    • 5. Provide great support
    • 6. Make sure it scales
    • 7. (Meta) ! Create more value than you capture
    • Providing Value
    • Gotchas
    • A Surprise in Every Egg..
    • 1. An incomplete API
    • 2. API code bifurcation
    • 3. The “Developer Middleman”
    • 4. Not choosing your poison
    • 5. API launch coolaid
    • 6. Premature future-proofing
    • 7. Not caring about performance
    • Expected Use of Your API Expected Unexpected DesiredUndesired Yay! Innovation Not so Good Oh-Oh.. Concept: Thor Mitchel / Google
    • As a Startup, Primary problem Expected Unexpected DesiredUndesired Making this Happen
    • Conclusions
    • Covered Inside Out Business & APIs API (Business) Models Execution Not so obvious Gotchas
    • Conclusions Don’t get religious Make sure you are delivering genuine value Treat the API as your product Focus on the early key passionate users Decide if you are a platform or an application/service Always enhance your core company value - do make it a separate business
    • 3scale: http://www.3scale.net APItools: http://www.apitools.com APICodex: http://apicodex.3scale.net
    • Questions Please! Contact: http://www.3scale.net @njyx - steve@3scale.net
    • References http://www.3scale.net/2012/12/api-economics-create- more-value-than-you-capture/ http://www.3scale.net/2012/11/building-great-apis- the-api-gold-standard-part-i/ http://www.slideshare.net/timoreilly/measuring-the- economic-impact-of-the-sharing-economy http://apievangelist.com/2012/01/12/the-secret-to- amazons-success-internal-apis/
    • Image Credits https://www.flickr.com/photos/queen_of_subtle/ 7233340968/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/ornellas/2528690209/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/716965391/in/ photolist-26mCQg-5n43FU https://www.flickr.com/photos/laughingsquid/ 616921109 https://www.flickr.com/photos/