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Finishing your API


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Going from a read API to a write API at Etsy

Going from a read API to a write API at Etsy

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  • A little about Etsy My background – YDN The story (Craftcult) Our experience developing our API with Mashery (reference Yahoo! experience) Uptake, lessons Looking ahead – what does it mean to “finish” your API?
  • We also noticed that there were unofficial libraries to use this API
  • I joined Etsy in September 2008 from Yahoo, where I ran YDN Noticed in Flash Other apps like craftcult Ruby gem to reverse engineer our API Hacker mailing list – the “Etsy Underground” “ When you’re being scraped, time to release an API”
  • Transcript

    • 1. Finishing your API Chad Dickerson, CTO Etsy, Business of APIs Conference November 16, 2009
    • 2. What is Etsy?
    • 3. Etsy is social, both on Etsy. . . . .
    • 4. . . . and off Etsy
    • 5. Etsy numbers (as of November 15, 2009)
      • 3.4 million registered members (over 250,000 sellers)
      • 4.8 million active items in the marketplace
      • 640 million page views in last 30 days
      • $17.7 million in goods sold in October ’09
      • Over 1 million items sold in October ‘09
      • Over 1,075,000 Twitter followers for @Etsy
      • Over 1 million forum posts per month on
    • 6. Why an API?
      • So…..why an API for Etsy?
    • 7. The “unofficial” API
    • 8. . . . plus eager developers
    • 9. Craftcult
    • 10. The ecosystem was already forming
      • The “Etsy Underground”
      • Real 3 rd party apps on the platform that our users liked and were good for everyone
      • 3 rd party code libraries available
      • Defined set of services with built-in community
      • When you’re being scraped, it’s a clear sign that you need to release an API
    • 11. Getting the API up quickly: partnering with Mashery
    • 12. Results from v1 of our API
      • Today
      • Over 9 million API calls per month, 100+ active devs
      • 17 featured applications, including 5 Etsy-themed iPhone apps:
      • Craftcult continues to a substantial traffic driver
      • Simple BD deals enabled
      • 2 developers hired!
    • 13. Solid start. . . .
      • This is a solid start, but to truly realize our investment, we need to do more. . . .
    • 14. Finishing your API
      • Deliver read/write API . The web is bi-directional. The best apps put data into the system, too.
      • Access to private data . The most interesting apps will be personalized for our members.
      • More ways for developers to make money . The richer the API, the more opportunities.
      • Make Etsy even more social with the API . Recognize unique strengths and build upon them with our API.
    • 15. Final notes
      • A good API is never finished
      • It is organic and continues to grow as your business grows.
      • If you think your API is ever “done,” you’re thinking too short-term
    • 16. Questions?
      • Questions?