Err what's an API?
Lessons on driving API adoption in
the "not for profit" sector
10 years ago at eBay
10 years ago at eBay…
I had no idea what an API was!
5 years ago at vzaar…
Without knowing it I designed a product that would be API powered
3 years ago at JustGiving
The not for profit sector showed very little
interest in API adoption
Today
I’m here as head of JustGiving’s Consumer APIs!
Warning: There is
nothing technical
about APIs that I
can teach you!
5 personal lessons on growing a
community in an industry
resistant to APIs
So what is…
Since 2011, developer account growth has been consistent
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
1600
Jan-11
Feb-11
Mar-11
Apr-11...
Hits are growing nicely
0
1000000
2000000
3000000
4000000
5000000
6000000
7000000
8000000
9000000
Jan-11
Feb-11
Mar-11
Apr...
And we’ve slowly built up a community of users
• 1,500 developer accounts (~10% active)
• 30-50 charities using our APIs
•...
But first lets go back in time
The landscape was barren
The landscape was barren
12 months ago did your charity understand what APIs were?
Source: JustGiving API survey Feb 2014
Yes - we clearly understo...
The APIs landscape in the not-for-profit sector
• Charities traditionally have very limited budget
• Rarely have in-house ...
Lesson 1: Launch & Build upon your own APIs
Lesson 1: Launch and build upon your own APIs
• Helps validate your methods
• Lifts a lid on what sucks (or what’s missing...
Lesson 2: Pick a significant launch partner
• Our # 1 client
• Raised > £40m on JustGiving in 2013 alone
• FTSE 100 style ...
Lesson 2: Pick a significant launch partner
• This trust in our system was a industry wide game changer
• They singularly ...
The floodgates opened (kind of!)
But know one knew what they wanted…
How do I get that integration?
Cool…What’s an API?
It’s API driven…
Lesson 3: So be prepared to put in the hard yards
Lesson 3: Putting in the hard yards
• Get out and meet your future clients (e.g. charities, agencies)
• Show them real lif...
Lesson 4: Invest in making life easy for others
Lesson 4: Invest in making life easy for others
• Get out of their way (whilst supporting them!)
• Pick an API service pro...
Lesson 5: Encourage & Celebrate Innovation
5. Encourage & Celebrate Innovation
• Show what people are building
• External communities (PR, blogs, social)
• Internal ...
Good news! 84% of charities say API adoption will grow in next 12 months!
Source: JustGiving API survey Feb 2014
API adopt...
1. Build and launch something yourself to get ahead
2. Pick a partner and go through the growing pains together
3. Be prep...
Thank you
Follow @jghackers and justgiving.com/developer
slideshare.net/parkins1/err-whats-an-api
Err what's an API? Lessons on driving API adoption in the "not for profit" sector
Err what's an API? Lessons on driving API adoption in the "not for profit" sector
Err what's an API? Lessons on driving API adoption in the "not for profit" sector
Err what's an API? Lessons on driving API adoption in the "not for profit" sector
Err what's an API? Lessons on driving API adoption in the "not for profit" sector
Err what's an API? Lessons on driving API adoption in the "not for profit" sector
Err what's an API? Lessons on driving API adoption in the "not for profit" sector
Err what's an API? Lessons on driving API adoption in the "not for profit" sector
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Err what's an API? Lessons on driving API adoption in the "not for profit" sector

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Presentation from #APIStrat 2014 Amsterdam conference

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  • In short, we have built a platform, that supports a world where everyone can give will give.
    We enable the traditional fundraising model of sponsorship by bringing it online
    We are NOT a charity. We reinvest our profits into technology
    £1bn raised since 2002
    Can donate in multiple global currencies
  • But no one knew what they wanted
    They just wanted what Race had!
  • Raising funds for a childrens hospital by letting Moshi Monster players donate to a pixel by pixel style board
  • First official Spotify endorsed fundraising application that lets party goers pledge their favourite song to a party playlist
  • - 6/10
    - Need to develop CRM & Dev Outreach
    - Redesigning developer site (ux)
  • Err what's an API? Lessons on driving API adoption in the "not for profit" sector

    1. 1. Err what's an API? Lessons on driving API adoption in the "not for profit" sector
    2. 2. 10 years ago at eBay 10 years ago at eBay… I had no idea what an API was!
    3. 3. 5 years ago at vzaar… Without knowing it I designed a product that would be API powered
    4. 4. 3 years ago at JustGiving The not for profit sector showed very little interest in API adoption
    5. 5. Today I’m here as head of JustGiving’s Consumer APIs!
    6. 6. Warning: There is nothing technical about APIs that I can teach you!
    7. 7. 5 personal lessons on growing a community in an industry resistant to APIs
    8. 8. So what is…
    9. 9. Since 2011, developer account growth has been consistent 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 Jan-11 Feb-11 Mar-11 Apr-11 May-11 Jun-11 Jul-11 Aug-11 Sep-11 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Jun-12 Jul-12 Aug-12 Sep-12 Oct-12 Nov-12 Dec-12 Jan-13 Feb-13 Mar-13 Apr-13 May-13 Jun-13 Jul-13 Aug-13 Sep-13 Oct-13 Nov-13 Dec-13
    10. 10. Hits are growing nicely 0 1000000 2000000 3000000 4000000 5000000 6000000 7000000 8000000 9000000 Jan-11 Feb-11 Mar-11 Apr-11 May-11 Jun-11 Jul-11 Aug-11 Sep-11 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Jun-12 Jul-12 Aug-12 Sep-12 Oct-12 Nov-12 Dec-12 Jan-13 Feb-13 Mar-13 Apr-13 May-13 Jun-13 Jul-13 Aug-13 Sep-13 Oct-13 Nov-13 Dec-13
    11. 11. And we’ve slowly built up a community of users • 1,500 developer accounts (~10% active) • 30-50 charities using our APIs • 20-25% of annual revenues driven via API activity
    12. 12. But first lets go back in time
    13. 13. The landscape was barren The landscape was barren
    14. 14. 12 months ago did your charity understand what APIs were? Source: JustGiving API survey Feb 2014 Yes - we clearly understood APIs and their potential at the time Yes - we had heard of APIs but didn't really know what they offered No - we had no idea what APIs did at the time No - we still don't know what APIs do! 50% had limited or no understanding of APIs
    15. 15. The APIs landscape in the not-for-profit sector • Charities traditionally have very limited budget • Rarely have in-house developer resource • Short term planning over long term • Reliance on voluntary employees • Understanding of APIs was/is low
    16. 16. Lesson 1: Launch & Build upon your own APIs
    17. 17. Lesson 1: Launch and build upon your own APIs • Helps validate your methods • Lifts a lid on what sucks (or what’s missing) • Forces you to at least plan how to manage and document them • Gives you some credibility from day 1
    18. 18. Lesson 2: Pick a significant launch partner • Our # 1 client • Raised > £40m on JustGiving in 2013 alone • FTSE 100 style organisation - big enough to have an innovation team • In 2010 expressed a desire to “stay ahead of comp” and to “leverage tech” • All their fundraising campaigns today are API driven through JustGiving • Took 3 years to get to this stage • Lots of blood, sweat and tears • Test & learn, test & learn…
    19. 19. Lesson 2: Pick a significant launch partner • This trust in our system was a industry wide game changer • They singularly validate our API stack • Both parties learnt loads! • Missing methods • Error handling • Documentation • Educating & Empowering multiple stakeholders
    20. 20. The floodgates opened (kind of!)
    21. 21. But know one knew what they wanted… How do I get that integration? Cool…What’s an API? It’s API driven…
    22. 22. Lesson 3: So be prepared to put in the hard yards
    23. 23. Lesson 3: Putting in the hard yards • Get out and meet your future clients (e.g. charities, agencies) • Show them real life, tangible examples • Find ways to get round lots of red tape / bureaucracy • Test things quickly (prove/disprove, move on) • Co-fund projects • Be prepared to coach, guide, review and tweak • Demos, flow diagrams etc • Train up those that can broadcast the API message • Account Managers, Bus Dev, PR etc • Prepare for a slow life cycle of development • And meantime plan for what they will want next
    24. 24. Lesson 4: Invest in making life easy for others
    25. 25. Lesson 4: Invest in making life easy for others • Get out of their way (whilst supporting them!) • Pick an API service provider • Live or die by your documentation • Provide a reliable sandbox • Build and support a help group. Zero in on your biggest advocates • Empower other staff to answer questions • Plan for CRM & Developer outreach (emails, customer care, doc updates etc)
    26. 26. Lesson 5: Encourage & Celebrate Innovation
    27. 27. 5. Encourage & Celebrate Innovation • Show what people are building • External communities (PR, blogs, social) • Internal stakeholders (excite your staff) • Partners (“oh I want that!”) • Attend/Sponsor hacks • Find the relevant hack(s) for your business goals • Evangelize your APIs/Platform • Invest in Developer Outreach • Hook up with influencer/guru in your industry • Inspire others • E.G. JustGiving award for technology • White paper / research / infographics etc
    28. 28. Good news! 84% of charities say API adoption will grow in next 12 months! Source: JustGiving API survey Feb 2014 API adoption will grow No change
    29. 29. 1. Build and launch something yourself to get ahead 2. Pick a partner and go through the growing pains together 3. Be prepared to put in the hard yards 4. Invest in the making life easy for others 5. Encourage and celebrate innovation
    30. 30. Thank you Follow @jghackers and justgiving.com/developer slideshare.net/parkins1/err-whats-an-api
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