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APIs and the Creation of Wealth in the Digital Economy - APIDays Paris 2015 Keynote


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Democratizing Value Creation and Distribution in the Second Machine Age, Steven Willmott

Published in: Economy & Finance
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APIs and the Creation of Wealth in the Digital Economy - APIDays Paris 2015 Keynote

  1. 1. APIs and the Creation of Wealth in the Digital Economy Democratizing Value Creation and Distribution in the Second Machine Age Steven Willmott, @njyx
  2. 2. Who Am I? • Steven Willmott • CEO of 3scale • Leading API Infrastructure provider: 700+ Customers, billions API calls Month • Our Mission: Enable companies and individuals to unlock the power of their APIs @3scale and @njyx on Twitter
  3. 3. The Next 20 Minutes • The Power of APIs • Why it is critical that benefits are broadly accessible • What you can do to lean on the scales to make change
  4. 4. Background The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, 2014, Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future, 2012 Joseph E. Stiegliz APIs and Scripting: The Future of Creativity In The Second Machine Age:
  6. 6. APIs are the Ultimate Levers of Power in the Digital World
  7. 7. < Read, Submit, Edit, Ship, Activate, Learn, Infer, Process, Pay, … >
  8. 8. APIs form the Infrastructure for Automation Climate Home Transport News Safety Social Political Food
  9. 9. Question: Is all this automation a “good thing”? Answer: It depends…
  10. 10. For API Providers: Yes!
  11. 11. For everybody else, a key question: Are they pure Consumers of Value or are they Creators of Value?
  12. 12. Consumers v’s Creators Consumer • E.g. Uber rider: I am a consumer of the API • I get value • It helps me achieve a goal • I’m willing to pay for the achievement of that goal • BUT I am not a creator Creator • Create new value with an API (personalize, improve, augment) • Offer that value to others • I may pay, but I may also get paid • I can enhance my business in some way
  13. 13. Who are the users of your API? Who benefits from it?
  14. 14. In this World… Most users obtain value But most of the wealth goes to the companies / individuals that create complex apps
  15. 15. Why does this matter?
  16. 16. Because the ability to create value is inherently intertwined with Economic Opportunity
  17. 17. Software is Eating the World Done right: this is fantastic Done wrong: this is a disaster
  18. 18. Two Problems 1: Concentration of Wealth 2: Under delivering on our opportunity
  20. 20. A Glimpse of the Future Amazon Echo A Voice UI for the World “What’s the distance to CDG” “Where is the nearest Bakery”
  21. 21. Florists Atelier Green Factory 17 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris Vert Lézard 5 Rue Beaurepaire, 75010 Paris Faubourg Saint Martin 82 Rue du Faubourg Saint- Martin, 75010 Paris La Fontaine Fleurie 3 Rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 75011 Paris Axel Fleurs 30 Avenue Simon Bolivar, 75019 Paris
  22. 22. Example: Florist Consumer (Application) • Drives Business • Adds a known brand But: • Homogenizes product • Controls pricing • Keeps %age cut of the resulting revenue Creator (APIs) • Empower change – Digital Devices, Personalization, Delivery, Payments, Ambience etc. • Create a richer experience • Capture more value
  23. 23. Paris Taxi Companies 09 70 44 75 75 06 68 35 52 48 01 76 49 76 49 06 07 60 49 14 01 76 21 89 89
  24. 24. Example: Taxis Consumer (App) • Fantastic User Experience • Good management for drivers • Drives demand, Lifts the Market But: • Loss of Control • Pricing Influence • Conflict Creator (APIs) • Differentiated Experiences: – Local knowledge, personality, vehicles, local knowledge – Tap into mapping, dispatch, facebook graph, reputation, and more • Small taxi collectives could hook into the same APIs as Uber • Collective by collective, or smaller platforms.
  25. 25. Example: Bookshops GAME OVER for Bookshops?
  26. 26. Example: Bookshops Consumer (Apps): • Large platform competes with independents • Customer has access to huge catalogue, shipping, reviews But: • Cuts out independent book shops • Homogenizes product • Concentrates Value Creator (APIs) • Build your OWN Modern Bookshop: – Lighting – Personalization – Local Authors – Shipping – Online Catalogues • Individual shops or small collectives
  27. 27. Not saying that Amazon, Uber, et. Are “evil”: Amazing companies However: broadening who can create 1. Spreads economic opportunity 2. Net increases the value being created
  29. 29. Who Me?
  30. 30. Ask the Question • Who are the beneficiaries of your APIs? – Developers? – Partners? – Customers? – End Users? • Do these groups Consume or do they Create?
  31. 31. Draw a DiagramOpportunitytoCreate Opportunity to Distribute Value Created Place: Developers, Partners, Customers, End Users… Access Data Connect IFTTT Control Lighting Resell Automation ?
  32. 32. Enable & Empower Users Docs Code Samples SDKs IFTTT Zapier Use Case Studies Excel Plugins Query builders Terms of Service Block- spring
  33. 33. As an industry …
  34. 34. There is Progress…
  35. 35. We should not be having to teaching everybody to become an Engineer
  36. 36. TAKE AWAY’S
  37. 37. 1: APIS are the most powerful tools we have ever had as Software Engineers
  38. 38. 2: Automation will only truly benefit Society if the majority of people can be Creators of Value as well as Consumption
  39. 39. 3: Your company will be 10x* better off if you manage to broaden users and enable more creation
  40. 40. Two Pies Automation Created by the Few, to serve the many Automation created by the many, for everyone
  41. 41. Homework for us all: Figure out who your users are and enable them to create value You will make an enormous difference to the impact of technology @3scale and @njyx on Twitter
  42. 42. REFERENCES
  43. 43. Images • Twilio Billboard, Andy Raskin, San Francisco • hong-kong-by-nardus-taljard Nardus Taljard • https://s-media-cache- 3f2bc44d8753e.jpg • jacopo-benedetti Jacopo Benedetti • artvideo-studio Art Video Studio • perevarukha Tara Perevarukha