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Productising APIs: from idea to the market


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API expands the market, creates a new revenue stream and enables innovation and to get to this state it is vital to understand that APIs should't be just aligned with the technical requirements of our partners and internal users, but also with business and strategic goals. API should be treated as a Product, not just a technology. This talk discusses the API product specific lifecycle and helps you answering the question 'How to build a killer API product?'

API Days Australia 2017

Published in: Technology
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Productising APIs: from idea to the market

  1. 1. From idea to the market PRODUCTISING APIs Twitter: @eldaravd Eldar Allahverdiyev
  2. 2. @eldaravd P R O D U C T D E F I N I T I O N Modern product management started in 1931 with a memo written by Neil H. McElroy at Procter & Gamble. @eldaravd It all started with a “brand man” He revolutionary defined the field testing and constant customer interaction as the key aspects of the product management. 800 words memo was a simple description of the new role: Brand man
  3. 3. @eldaravd P R O D U C T D E F I N I T I O N Wikipedia provides a simple definition of a “product“: @eldaravd What is a product ? “A product is a good or a service that can be bought or sold.” A Digital Product is a service or set of digital goods, which creates the value for a specific group of people a drives revenue directly or indirectly. … but when it comes to digital products, this definition is limited.
  4. 4. @eldaravd P R O D U C T D E F I N I T I O N @eldaravd What makes a great product ? “Listen to your customer, focus on your customer.” Build something you want to use yourself Identify your niche Simple and intuitive Change the user’s life for the better Example: Example: Example: Example: Focused only on Spanish speakers learning English Provides personalised listening experience Intuitive and easy to use interface Changed the way travel.
  5. 5. API Product
  6. 6. @eldaravd A P I P R O D U C T Why we should treat API as a Product, not just as technical integration mechanism ? @eldaravd Treat your API as a product Customer focus Customer niche Feedback loop Roadmap Continues improvement Roadmap prioritisation Owner Advocate Business benefits owner Support Dedicated support SLAs
  7. 7. @eldaravd A P I P R O D U C T @eldaravd Product vs Channel Some may say: “API is not a product, it is just a channel to our core business for end users.” In that case we are losing the key component of API Offering - the API customer, hence the customer centric product. Core Business API End users Core Business API End users App API Customer Channel Product App
  8. 8. @eldaravd A P I P R O D U C T @eldaravd API product types API product is a business API Product extends the business The entire business is based on API offering. API driven communications. API driven payments. API Products is leveraging and extending existing business to unlock new revenue streams. API Product is targeting developers who needs automated marketing. API Product unlocks innovation via external developers.
  9. 9. @eldaravd A P I P R O D U C T @eldaravd How to build a product ? Identify a consumer need Create a prototype Find early adopters Budget and marketing plan Product roadmap Present to investors Launch product features Gather customer feedbacks Gather customer feedbacks Build product features Prototype Invest Productise
  10. 10. @eldaravd A P I P R O D U C T @eldaravd API Product features API Products are more complicated than normal digital products, due to the horizontal nature across the business and external dependencies. Normal Digital Product lifecycle API Governance API Versioning API Developer Portal API Product Support API Community API Product Pricing API Product promotion
  11. 11. 3 Principles per feature
  12. 12. API API @eldaravd 3 P R I N C I P L E S @eldaravd API Governance An API is the user interface for your developers – make the best customer experience. API Guidelines Customer Impact API API API API Governance Customer API Governance is must. API Use web standards where makes sense. APIs consistency is a key. 3 Principles:
  13. 13. @eldaravd@eldaravd API Versioning API are not forever. API Must be versioned. Give enough notice time to the customers. Improve your API, avoid breaking a contract. In 2015 Sound Cloud restricted an access to just 15,000 songs via API. In 2011 Cloud Translate API closed an access to the V1 Free API. Notice time should be not less than 6 months. Don’t release a new version, unless it is absolutely necessary. Any API versioning strategy is great, just have one. V1 V2 3 P R I N C I P L E S
  14. 14. @eldaravd@eldaravd Developer portal Self-service Well designed Documentation with Examples Sandbox access 3 P R I N C I P L E S
  15. 15. @eldaravd@eldaravd APIs aren’t only for developers Show, don’t tell. Case studies Target audience Target industry segment needs. Articulate the industry value. Add case studies to build the trust and show how your API helped the business. The market not limited to only developers. Demo your API. Avoid jargon. 3 P R I N C I P L E S
  16. 16. @eldaravd@eldaravd API Support Understanding API customers: don’t call helpdesk, as they prefer to raise an online ticket or ask Forum don’t like superficial answers, they prefer talk to professionals don’t raise support tickets unless they really need to Developers should be involved in support. Customer service is the UI of your APIs. Online ticketing system or forum is must. 3 P R I N C I P L E S
  17. 17. @eldaravd@eldaravd API Community • Lead a forum • Personalise emails and support tickets • Gain advocates • Increase members profile Build a personal relationship. Create a value for the members.. Learn from your customers. • Understand pain point • Improve your support material 3 P R I N C I P L E S
  18. 18. @eldaravd@eldaravd API Product pricing Keep it simple and easy to find. Embrace the Freemium model where possible Charge per API Call or subscription directly when it makes sense. Prepaid: Cost per 1 API call and throttle limit packages Free, S, M, L, XLCustomer should understand your pricing model in less than 20 seconds. Add calculator Postpaid: Cost per 1 API call and notifications when reached thresholds 3 P R I N C I P L E S
  19. 19. @eldaravd@eldaravd API Product promotion Target audience Social External events Events Meetups Run hackathons Industry forums 3 P R I N C I P L E S
  20. 20. Thank you !! Let’s start building great products ! Twitter: @eldaravd