Introduction to APIs from a Business Perspective by Shafqat Islam, Founder and CEO, Newscred

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Introduction to APIs from a Business Perspective
by Shafqat Islam, Founder and CEO, Newscred (http://newscred.com)

This slide was used for a lecture held at General Assembly on Tuesday, April 19th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.

What are APIs, and why do they matter? This course will give students a practical introduction to the business of APIs, including examples of successful APIs in the wild, examples of applications built on top of APIs and mashups. In addition, the class will discuss the advantages and challenges of building an API for your business, including revenue model considerations and examples drawn from Newscred's experience.
Shafqat is responsible for expanding NewCred's Platform services business, oversees the sales function and manages the strategic growth of the company. Prior to this, he was a Vice President at Merrill Lynch and part of the technology management team at Merrill Lynch Bank Suisse. Shafqat graduated with a dual degree in Computer Engineering and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

http://introtoapis.eventbrite.com/

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Introduction to APIs from a Business Perspective by Shafqat Islam, Founder and CEO, Newscred

  1. 1. THE BUSINESS OF APIS Shafqat Islam CEO NewsCred
  2. 2. ABOUT ME•  Cofounder and CEO of NewsCred•  Creating a better Associated Press and reinventing the newswire industry•  Our core product is an API•  I   helping publishers build APIs•  Contacts: –  shafqat@newscred.com –  @shafqatislam
  3. 3. SYLLABUS•  Brief History/Background•  Definition•  Examples•  The Business Case: Why Build an API•  Getting Started•  What Makes a Good API•  Risks
  4. 4. HISTORY OF APIS•  Sears Catalogue (1886) –  Getting closer to customers –  Direct to Indirect Model –  Going beyond the store•  RSS (1999) –  Distributing underlying content to create and enable new experiences
  5. 5. HISTORY OF APIS•  Ebay (2000) •  Creating a symbiotic relationships with developers to enlarge markets •  Powering 60% of listings today•  APIs are how people get to your business
  6. 6. THE FIRST MASHUP•  Housingmaps.com (Craiglist vs GMaps)
  7. 7. DEFINITION•  Application Programming Interface•  “a particular set of rules and specifications that a software program can follow to make use of the services and resources provided by the software program that creates that API.”•  Huh?
  8. 8. IT’S JUST AN INTERFACE•  A web site is a user interface between a human and a computer.•  An API is a programmable interface between two computers.•  Examples:
  9. 9. AUTOMATING WORKFLOWS
  10. 10. WHERETHELADIES.AT
  11. 11. AMAZON MECHANICAL TURK•  Scaling crowd sourced tasks•  Used during the Haiti Earthquake to save lives
  12. 12. YOUR APPLICATION STACK
  13. 13. BUT WHAT ABOUT 3RD PARTYAPPS AND SITES?
  14. 14. THE API LAYER
  15. 15. READ VS WRITE APIS•  Read APIs•  Write APIs
  16. 16. APIS BY CATEGORY
  17. 17. BUSINESS SEGMENTS
  18. 18. BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS…YES YOU CAN
  19. 19. TECHNOLOGY•  There are standards, so use REST•  Use XML, JSON, oAUTH – nothing weird
  20. 20. WHY BUILD AN API?•  Distributed Growth•  Syndication•  Outsource Innovation•  Decentralized Business Development•  Reduce Costs•  Branding•  Revenues and New Business Models
  21. 21. DISTRIBUTED GROWTH•  10x more traffic to the API than actual website•  “The API has been the most important thing we’ve done with Twitter.” – Biz Stone
  22. 22. GROWTH VIA ECOSYSTEM
  23. 23. SYNDICATION•  Syndicate content and data (archives?)•  Putting information in the hands of the public•  Drive links and traffic back•  Multi-platform and multiple form factors
  24. 24. WHERE DOES API TRAFFICCOME FROM?
  25. 25. OUTSOURCE INNOVATION•  Let others do the hard work•  New insights and re-imagination of what’s possible with your content and data•  Remember: saving lives in Haiti
  26. 26. EASY BIZDEV
  27. 27. APPLE – NYTNO BIZDEV
  28. 28. 3 TYPES OF APIS•  Public•  Partner•  Private
  29. 29. REDUCE COSTS•  Reduce Operational Costs –  Internal development efficiencies across business units –  Speed up time to market –  NPR API•  Facilitate Self Service Integration with Partners
  30. 30. BRANDING•  Spread your brand through the web and other channels –  Twitter –  Google Maps (300% growth versus Mapquest’s 20% growth)•  Become an intrinsic part of the experience –  New York Times & Guardian vis a vis news
  31. 31. BUSINESS MODEL•  Bake your business model into your API•  Release early, monetize early•  Treat it as a distribution channel for your “core business” (Ebay)•  Make money as an extension to your core business model
  32. 32. BUSINESS MODELS•  Advertising•  Licensing –  Tiered –  Flat Fee•  Affiliate
  33. 33. BUSINESS MODEL EXAMPLES
  34. 34. GETTING STARTED•  Inventory of Assets: “Nouns” –  Content –  Listings –  Products –  Actions (Checkin, Tweet)•  Establish Goals –  Read versus Read/Write –  Transactions
  35. 35. “API FIRST” APPROACH•  Build your own site/product on top of API•  Eat your own dogfood!•  Single codebase•  No additional work for a public API•  Consistent behaviour•  Full set of services exposed means more innovation
  36. 36. ESTABLISH TARGET MARKET•  Establish who the API is for: –  Developers –  Business Partners –  Internal Business Units –  End users
  37. 37. ESTABLISH SUCCESS CRITERIAIn order of difficulty/value:•  API Registrations•  API calls•  Business events (i.e. checkins, tweets)•  Content distribution•  User acquisition•  Revenue
  38. 38. WHAT MAKES A GOOD API?•  The underlying service•  The right business model•  Simple, open and easy to get started•  Choices•  Developer support (they are your clients)
  39. 39. RISKS•  If you build it, no one comes•  Scalability•  Cannibalization•  Legal challenges (rights)•  Brand/reputational risk•  Pricing
  40. 40. THE API JOURNEY•  Developing an effective API strategy is a journey, not a single project•  Invest in assets –  API –  Developer docs and community –  Sample apps•  …then iterate on the long term strategy/ ROI
  41. 41. THE TIME IS NOW
  42. 42. EXAMPLE: VISUALIZATIONS
  43. 43. EXAMPLE: MOBILE APP
  44. 44. EXAMPLE: LOGIN SYSTEMS

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