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Why API? - Business of APIs Conference

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Many API programs get launched without a clear understanding as to WHY the API should exist. Rather, many are focused on WHAT the API consists of and HOW it should be targeted, implemented and leveraged. This presentation focuses on establishing the need for a clear WHY proposition behind the decision. The HOW and then WHAT will follow from that.

This presentation also uses the history of the Netflix API to demonstrate the power, utility and importance of knowing WHY you are building an API.

Published in: Technology, Business
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Why API? - Business of APIs Conference

  1. 1. Why API? Daniel Jacobson @daniel_jacobson djacobson@netflix.com danieljacobson.com/linkedin
  2. 2. This presentation has notes, in the Notes field below, detailing what I spoke when giving this presentation.
  3. 3. http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html
  4. 4. HOW WHAT WHY
  5. 5. HOW WHAT WHY
  6. 6. Less Clear Clear Fuzzy
  7. 7. Manages Work / Life iPhone Makes Life Easier
  8. 8. Manages Work / Life iPhone Makes Life Easier
  9. 9. Manages Work / Life iPhone Makes Life Easier Android iPad Pen & Paper
  10. 10. The WHAT is a tactical manifestation that answers the WHY
  11. 11. Why build an API?
  12. 12. Why are you building APIs? Developer Community New Revenue Stream Business Partnerships Development Efficiency Device Proliferation
  13. 13. HOW WHAT WHY
  14. 14. How will it be used? What should be built? Why API?
  15. 15. How will it be used? What should be built? Why API?
  16. 16. Netflix API Strategy : 2009 • Build a developer community • Enable them to reach new potential subscribers • Offer bounty for each new trial as incentive • Potentially improve subscriber experience, increasing retention
  17. 17. Netflix API Strategy : 2009 • Build a developer community • Enable them to reach new potential subscribers • Offer bounty for each new trial as incentive • Potentially improve subscriber experience, increasing retention
  18. 18. 2009
  19. 19. Image courtesy of Jay Mac 3 on Flickr
  20. 20. Netflix API Requests by Audience 2009 External Developers
  21. 21. 2007
  22. 22. Netflix API Strategy : 2010 • Support the existing developer community • Support partner integrations • Enable device proliferation strategy • Support internal UI teams
  23. 23. Netflix API Strategy : 2010 • Support the existing developer community • Enable device proliferation strategy • Support internal UI teams • Support partner integrations
  24. 24. Growth of Netflix API Requests 0.6 20.7 41.7 - 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Jan-10 Jan-11 Jan-12 RequestinBillions 70x growth in two years
  25. 25. Netflix API Requests by Audience External Developers 2B daily < 1M daily It takes nearly three years of public API requests to equal one day’s worth of private API requests
  26. 26. Netflix API Approach : Today • Maximize efficiency in internal development • Optimize system for rapid innovation and improved product experience • Ensure system reliability and resiliency • Scale system with the business
  27. 27. Netflix API Approach : Today • Maximize efficiency in internal development • Optimize system for rapid rapid innovation rate and product experience • Ensure system reliability and resiliency • Scale system with the business
  28. 28. Nearly 38 Million Subscribers More than 40 Countries
  29. 29. Netflix Accounts for 33% of Peak Internet Traffic in North America Netflix subscribers are watching more than 1 billion hours a month
  30. 30. Screen Real Estate
  31. 31. Controller
  32. 32. Technical Capabilities
  33. 33. REST API Request Request Request
  34. 34. How will it be used? What should be built? Why API?
  35. 35. So, why are you building an API?
  36. 36. Daniel Jacobson @daniel_jacobson djacobson@netflix.com danieljacobson.com/linkedin

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