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  1. 1. API Strategies Lawrence Coburn Founder, RateItAll
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>The Four Pillars of a Distributed Web Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>The Case for APIs </li></ul><ul><li>API Case Studies </li></ul><ul><li>API Business Models </li></ul><ul><li>API Formats </li></ul><ul><li>API Promotion and Distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges and Risks </li></ul><ul><li>Notable APIs </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Four Pillars of a Distributed Web Strategy <ul><li>Widgets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: Photobucket, MyBlogLog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pros: users spread your content / functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Toolbars / Extensions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: Google, StumbleUpon, Adaptive Blue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pros: User stays engaged </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Platform Apps on Facebook, MySpace, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: iLike, RockYou, Flixster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pros: Viral distribution </li></ul></ul><ul><li>API </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: Yahoo! Maps, Amazon AWS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pros: Batch / Mass distribution </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. API (Application Programming Interface) Definition: 1. (n) a set of functions, procedures, methods, classes or protocols that an operating system, library or service provides to support requests made by computer programs; 2. (n) (col) Widgets on steroids
  5. 5. The Case for APIs <ul><li>Batch Distribution / Drive Traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Expand Footprint </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation / Feature Development </li></ul><ul><li>Explore New Business Models </li></ul><ul><li>Branding </li></ul><ul><li>Content Acquisition </li></ul><ul><li>Advance Business Model </li></ul><ul><li>Internal Content Distribution / Innovation </li></ul>
  6. 6. Case Study: Netflix Blockbuster will grab user data Risks Commercially valuable data, Affiliate program Pitch to Developers Attribution, daily rate limit, no commercial restrictions Requirements and Limits JSON, REST, SOAP Formats Subscription biz on Business Model # of developers, # of referrals to, # of new sign ups Measures of Success Drive more subscriptions Goal Exposes movie, actor, director, and TV show art, descriptions, and meta data Description
  7. 7. Case Study: RateItAll Duplicate content, fuel competitors Risks Use our review content. Promote your site on, monetize data Pitch to Developers Attribution, daily rate limit, no commercial restrictions Requirements and Limits REST, SOAP, XML, JavaScript (coming soon) Formats Advertising and affiliate on Business Model Ratings and reviews posted, site referrals, revenue Measures of Success Acquire content, Drive traffic Goal Exposes millions of consumer ratings and reviews, read / write Description
  8. 8. API Business Models Base level is free but costs money for additional services. Twitter? Teaser for Value Add Services Use API to spread brand, drive referrals. E.g. New York Times, NPR, Yahoo! Branding / Non Commercial Use API to pull content back to home base. E.g. Disqus, RateItAll, Twitter? Content Acquisition Use API to initiate transaction. e.g. Amazon, Netflix Lead Gen / User Acquisition Charge per API call, or per record, e.g. Alexa Pay Per Drink Rate limits. Exceeding limit triggers BizDev intro. e.g CNET BizDev Funnel Description Name
  9. 9. API Formats <ul><li>Offer a variety of formats </li></ul>
  10. 10. Promoting Your API <ul><li>Tech Blogosphere </li></ul><ul><li>Directories: ProgrammableWeb </li></ul><ul><li>Conferences: Business of APIs, MashUp Camp </li></ul><ul><li>PPC </li></ul><ul><li>Organic Search </li></ul><ul><li>API Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Site Footer </li></ul><ul><li>Attribution on Content Posted via API Partner Apps </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed Attribution Policy </li></ul>
  11. 11. API Challenges and Risks <ul><li>Limited number of developers </li></ul><ul><li>Not a “self serve” operation </li></ul><ul><li>Scaling </li></ul><ul><li>Duplicate Content </li></ul><ul><li>Fuel Competitors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring / Policing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Legal (redistribution rights) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Notable APIs
  13. 13. API Resources <ul><li>Mashery </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion: Platform D, Swordfish </li></ul><ul><li>Programmable Web ( </li></ul><ul><li>Sexy Widget ( </li></ul>
  14. 14. Lawrence Coburn CEO, RateItAll