API business models have been a hotly debated topic in the API community. For sustainable API program success, it’s paramount to get the value proposition right, and the API provider needs to have a clear understanding about how to capitalize on this value. At the API Strategy and Practice conference (APIStrat) in Austin, we had a whole session devoted to this topic.
John Musser from API Science (and former founder of ProgrammableWeb) was chairing that session. John was, in fact, one of the people who initially triggered the discussions around APIs and business models at APIStrat in 2013. He did an excellent job shaping the agenda of the session, starting with two talks about the principles of business models and APIs and suggested thinking processes. The following two talks were reports from each speaker’s experience, discussing what can go wrong and essential lessons learned.
I kicked things off doing the first talk about the API Model Canvas, a tool to help API leaders get their strategy right for their API…
There have been some great pieces written about APIs and API management over the year (many of them listed on our API Codex). There have also been influential books – from Richardson, Amundsen and Ruby’s RESTful Web APIs book to Jacobson, Brail and Woods’ APIs: A Strategy Guide. However, there have been few books that give you a view of the whole API operations development, operations and retirement lifecycle. As APIs become more complex and intertwined with critical business functions within a company, clarity of focus for an API program becomes even more important.
So today we’re happy to announce our contribution to this with the release of “The API Owner’s Manual: Best practices of successful API teams”. The book draws on our observat…
This is the last part of Building Effective API Programs. We’re concluding this series with a “cheat sheet” summary of the key success factors.
In the introduction, we explained that exposing assets via APIs can prove to be extremely valuable but that tackling the technical challenges of building the API is only one aspect. To reap the true benefits of your APIs, there’s a lot more that needs to be addressed.
Your API program should address all elements necessary to describe, deliver, and capitalize on the value of the API. In other words, at the core of an API program is the description of the value of the API – both the value for the organization exposing APIs and the value that API consumers get out of it. Delivery is all about how you make the API available,…
This is the seventh part of the Building Effective API Programs blog post series. In the previous parts we covered benefits of APIs, alignment between API programs, strategy and business models, API design and implementation, and API operations. In this part, we discuss aspects of how to market your APIs.
API marketing is often see…
This is the second part of the Building Effective API Programs blog post series. In the first post, we argued that it is paramount that an API contributes to the overarching business strategy of an organization. In this post, we describe the various benefits of APIs in order to understand what this contribution could look like.
Generally, there are four types of benefits for organizations who choose to expose assets (services, content or resources) via APIs.
API Benefits & Examples
Exposing assets (data or services) via APIs can prove to be extremely valuable for an organization. However in most cases, it’s not enough to solve only the technical challenges of opening an API. It can even be counterproductive for the organization if the API does not contribute to the overarching business strategy, if no one knows about it, or if no one adopts it. A well-thought-out API program that surrounds the technical API is paramount.
This is the first part of the Building Effective API Programs blog series. This series is part of a larger collection of ebooks and articles, with which we aim to support decision making and help readers establish successful API-based products.
- The article “What is an API? Your Guide to the Internet Business (R)evolution” gives a general introduction and definition of…
What is actually an API and what can it be used for?
This was our motivation to write a white paper to act as an introduction to the subject matter and provide a bit of historical background on APIs. Although the topic is technical, we focused on keeping the content accessible for all readers. Topics include:
- Definition of application programming interface (API), including some analogies
- Creating business value with APIs
- Evolution and growth of APIs
- Key API trends, such as standardization, developer marketing, API search, or API management for API consumers
- API Management as a key el…
Getting your API launched can be a big challenge – and not just technically! Often there are open strategy, technical, business model and other questions which need answers before you can take the plunge. Or maybe you have an API and you’d like it to fly higher!
To help work through these questions and give you the best start possible, sign up for 3scale before the end of the weekend and you’ll get a FREE API Strategy Session with key people from the 3scale team. We’ll share experiences from the field and drill down into specific challenges you want to cover (guaranteed no sales pitches!).
Sign up (accounts are Free) before the end of Sunday 1st of July to take advantage of this offer!
We can cover:
Overall API Strategy: What is worth releasing, when and how – how to generate value rather than simply extra cost + how to communicate …
Business Strategy to drive the API
Many companies are embarking on initiatives to open their API. However, most API initiatives still do not fully harness the real potential that an API brings. Sometimes this is due to organizational reasons – such as being run as a side project in the engineering team. Often though, it is because of the lack of a rigorous process to ensure that all the creative options are investigated on how to adapt the business model. It is like getting into a car and just following the road ahead; instead of checking a map to see where you want to go and which the best route to take is.
The objective of this article is to define a structured approach to identify which business model will ensure that your API makes the most effective contribution to your business. Before we get to the meat of the business model options, the first step is to decide which your core assets are, and how you wa…