Big News: FounderDating is joining OneVest to build the largest community for entrepreneurs. Details here
Latest Notifications
You have no recent recommendations.
Name
Title
 
MiniBio
FOLLOW
Title
 Followers
FOLLOW TOPIC

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur

Developers APIs: a good market?

I see more and more API making life of startups easier.
Selling shovels to gold-diggers might sound like a safer business model, but I'd be curious to get feedback on this industry.
I'm currently packaging an email service as a simple API (inboxAPI), so I'm not neutral :)
Thanks for your feedback!

5 Replies

Eric Rogness
0
0
Eric Rogness Entrepreneur
Technical Product Manager
When Stackmob went to free, it made me concerned for the entire sector. How does one become indispensible for a product company at scale, while being profitable? The non-free APIs that can't be easily disintermediated usually are more than code... they connect your application to previously hard to manipulate data, or provide a fixed port of call to an ever-changing sea on the backend (e.g. Facebook ad APIs, or Clever).
Dave Lemley
2
0
Dave Lemley Entrepreneur
Consulting Technologist
the choice to expose developer APIs (and the pricing thereof) is made for many reasons. Who gets the value, and what is the cost of the solution in absence of the API? E.g., payments processing with an easy integration means the integrator pays (e.g. Braintree). C.f., e.g. identity management with valuable data being generated for the service provider means the integrator gets it for free (e.g. Facebook).

So, I would say the market is awesome (having been on both sides of it, buying and selling), if you can figure out who's providing the value to whom.

Just don't be silly and solve and easy problem and try to charge for it, or solve a hard problem and give it away for free, or (perhaps more subtly) expect folks to give you value and pay for doing so as well..

The essence of software is canned expertise creating the illusion of simplicity. From a market standpoint, APIs are the same as finished product, except the buyer is developers instead of end-users. All other aspects remain the same.

Tom Maiaroto
1
0
Tom Maiaroto Entrepreneur • Advisor
Full Stack Consultant
It's good enough for a lot of big companies to offer APIs for the enterprise... So yea, it's a great business. What those APIs do and how you can sell them is an altogether different story.

For what it's worth, I started off looking at my technology as an API. What I've built is quite complex and the technology works. I got really good feedback and traction. Lots of people are still very interested. However, I realized I needed more than just an API. Two reasons:

#1. Most important of all - when a client needs to integrate an API, it's not necessarily "easy" ... They need to have developers on hand and need to actually do work. This takes time. This takes money. It's asking a lot and due to the cost for the client you may lose out.

#2. More of an observation than a reason, but interestingly enough more people responded more excitedly (I never had negative feedback by the way, but more or less excitement - sure) when I showed them a "dashboard" ... Everything has to be a dashboard. Dashboard, dashboard, dashboard. I'm tired of hearing the word. =) However, people jump at that and they jump at having 50 million different dashboards because everyone will then tell you that you need to focus and do one tiny thing really well - even IF your services cover a lot more and your API is a lot more robust. They're still going to look for that very simple dashboard and they believe people are going to be ok buying 5 slightly different dashboards instead of one that does 5 very related things. Really interesting thing that I discovered. For what it's worth.

I still believe that APIs can be very powerful because sometimes the data they provide can be used for many different businesses. So if you find yourself in a situation where you're having trouble with building out a very pointed service, then yea...I don't think it's a bad idea. PROVIDED you have strong positive feedback for the features. I'd also go so far as to also say provided you have a few clients lined up who aren't afraid of getting their hands dirty.
Tom Maiaroto
0
0
Tom Maiaroto Entrepreneur • Advisor
Full Stack Consultant
It's good enough for a lot of big companies to offer APIs for the enterprise... So yea, it's a great business. What those APIs do and how you can sell them is an altogether different story.

For what it's worth, I started off looking at my technology as an API. What I've built is quite complex and the technology works. I got really good feedback and traction. Lots of people are still very interested. However, I realized I needed more than just an API. Two reasons:

#1. Most important of all - when a client needs to integrate an API, it's not necessarily "easy" ... They need to have developers on hand and need to actually do work. This takes time. This takes money. It's asking a lot and due to the cost for the client you may lose out.

#2. More of an observation than a reason, but interestingly enough more people responded more excitedly (I never had negative feedback by the way, but more or less excitement - sure) when I showed them a "dashboard" ... Everything has to be a dashboard. Dashboard, dashboard, dashboard. I'm tired of hearing the word. =) However, people jump at that and they jump at having 50 million different dashboards because everyone will then tell you that you need to focus and do one tiny thing really well - even IF your services cover a lot more and your API is a lot more robust. They're still going to look for that very simple dashboard and they believe people are going to be ok buying 5 slightly different dashboards instead of one that does 5 very related things. Really interesting thing that I discovered. For what it's worth.

I still believe that APIs can be very powerful because sometimes the data they provide can be used for many different businesses. So if you find yourself in a situation where you're having trouble with building out a very pointed service, then yea...I don't think it's a bad idea. PROVIDED you have strong positive feedback for the features. I'd also go so far as to also say provided you have a few clients lined up who aren't afraid of getting their hands dirty.
Tom Maiaroto
0
0
Tom Maiaroto Entrepreneur • Advisor
Full Stack Consultant
Sorry about the double post here, the server returned an error and I clicked refresh. It posted twice =(
Join FounderDating to participate in the discussion
Nothing gets posted to LinkedIn and your information will not be shared.

Just a few more details please.

DO: Start a discussion, share a resource, or ask a question related to entrepreneurship.
DON'T: Post about prohibited topics such as recruiting, cofounder wanted, check out my product
or feedback on the FD site (you can send this to us directly info@founderdating.com).
See the Community Code of Conduct for more details.

Title

Give your question or discussion topic a great title, make it catchy and succinct.

Details

Make sure what you're about to say is specific and relevant - you'll get better responses.

Topics

Tag your discussion so you get more relevant responses.

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
Know someone who should answer this question? Enter their email below
Stay current and follow these discussion topics?