For the last three years my main focus, mainly as my side project, is API from both technical and strategical point of view. I keep talking about how great Hypermedia is to random people in the office kitchen, writting API clients in different language, reading books (here, here, here, and here), and attending conferences. The problem is, we cannot expect people with no technical background invest heavily in something that has no user interface as well as immediate ROI.
For that reason, I decided to approach the problem from a different angle. A dead-simple short presentation explaining the benefit of API to the busniess.
Here are the topics I focused on:
The different between Product and Platform
The fact the platform is a product that we can build on top of that to extend it’s functionality without knowing how the internals work.
The different between API and and a Web page
It is useful to explain what we mean by APIs inputs/outputs are machine readable. I used the example of English language as a medium between two parties talking in Chinese and Japanese.
How API can bring money home?
This is very important both for business and technical folks. It helps business folks in understanding of it’s ROI. From techies point of view, I noticed the light-bulb moment when they got the fact that it’s not only a REST endpoint, but also relationship, partnership, and innovation opportunities.
The most frightning and simple mindset that blocks API implementations is this fair statement: “How can we protect our IP?”. Explaining API governance can help in here. The fact that you need to have a proper monitoring tools that can help you identify abusers, or successful innovative applications that you can learn from them before it’s too late.
Different Types of API
Simple explaination of Public, Private, and Partner APIs. Making example from real life would be great. I used Twitter/TweetDeck example for public, Our internal Payment Gateway for private, and Salesforce/Netflix for partner APIS and how they monetize them. Find example that your folks can relate to.
How API can have impact on MTP and Exponential Organisation factors. Specifically on Engagement, Community & Crowd factor.
The simple presentation I have is here and covers most of the above.