Tuesday, April 29, 2014

To API or not to API

Ok, we've covered so many times the importance of APIs in the ecosystem wars along with how to build and exploit models like ILC (innovate-leverage-commoditise) over the last seven years that I thought I wouldn't cover very old ground again. 

Except …

I was asked when should you look at providing something as a public API? Well, take a look at your map (see figure 1). There are three areas to note.

Figure 1 - Maps and API

Those areas are :-

1) Too Early. The act is still evolving and unlikely to be suitable for provision as a pubic API due to its constantly changing nature.

2) Sweetspot. The act is becoming well defined and ubiquitous and is probably close to being suitable for provision as a public API. This is where you can take the most advantage, drive the act to a utility and prepare to build and exploit an ecosystem.

3) Too Late. The act is almost certainly already provided through a public API and so you should just consume. If not … whoot ahoy! … release a public API in double quick time.