Strandbeest, APIs And Orchestrating The API Economy

I'm going through the schedule for API Strategy & Practice next week in Amsterdam, getting intimate with each keynote, panel, and session, and their speakers. On day one we have a keynote from Mike Amundsen (@mamund), API Architect at Layer7 titled, "Self-Replication, Strandbeest, and the Game of Life What von Neumann, Jansen, and Conway can teach us about scaling the API economy”.

I have not seen this talk by Mike, so I have no idea what he is planning, but I have to share an epiphany I had when I first contacted Mike about speaking at #APIStrat Amsterdam. Mike had responded to my initial email asking me what I was interested in having him talk about, which I’m a huge fan of Mike’s approach to storytelling, so I’m leaving it up to him. However Mike responded with a link to Strandbeest, simply stating he would like to incorporate this into a talk.

As I watched Strandbeest I had a realization, this was a physical manifestation of what I envision as API driven application architecture for the API economy. Over the years I had built up visualizations in my mind of what architecture will look like when you are building applications with not 1 or 2, or 10 or 20 API, but hundreds of API driven resources, all working together in concert for a single outcome. The Strandbeest is the first physical object I've seen to come close to what i was seeing in my minds eye, and even more telling was that it was Mike Amundsen who introduced me to this object.

When you watch the Strandbeest video, imagine each tube as a single API, and each resulting "beest" as a system or application you intend to build with APIs. Imagine being an architect at this scale, orchestrating hundreds of APIs into a workflow, or series of workflows that produces a virtual "strandbeest" that doesn't just run on the beach, but operates within the API economy at a global scale.

Ok, I know this is pretty deep shit. I hope you can follow my groove, and see the same future. If you are like me, I’m beside myself with anticipation of Mike’s talk in Amsterdam. Mike is not just THE DOMAIN EXPERT who is going to visualize architecture at this level, this far into the future--he’s got the storytelling chops to help the rest of get up to speed, steering us towards a healthier version of the API economy.

I hope you are going to join us in Amsterdam next week for API Strategy & Practice. The ability to not just hear stories like Mike’s, but actually join him in a conversation about how we visualize, and ultimately orchestrate an API economy that flows like Strandbeests on the beach, is why 3Scale and API Evangelist produce #APIStrat.

Photo credits: @themindblown for the mind blown icon, and Strandbeest for the well, Strandbeest photo!