A Regular Reminder That Storytelling Is The Most Important Tool In Your API Toolbox
28 Apr 2016
I was reminded by my friend Mike Amundsen of the importance of storytelling in our world. When I am asked by anyone doing APIs, what is the most important thing they should be doing, my answer is always "storytelling". I don't care if its internally, publicly, on the corporate blog, or your personal blog, tell the story of what you are doing. I do not care how good your API is, if you aren't telling the story of this, nobody is going to care.
When I hold up storytelling as the most important tool in your toolbox within developer groups, they often snicker, dismissing it. I also have a contingent of my NOT fanbase in the API space who love to dismiss me with -- nobody reads or cares about stories! I'm never phased by these folks, my focus is on the people who are truly trying to build community, and reach their intended audience. #NoHaterz
While stories swirl all around is many forms, the one I like to reference the most, is when it comes to the mating ritual that is startup funding. If you are looking to get funding for your startup, you have to be sending the right signals, otherwise your VC mate will never be interested in you. You will need to be on TechCrunch, Venture Beat, and other tech blogs. Hacker News, Reddit and Hacker News needs to be in sync. Your stories should also be in sync with what is floating around VC firm blogs, aggregate, and other investor related streams.
Startup valuations are are defined by an ocean of stories crashing on the shore each day. Bots are a thing because of storytelling. We are focusing on selling to the enterprise and abandoning B2C solutions because of storytelling. Google loves them some moonshot storytelling. Elon Musk understand the importance of the right story at the right time. Stories of what people are using. Stories of what people are investing in. Stories of what the future will hold, and will be a 20B industry by 2020.
That is marketing Kin! I'd put it in the fiction section of the library if I was in charge, but I'm not. Its all storytelling. If you need another example, visit my secret to Amazon's success post. This story does 2K page views a month, and I've seen it referenced in keynotes, framed on the wall of a bank, and on the home page of a federal agencies internal portal. This story is more fiction than it is fact, yet it keeps on resonating with folks, getting passed around, and turning people on to the concept of APIs, and why they are important.
Please keep telling your story, if for no other reason, so that I have stories to retell. ;-)