Company X's Competitive Advantage Is That They Have An API
I have been thinking about the Twilio IPO a lot lately, as it seems to be well received by the market. I am trying to be realistic about this, and work to understand how much the API thing actually has anything to do with how well investors have received the company which we all love to showcase in the API space. I would like to think the "muggles", as my friend Keith Casey (@caseysoftware) calls them, understand the competitive advantage an API brings, but I just can't quite sell myself on the fact that this is the reality.
As I'm mulling over this I am also working to get my API.Report news channel back up and running after taking a break this summer, and I'm noticing more companies are showcasing the existence of an API when talking about acquisitions, partnerships, and other market-related events. I blogged about this the previous week when FullContact acquired a company, partly due to the fact they were using their API, but it is also interesting to see APIs be wielded to also influence wider markets, not in acquisition scenarios.
I guess the increased usage of APIs as a competitive advantage for courting would-be buyers, and the wooing of general markets is a good thing. Each time it is wielded, more muggles get exposed to what an API is. The problem comes in when this is wielded for companies who do not live up to market hype or expectations, or the API really isn't even a thing--it is just wielded to make a company sound cool. I'm a little mixed on this one, and it will have to be something I will keep watching, and trying to understand what it actually means for the API space, as I generally could care less about the market performance of companies--except Twilio, I <3 Twilio.