Writing API Stories That Speak To But Also Influences Their View Of Technology
17 Jul 2017
I know that some of my friends who follow API Evangelist shake their heads when I talk about API business models, partner programs, and many of the business sides of API operations. Much of my work will have an almost delusional attraction towards the concept of an API. Heavily doused in a belief in technology as a solution. This isn’t accidental. This is API Evangelist. A persona I have developed to help me make a living, and help influence where we go (or don’t go) with technology.
I am delusional enough to think I can influence change in how the world uses technology. I’m borderline megalomaniac, but there really is not sufficient ego to get me quite all the way there. While still very, very, very minor, I feel I have influenced where technology has flowed over my seven years as the API Evangelist. Even if it just slowing the speed (seconds) at which the machines turn on us, and kills us all. If nothing else, I know there are few folks out there who I have touched, and shaped how they see, use, and allow technology in their lives (cause they told me so).
Through my storytelling on API Evangelist, I am always looking for the next convert–even if it takes years and hundreds of stories. A significant portion of this outreach involves telling stories that reach my intended audience–usually startups, business, institutional, and government agency workers and influencers. To reach them I need to tell stories that speak to them, and feed their current goals around finding success in their startup, or their role within businesses, institutions, and government agencies. With this in mind, I am always trying to bend my stories in their direction, talking about topics that they’ll care about, and tune into.
Once I have their attention, I will work on them in other ways. I’ll help them think about their business model, but also help them understand transparency and communication when it comes to executing this model. I will help them understand the best practices for managing an API using open source solutions like Tyk or Dreamfactory, and the leading approaches to using Runscope for monitoring and testing, while also encouraging them to me more observable with these practices. Making sure companies tell stories about what they are doing, and how they are doing it all–the good and bad.
I’m always working to build bridges to folks who might not see this whole API thing like I do. I’d say that many of these bridges will never get fully walked across by my target audience, but when someone does, and my stories influence the way they see or use technology even a little bit–mission accomplished. I’m constantly testing new ways or reaching out, speaking in the language of my target audience (without selling out), using trendy terms like microservices, devops, and serverless, but this isn’t just about following the latest fad. It is meant to capture your attention, build some trust, and then when it matters I can share some information about what really matters in all of this–in hopes of influencing how you see technology, and how it can be used a little more sensibly, securely, or maybe not even at all. ;-)