You Have No API Imagination, Creativity, Or Sensibility
I know you are used to people telling you that you are creative, and your ideas are great, but I’m here to tell you they aren’t. You lack any imagination, creativity, or sensibility when it comes to your APIs. Some of it is because you are personally lacking in these areas, part of it is because you have no diversity on your team, but it is mostly because you all are just doing this to make money. As creative as you think doing a startups is, they are really just about making money for your bosses, and investors–not a lot of imagination, creativity, or sensibility is required.
You could invest the time to come up with good ideas for applications and stories on your blog, but you really don’t want to do the work, or even stand out in the group. It is much easier to just phone it in, follow the group, and let your bosses and the existing industry trends dictate what you do each day. If the business sector you operate within is doing it, you are doing it. If you see something funny online or at a conference you will do it. You have a handful of blogs you read each weekend, that you will rewrite the best posts from and publish on your own blog. Your Twitter account is just retweeting what you find, and you don’t even push out your own stories, because you have already tweeted out the story you copied in the first place.
Don’t beat yourself up about this, you come by it honestly. Your privilege affords you never really getting out of your comfort zone, and the people around you make you feel good enough. Everyone on your team is the same, and your bosses really don’t care, as long as you are just creating content, and sending out all the required signals. Just make it look like you are always busy, and keep all the channels active. You don’t actually have to support your API consumers, just make sure you are having conversations with them on forums, and the channels your boss can keep an eye on. Doing too much will make you a target. Keep an eye on your coworkers and never do anymore than they are, establishing a kind of solidarity of mediocrity. This isn’t rocket surgery, its API theater.
You know deep down that you have some creativity in there, but it is something that has never been encouraged. This is the damaging effects of your privileged world. Your parents, teachers, bosses, and friends never push you, and neither do you. You don’t have to. If this story pisses you off, you really have nobody to blame. You’ve never had to work hard. You have never pushed yourself to do any of the hard work required to fail, on the path to becoming creative, developing your sensibility, and honing your imagination. How are you ever going to know what you are capable of if you do not put yourself out there. Creativity isn’t created in a silo. People aren’t just born with sensibility. And API aren’t lacking in imagination by default. There are many APIs operating out there that possess all these characteristics, and are leading the conversation–why aren’t you one of them?
Note: If my writing is a little dark this week, here is a little explainer–don’t worry, things will back to normal at API Evangelist soon.