Business of APIs - Primer for the API Economy

With the recent explosion in the number and usage of APIs, the Internet technology industry is well aware of the value of the application programming interface. It recognizes that APIs drive much of the Internet from social media and cloud computing to mobile applications.

But while there is plenty of information to get the developer community up and running with APIs, there is a shortage of information that can serve to educate the business community about the business of APIs.

The necessity of having that sort of outreach is one reason why I use the term API Evangelist instead of Developer Advocate. While yes, developers do still need advocates, I also feel that there needs to be more evangelism to the business community about APIs and their benefits as well.

So I've partnered with my girlfriend Audrey Watters to develop a series of guides targeting the business community. These aim to educate businesspeople about the coming API economy.

We have just published our first guide: The Business of APIs.

Here is the table of contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is an API?
  3. Who uses APIs?
  4. What type of technologies go into an API?
  5. History of modern Web APIs
  6. Where some APIs stumble
  7. Building blocks for a successful API
  8. Fostering an API ecosystem
  9. BizDev 2.5

An introduction to APIs, the book is aimed at a business audience, not the developer audience. I believe that there are a lot of business owners, executives and decision makers out there considering APIs -- they've heard that it's "the thing to do" -- who need to be educated about how APIs work. The Business of APIs is a primer for just that sort of person.