"Business of APIs Conference in San Francisco - Wrapup"

I finished up the Mashery, Business of APIs Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.  After a days rest and reflection on the event I wanted to capture my thoughts on BAPI - SF.  

The turnout was impressive.  I got to see a lot of familiar faces, was introduced to some new APIs and met a few new folks looking to transform their businesses using APIs.  

On the 16 presentations I saw, here are some of my thoughts:

  • Daniel Jacobson - I have seen Daniel talk several times, so I'm familiar with his talk, but he adds new slides each time.  Always love seeing how they are solving internal and partner needs with their APIs, as well helping them achieve world domination using APIs and the Amazon cloud.
  • Adam Trachtenberg - There were three things I took away from listening to Andy.  1) Your API should get all the same love and attention as your primary business.  2)  Hold Hackathons within your own company to encourage innovation 3) LinkedIn is a model of how any API should employ embeddable buttons and widgets around their API.
  • Steve Citron-Poust -  I need to watch his pitch again.  His speaking style was engaging so I was drawn in by his perspective of ecosystem management, and didn't take good enough notes.  He offers a very realist perspective of managing your developers, and the differences in managing a private-label, partner API platform.
  • John Musser - John always has a very concise view of the entire API industry, showing the growth, and helping us understand the scope and depth of this growth.  ProgrammableWeb recently hit 4K APIs in its directory, showing some phenomenal growth in number of APIs, but also by industry, and varying ways companies are monetizing their APIs.
  • Neel Ketkar - Neel from Rovi talked about the advantages of an open API, and the importance of providing a feedback framework for your developers and incorporating feedback into your roadmap.  Neel also urged the importance of having a flexible API infrastructure allowing for change, because you will have to continually evolve how you deliver your services.  But one nugget I walked away with, that I'm evolving as separate story, is "arming your corporate sales team with APIs", how this can be a very empowering differentiator.
  • Tyler Singletary - Tyler takes home the grand prize for the most relevant presentation, reflecting the mission of the event, which is the Business of APIs.  His presenation is fulll of valuable insights into how to approach your API business model, how it relates to your TOS and branding guidelines.  I'm working on a completely separate story about Tylers presentation at BAPI.
  • Marie Alexander - Unfortunately I don't have much feedback on the fireside chat with Marie from Quova.  I ran out of power, because Mashery didn't have power plugs for press(:(), so I went out of room to charge and ended up talking to other folks.
  • Ben Metcalfe - I think Ben offers some very realistic advice for API owners, that is grounded in actual experience in bulding and implementing API strategy for small and enterprise level businesses.   I need to talk to Ben more about what his Swordfi.sh company offers.
  • Abraham Williams - Thoroughly entertained by Abrahams presention on Unicorns (developers), and how to manage and encourage them within your community.  I've seen his pitch a couple times and it gets more polished each time.  I don't want to call his talk "the basics", I think "the essentials", is more appropriate.  Every business looking to launch an API should watch his talk.
  • Seth Blank - I'm am super excited by any talk that can use the words Fuck and API together so much.  He had a very colorful presentation about what developers love and hate about APIs.
  • Dave Carroll - Dave is the extremely wise and cool uncle of the API space.  Saleforce is one of the elders in the space, and Dave has been there the whole time, so he gets it at a level I think many of us can't quite see.  He demonstrates the important role APIs have played in current and future sucess of Salesforce.
  • Ryan Sarver - Ryan gave a very polished view of Twitter and its API ecosystem.  I don't think Victoria asked the hard questions, but we got some insight into how they view their often troubled developer ecosystem, and what Twitter would like to see.  I'm uploading a video I took of his talk, and will post a separate post about it after I watch again.
  • Jeff Lawson - Always love watching Jeff give a talk.  I've seen this one 3 times now, but he shoots from the hip and evolves it each time.  So much to learn from Twilio, but the nugget I walked away with this time was APIs should have a self-service model, as well as a sales funnel for approach enterprise sales.  Its a model that works well across the board, not just the enterprise.
  • Reeve S. Thompson - Ok, was totally blown by the Cabana mobile app builder.  I talked with Reeve Thompson for a bit, and looking forward to talking more.  They build a mobile app using both the Twitter and Klout API in 300 seconds, live during the demo.  They are the vision I was talking about in Widget Builder Environment for APIs, but for mobile.  

Overall BAPI was a great experience, except for that one dude I spilled a glass of water on his leg.  So sorry man!!

I'm really looking forward to the New York New York event October 19th and if I can afford to, I will be going to the London event on October 25th.  If you want to help Audrey and I get there, let me know!  :)

I'm still working on a couple other side stories from the event, I will post them when they are ready.  The registration is still open for both events. I highly recommend getting to at least one of them if you can.