What Version Of The API Economy Are You Investing In?

APIs are being used as the pipes that drive mobile apps, and beginning to connect our homes, automobiles, buildings and public space to the Internet. The decision on whether or not this is a good idea isn not even on the table, it is already happening, and there isn't anything you can do about it.

What matters now is the path we take, and how open these API pipes are, how transparent providers are, how inclusive they are to developers and end users, and how much we respect privacy and invest in security. The big challenge in all of this is how do we steer all the actors in this new API economy towards a healthy balance:

  • Providers - The potential of innovation and new partnerships, as well as access to new talent, and fresh ideas around a company's resources.
  • Developers - Access to free and low cost resources for apps, that they couldn't create on their own.
  • End-Users - Access to apps that entertain and meet their needs, with better control over content and data, as well as privacy and security.
  • Government - All government being machine readable by default, increasing efficiency, as well as transparency along the way.

APIs offer a lot of benefits for everyone involved, and are quickly establishing a presence across all business sectors. When it comes to APIs, most of the benefit comes not from the technical usage of APIs, it will be from healthy business and political aspects that empower and incentivize not just companies, but developers and the end-users to build new things.

I don't evangelize APIs just so they get deployed, I evangelize API in hopes of persuading companies to adopt an API-centric approach to operating their company, a way of life that opens it up to partners, and the public—changing the culture of the company, the way it does business, and potentially changing the way we all do business.

There are just as many ways to exploit individuals via APIs, as there are ways to benefit users, companies and entire industries with APIs, it is up to us which future we create—the API economy is here, which version of it are you investing in?