A Market For API Developer Credits

This story gets file into the “way in future” bucket, because the infrastructure needed to make happen doesn't even exist. Beyond research from API grandfather John Musser (@johnmusser), and a few other blog posts or conference decks, there is no standardization of monetization strategies and pricing across APIs—making my idea impossible currently.

I won’t let that stop me! What I'd like to see is a developer credit system, that I can earn buy or earn credits for any single API, but I possess a credit account across all the APIs I depend on--as an API developer I want to buy credits for API usage, allowing me to buy in single, or bulk amounts, and apply against my regular API usage.

As an API provider, I could provide developers with an incentive using credits, trying to drive the behavior I'm looking to get from developers. With a credit system I could even pay developer's credits for doing common API ecosystem tasks like creating code libraries, generating how-to-guides, or even supporting other developers on the forum.

If there was a market for API credits, as a developer I could easily earn credits on one platform, and use them there, or possibly apply them to other platforms. I could also choose to just sell my credits on the open market to other API consumers, who might value the credits more than I do, or pay a rate that is lower than they'd get directly from a provider.

This is just a random thought I wanted to put out into the universe, that came up as I was evaluating the business models of some APIs I’m reviewing. We have a lot of work before something like this would be possible, but if someone stepped up to work on this problem across providers, I think there would be a pretty significant opportunity for them in coming years--think Amazon Web Service pricing, but across the board for the API space, applied to all business sectors. #huge