The Lack Of An API And Healthy Partner Integrations Is An Early Warning System For Service Providers
28 Mar 2016
I was disappointed to see the email in my inbox this morning from IFTTT about their Pinboard integration. I also helped amplify Pinboard when he was Tweet'n up a storm earlier, and I recommend you read his post: My Heroic and Lazy Stand Against IFTTT.
However I had work to get done on an essay about the API effort over at Brigham Young University, and prepare for some meetings I have this week around the Open Referral API definition, to help people find government services--IFTTT bums me out, but priorities.
The loss of Pinboard integration in IFTTT sucks, but there is always Zapier. ;-) I began moving away from my IFTTT support back in 2014, after I began seeing their lack of an API, and the absence of a forward-facing business model, as an early warning sigs about the sustainability of IFTTT as an service provider.
I prefer having the option of paying for services in which I have a growing dependence on for my personal digital presence, and it is vital when it comes to my business presence. This was a deal breaker for me when it comes to IFTTT being a service I could support.
I also strongly believe, that if you are building a startup using the APIs of other companies, you should be offering an API for your own aggregation, automation, interoperability, and any other aspect of your tech--otherwise it isn't a service I want to support.
There are many other approaches to integrating your cloud services, and the concept of iPaaS is a growing layer of the API space. Unfortunately there will also continue to be incentives for startups to not offer an API, be secretive and shady about their operations, not communicate honestly with their community, and have fucked up terms of services.
All we can do to combat this, is to make sure and only use the services who have a sensible business model which is in alignment with their community, provide a truly open API, that possesses terms of service that are more human than lawyer, and know how to actually communicate with their community.
Which is why I support API providers like Pinboard, a service that plays a central role in the operation of API Evangelist.