An API You Should Consider Emulating When Crafting Your SaaS / API Business

The social bookmarking API Pinboard is my favorite API. I feel like it is a model we should all be considering crafting our API-focused businesses. I’ve used Pinboard to curate what I do as the API Evangelist ever since 2011, and it has been one of the most stable and versatile APIs in my stack, doing one thing, and doing it well, reflecting everything that is API from a business perspective.

I feel that Pinboard provides entrepreneurs with a positive model for not just a SaaS business, and API operations, but showing startups that you don’t always need to scale to achieve success. Pinboard acquired their rival Delicious bookmarking site this last week, which has been bought and sold five times now, demonstrating the volatility of startup culture, as well as the viability and potential stability a well-run API business can bring to the table. Providing a model that won’t necessary work in all business scenarios, but does provide us with plenty to consider for our API ideas that probably aren’t VC scale.

I know there will always be startups who are obsessed with the VC model for launching, scaling, and selling a business. I am fine with dealing with some of the volatility brought by these types of companies, but I feel like the lion share of the actual API business will be conducted on the shoulders of giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, and via smaller operators like Pinboard. I’m going to make Pinboard into a textbook example of how to do APIs, helping entrepreneurs understand what healthy patterns already exist out there, providing them with something they can emulate when crafting their SaaS / API business.