Paying for API Access
17 Jul 2019
APIs that I can’t pay for more access grinds my gears. I am looking at you GitHub, Twitter, Facebook, and a few others. I spend $250.00 to $1500.00 a month on my Amazon bill, depending on what I’m looking to get done. I know I’m not the target audience for all of these platforms, but I’m guessing there is a lot more money on the table than is being acknowledged. I’m guessing that the reason companies don’t cater to this, is that there are larger buckets of money involved in what they are chasing behind the scenes. Regardless, there isn’t enough money coming my way to keep my mouth shut, so I will keep bitching about this one alongside the inaccessible pricing tiers startups like to employ as well. I’m going to keep kvetching about API pricing until we are all plugged into the matrix—-unless the right PayPal payment lands in my account, then I’ll shut up. ;-)
I know. I know. I’m not playing in all your reindeer startup games, and I don’t understand the masterful business strategy you’ve all crafted to get rich. I’m just trying to do something simple like publish data to GitHub, or do some basic research on an industry using Twitter. I know there are plenty of bad actors out there who want also access to your data, but it is all something that could be remedied with a little pay as you go pricing, applied to some base unit of cost applied to your resources. If I could pay for more Twitter and GitHub requests without having to be in the enterprise club, I’d be very appreciative. I know that Twitter has begun expanding into this area, but it is something that is priced out of my reach, and not the simple pay as you go pricing I prefer with AWS, Bing, and other APIs I happily spend money on.
If you can’t apply a unit of value to your API resources, and make them available to the masses in a straightforward way—-I immediately assume you are up to shady tings. Your business model is much more loftier than a mere mortal like me can grasp, let alone afford. I am just an insignificant raw material in your supply chain—-just be quiet! However, this isn’t rocket science. I can’t pay for Google Searches, but I can pay for Bing searches. I can’t pay for my GitHub API calls. I’m guessing at some point I’ll see Bing pricing go out of reach as Microsoft continues to realize the importance of investing at scale in the surveillance economy—-it is how you play in the big leagues. Or maybe they’ll be like Amazon, and realize they can still lead in the surveillance game while also selling things to the us lower level doozers who are actually building things. You can still mine data on what we are doing and establish your behavioral models for use in your road map, while still generating revenue by selling us lower level services.
The problem here ultimately isn’t these platforms. It is me. Why the hell do I keep insisting on using these platforms. I can always extricate myself from them. I just have to do it. I’d much rather just pay for my API calls, and still give up my behavioral data, over straight extraction and not getting what I need to run my business each day. I feel like the free model, with no access to pay for more API calls is a sign of a rookie operation. If you really want to operate at scale, you should be obfuscating your true intentions with a real paid service. If you are still hiding behind the free model, you are just getting going. The grownups are already selling services for a fair price as a front, while still exploiting us at levels we can’t see, so ultimately they can compete with all of us down the road. Ok, in all seriousness, why can’t we get on a common model for defining API access, and setting pricing. I’m really tired of all the games. It would really simplify my life if I could pay for what I use of any resource. I’m happy to pay a premium for this model, just make sure it is within my reach. Thanks.