You may wonder, why should you treat your API as a product? For one thing, an API fits the standard definition of an API product. There is a definite need in the marketplace for APIs. Many companies use APIs and APIs can be monetized. In technical terms, this usually involves combining several APIs into a single new API. “API Product” is the term used, but API composition or API bundling would probably be a more suitable description.
Yet, like any product out there, if we don’t position strategically an API product for a specific audience, it simply cannot succeed. When you apply a product strategy to your API, you allow for the API to flourish and generate revenue — always a nice concept! Companies have jumped on the API bandwagon and now see the potential for merging this principle of treating your API as a product has become a win-win for everyone!
What happens when you treat an API as a product?
APIs, like products, should be vigorously maintained, as well as being user-friendly. Vendors should strive for APIs to make continued improvements. Like most products in the marketplace, items can be updated and tweaked to improve their value for the customer. Product location is a necessary part that helps make the clear difference between conservative integration and a rapid business built on a platform of APIs.
When you treat your API as a product, it’s helpful to keep in mind these three viewpoints for a prosperous outcome:
- The customer is always right!
- Just assume that every API out there may become a public API.
- Control your APIs for a strategic outcome.
The customer is always right!
This saying has been around for years, but what remains the same is that it’s true. APIs need to focus on the customer and their needs for an API to thrive as a product. This is a necessary step.
In the end, the customer is always right!
API and the public world
To err on the side of caution, it’s best to just assume that any API may become public — end of story. This will probably affect your business strategy since the difference between a private, partner, and open APIs are different categories. It’s certainly best practice to have your ducks in a row for a successful API product outcome.
The strategic outcome of an API
To have a successful strategic outcome for an API as a product, you must arm your APIs with a tactical plan. This allows for your API as a product to be profitable. Further, you must have a clear vision of how you want your APIs to succeed. Equipped with a sound plan will enable your APIs to grow and become profitable.
Go even deeper, discover more about API Products.