Name any company you’ve heard of and they are likely exposing the internal workings of their company through an API. Why? Because they absolutely have to. To be more specific, APIs allow the services of company A to be used by developer B to provide an array of enhanced solutions. For example, the Uber API is being used by OpenTable, TripAdvisor and Starbucks to name a few.
By exposing the API, Uber potentially becomes the foundational ecosystem to a number of related companies. If you’ve ever tracked your package from an ecommerce site, you know shipping companies early on saw and took advantage of this trend.
The idea behind API’s isn’t necessarily new, but the opportunities presented today are massive. Companies can leverage the installed customer base of other organizations in many new ways, allowing them to more rapidly gain market share by seamlessly interconnecting with related solutions.
Simple API integration has already revolutionized and disrupted telecom. In the 1980s, computers and phones first started talking through APIs and this industry soon became a multibillion dollar business which eventually created VoIP, IP communications and Unified Communications. This opening of the market allowed Cisco to become a leader in the enterprise communications space and Polycom to become a leader in IP endpoints.
APIs can be highly disruptive. This means every business has to pay attention to the new opportunities they are presenting or potentially be displaced.
Medical tech, financial tech, sports tech, business tech and virtually every industry is about to let loose a flurry of APIs providing you with a treasure trove of data, analytics, integrations and limitless ideas on new businesses as well as extensions to your apps. For example, Jobs site Indeed can thank its API for helping it become worth over a billion dollars.
Considering that apps have low to almost no distribution cost thanks to app stores and the cloud, at the same time, the amount of useful data and programmable functions available to developers is literally skyrocketing. This increases their value asymmetrically.
What this means is – development costs aside, the opportunity to rapidly bring innovative solutions to market, all made possible by the leveraging of new and existing APIs is very inexpensive. Conversely, the right solutions can be immensely lucrative.
The situation is even better when you consider the truly large companies with very valuable data, want to quickly establish themselves as leaders in the ecosystem they serve. Uber has to be the center of logistics for them to be successful in the future. Salesforce has to be the hub of your CRM. Marketo has to be the center-piece of marketing automation and so on. Of course, those competing in all these spaces want to be the center of the market as well.
Software partners leveraging APIs are now essential to the success of so many companies who will look at their ecosystem of API users the way they look at sales, marketing and channel partners.
As the API gold rush continues, TMC’s new “All About the API” plans on becoming the conference which brings the companies with APIs together with the developers and product managers looking to be where the next opportunity lies.
In addition to educational sessions lead by experts across key vertical markets, the event will feature a variety of intensive hack-a-thons, in-depth company-focused workshops helping attendees understand the value propositions offered by key vendors, powerful keynotes, networking opportunities and an exhibit hall full of companies demonstrating the latest innovations in today's market place. Every business has to pay attention to the new opportunities they are presenting or potentially be displaced.