Tagged: API Business Development

USA Today Latest Media Co. to Realize Open is Better «

USA Today is the latest media company to open up its data via an API, the software interface that makes it easy for outside developers to use another company’s data in their applications. The newspaper — which said that it will launch its open API project later this month — joins a small but growing group that includes The Guardian, the New York Times and National Public Radio. The newspaper says it plans to start releasing APIs for specific sections first, including a sports API that provides access to the paper’s database of salaries for players in Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NHL and other sports franchises. It will also be releasing data about best-selling books through its books API, and says it will be opening up other parts of its news operation through similar offerings later in the year.

It remains to be seen how much content USA Today provides through its interface, and on what terms. The New York Times only provides an excerpt of its content through its API, and doesn’t allow that content to be used in any venture designed for profit. National Public Radio, meanwhile, has provided full access to all of its content since 2008, and the organization is also working on a project with other publicly-funded entities to come up with a single system that provides access to all their data in one place. There is a tangible upside to an open API as well: NPR says its pageviews have climbed by 80 percent since it released its interface, as users click through from apps that use the service’s content.

KDYKES: It has been since late 2009 that I left my focus on API strategy for @vibe media to focus on growth of ScaleUp Technologies. With @vibe, we were on the right path – the strategy was/is solid. But, it is exciting to see such recognition of this model taking hold in companies of all kinds!

SaaS companies – take a lesson from Freshbooks…

I don’t remember how I came across this job description on the Freshbooks site, but I’ve gone back to read it at last 20 times & shared with my partner and a few clients. While I admit the position is tempting, this wasn’t the reason. It is because Freshbooks ‘gets it’ in so many ways – and this job description is just one more example. A few points before I share the actual job offer from their site…

  • Unlike Freshbooks, many SaaS companies FAIL to see their API/web services integrations as a key part of their development cycle and product offering. We’re not the only ones that feel this way… check out this post on ProgrammableWeb.com – Saas Vendors Need to Get a Clue About API’s
  • Companies need to cross the chasm from technical integration to the business side of the API integrations. A web services program correctly implemented can add massive leverage, fill the business development pipeline and lead to substantial revenue and market traction.
  • A correctly developed and managed integrations program can not only add net-new revenue, but it can provide barriers to entry to competition and add to the valuation at an early stage in the growth cycle.

Either follow Fresh books example below or talk with us at @vibe media about our performance compensation-based API Powered Partnerships program. But it’s time to view your web integrations from the business angle and not just from the developer/technology angle.

Integrations Business Manager

Are you an entrepreneur at heart? Do you like the idea of leveraging your knowledge and passion for developing new products AND marketing them? Do you love the idea of building relationships and working with partners? If that’s you then we’d love you to consider our role for Integrations Business Manager.

FreshBooks is one of the most popular small business web applications on the Web. But that’s not enough — we want to continually add value for our customer by integrating with the other tools and services our customers use every day. We’ve done a pretty good job so far with some pretty sweet partners and apps – and now need someone to grab hold and drive this business forward.

As our Integrations Business Manager you’ll be responsible for building our Integrations business out. You’ll source new partners that are a fit for our customers, and then help them understand our API, design, and test their integrations to make sure they are FreshBooks worthy. You’ll build a developer network around FreshBooks that creates a steady stream of new, cool apps for FreshBooks. You’ll help us advance our mobile applications and their adoption. And, importantly, you’ll be a marketing genius when it comes to promoting these integrations to our community.

We will be successful if:

  • You accelerate the growth of customer acknowledged awesome add-ons around FreshBooks
  • You drive a boat-load of new business through the relationships with our partners
  • You establish FreshBooks as the friendliest and smartest integrator… ever
  • You demonstrate and qualify the impact of all your efforts so we can all celebrate your success

We absolutely need you to have:

  • A passion for product, partners and marketing — all of them
  • Proven ability to negotiate win-win arrangements with partners
  • A proven commitment to quality, design, and testing
  • Online marketing savvy and ingenuity
  • A rock solid ability to work with technology
  • The ability to make things happen and get things done
  • Entrepreneurial chutzpah


Read It Later Launches New iPhone App (But if You Don’t Like It, You Can Build Your Own!)

The Read It Later API

As developer Nate Weiner explains on his blog, “as a solo developer, it’s just not possible for me to develop for every mobile device and browser.” That’s why he decided to open up his API so others could build apps that do everything his does including tagging, syncing, account management, and more.

Hopefully, this new openness will encourage other developers to step in and help build applications for Palm, Android, Blackberry, and Chrome or implement the good features he hears suggested to him on a regular basis.

There’s a good chance that developers will jump on this opportunity – and not just because Read It Later already has a user base of 1 million that grows by 5000 new users per day – that’s just one incentive. The other is that API is open for both free and commercial applications, meaning the first (or best) apps developed for new platforms can actually earn money for their creators, just as Read It Later has done for Nate on the iPhone.

KDYKES: Pay attention to this innovative use of an open API that provides a revenue-sharing incentive for developers who create a pipeline of paid subscription users! Go read the full article on RWW.

Why API as a Strategy

Question: What is common between AutoCAD, Microsoft Office, eBay, Amazon, Google, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, Microsoft Windows Vista, Autodesk 3ds Max, LEGO MINDSTORMS and the Apple iPhone?

Answer: Let’s see. At first glance – software and hardware, OS and Web 2.0, developer tools and productivity applications. But they are also all market leaders in their field and they all have APIs (Application Programming Interface) that are used by many companies to build businesses and products on top of them. The value to third-party developers is to avoid recreating the functionality in the base product and as a result, simply focus on creating value-added functionality. Third-party developers also have an automatic installed base of millions to which to sell.

KDYKES: Another example of the tremendous power of baking your API into your business model from the very beginning – & using it as leverage to rapidly accelerate your growth.

Business Development Using Web Service by Internet Marketing Strategy

Business has always been about connections. Whether it’s communication with your customers, alliances with partners, or ties with suppliers, connections are a critical part of your business.

Traditionally business development was about the salesmen with the Rolodexes who could close a handful of big deals. Today, the rules have changed. In the Web-based economy, business development is about connecting people with the relevant information at the point and time they need to consume it. Web services allow companies to do business across firewalls, reach a broad range of partners, and create new business opportunities.

The Web services model is applicable to a range of businesses, from information plays like WhitePages.com to messaging systems like Twitter to infrastructure providers like Amazon Web Services and semantic web services like Thompson-Reuters’ Calais.

The concept works like this:

A company makes a web service that is accessible via an API (application programming interface).
Each business partner registers to obtain an access key.
Using those keys, partners can use the service programmatically to get and send data.
A well-managed API gives prospective partners, or a community of developers, a way to develop an application using your content or services. They can try it, test it, and even build something that begins to scale demand for your content. Using monitoring and metrics, you can identify the handful of partners or developers that have been the most successful in helping you meet your business goals. In the process, you end up with a self-managed business development funnel that yields the world’s most qualified leads.

Using APIs as a mechanism for content and service distribution, or as a tool to allow partners to build value added services on your platform has become an enticing concept. But the question still remains: If we build it, will they come? The purpose of this paper is to answer that question by showing you how to create a successful business development channel built on a Web services strategy.

KDYKES: From Catrina Fake of Flickr… this is the perspective of how startups build tremendous revenue & value from the outset!