In recent years, APIs have crafted a highly intuitive, potent and flexible digital platform economy. Facebook, Amazon and Google — among others — have completely redefined online environments. What was once a “buyer’s only” game, however, has become an environment driven by socialisation, business growth and multifaceted digital frameworks.
Our generation and APIs
Experts believe APIs are one of today’s leading factors of technology and business development. These claims aren’t unfounded. In fact, they’re supported by a wealth of evidence. Business owners, consumers and tech junkies alike consider AI to be the next big boom. An Industrial Revolution, maybe, the powerhouse combination of APIs and the Internet of Things have expanded upon initial digital business models. Companies are competing for profits — but they aren’t bogged down by brick-and-mortar vantage points, anymore.
Rewind… what are APIs? Some would say they are a key enabler in the next industrial revolution…
In general terms, it is a set of clearly defined methods of communication between various software components. A good API makes it easier to develop a computer program by providing all the building blocks, which are then put together by the programmer. An API may be for a web-based system, operating system, database system, computer hardware or software library. Whoa… thanks Wikipedia
APIs open up systems and platforms to enable sharing of data to make the world better. That’s mostly right. Its a big topic — but that’s how I just explained it to a 4 year old who couldn’t care less right now.
There are many types of APIs — the most notable of late being REST APIs.
As Mulesoft puts it; “In the simplest of terms, API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface, which is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. In fact, each time you check the weather on your phone, use the Facebook app or send an instant message, [or as a Tesla car updates its software whilst driving down the road] you are using an API. Every time you use one of these applications, the application on your phone is connecting to the Internet and sending data to a server. The server then retrieves that data, interprets it, performs the necessary actions and sends it back to your phone. The application then interprets that data and presents you with the information you wanted in a human, readable format.”
Tip: We had better get used to Artificial Intelligence thriving with APIs. I read that “This year, 5 per cent of consumer-facing websites feature audio interfaces or voice-enabled ‘chatbots’. ‘Bots’ will be a significant part of our reality, says Jennifer Beresford, research director at Gartner. “Within three years, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse.”
APIs are big business. They enable modern day business and enrich customer experiences.
Business as a Platform
So, where’s everything going? Our platform economy wasn’t grown lightly. In fact, it’s the result of business model changes, redirected channels and an ever-expanding network of easily accessibly data sets. Today’s APIs have made integration simpler. They’ve helped people connect with places, things, data, algorithms and systems. New user experiences themselves have become platforms. Today’s consumers aren’t on one end of the buyer’s journey. They’re creating it.
Businesses are sharing data, authenticating people, making transactions easier and leveraging surrounding third-party algorithms. It isn’t surprising to see new product and service business models thrive on such an integrated foundation. The API economy enables platform business — wherein business decision makers can step beyond the regular constraints of organisational culture. As Gartner’s Kristin R. Moyer states: “Platforms multiply value creation because they enable business ecosystems inside and outside of the enterprise to consummate matches among users and facilitate the creation and exchange of goods, services and social currency so that all participants are able to capture value.”
Growth and the Future of Business
Business is booming. As mentioned above, APIs and human intervention have made a business environment like none other. Successful business is about value, and today’s leading minds are creating value like never before. If an enterprise can make it easier to buy goods, they’ll succeed. If they can combine social currency, service options and marketing efforts — they’ll dominate. Likely, we’ll experience a rise of new digital business models. These models, comprised of entire ecosystems of businesses, people and surrounding factors, will expand our idea of business in incredible ways.
At its core, the platform economy is a high-competition environment driven by decision makers. These decision makers are concerned with one question above all others: What can we do to become more people-centric? In 2017, businesses will need to acknowledge the digital shift. The Internet of Things, new APIs and digital innovation aren’t going anywhere. On the contrary, they’re only growing faster. To succeed in modern business, decision makers need to create fertile grounds. They need comprehensive social media strategies, mobile accessibility, organisation-wide flexibility and data-heavy solutions.
There’s a reason people call the platform economy the Creative Economy and the Sharing Economy. In a world of ever-expanding online, social services, businesses able to serve customers with community involvement thrive.
* About Me
I’ve decided to publish some of the things that I come across; polish some diary entries about my daily travels in the area of business, technology and sport. I hope you get some useful value from my experience and interests.
Full disclosure: There is one important thing id like you to know about the way I approach my work. I could articulate this in other ways, but none better than if I credit this explanation to my friend, Nick Bowditch from his book “Reboot Your Thinking: 28 Days to Think Different. Be Better” — and I believe he got it from Tim Ferris; so I think it’s highly relevant that I use it.
I am not the expert. I’m the experimenter, the scribe, and the guide. If you find anything amazing in this blog, it’s thanks to the brilliant minds who acted as teachers, resources, critics, contributors, proofreaders and references. If you find anything ridiculous in this blog, it’s because I didn’t heed their advice or I made a mistake
I hope my journey around the technology, business and sport ecosystems brings you relevant and useful insight. I’d love to hear your feedback if you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. thank you, Ben