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APIthons — ignite productised APIs like startups

I was attending Techstars event Startup Weekend in Oulu as mentor. While I was listening the inspirational talk about what’s going to happen during the weekend and 60 second pitches after that, I came up with an idea. API hackathons…APIthons.

Oh well, the name of the concept can be improved but the idea is to ignite productised APIs like startups are incubated in startup events. It’s a bit like mixing hackathons and startup building together. Best solutions most likely do not come from all-tech people teams, but from diverse teams with good combination of skills such as marketing, tech, customer experience, developer experience and business.

Simple MVP concept

First you come up with an idea of an API. Then you pitch it in 60 seconds. Aim of the pitch is to get others interested about your idea and support it and join your team. Then you approach it like a product. Your team will think about the customer needs, value proposition and all that. Sounds familar? Yes, those are from lean model canvas, but in this case we might use API model canvas (see more from APIOps Cycles).


Aim is to build the API, get the SDKs (productised as well, not just autogenerated zips), excellent documentation, code examples, pricing and attach it to API management (of your choice) and add it to API portal. On top of that you’ll need some sample apps which utilizes the API.

Finally your team pitches the result to all participants. The idea is to learn to approach APIs as products, not just integration tools.

How cool is that! Or not, you tell me in the comments.



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Jarkko Moilanen (PhD)

API, Data and Platform Economy professional. Author of "Deliver Value in the Data Economy" and "API Economy 101" books.