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Consumer APIs Must be Product-Driven

September 13, 2019

Consumer APIs Must be Product-Driven

Successful consumer APIs that bring value to businesses aren't snowflakes. Behind every thriving API is the hardship of an API Product owner. But the API product ownership is an emerging discipline, and great product owners are hard to find. In this talk, we will follow the story of great API products. You will learn what it takes to be an API product owner, and how treating APIs as product change the way companies deliver value to consumers.


September 13, 2019

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  1. Good API are three experienced and knowledgeable leaders in the

    API and Digital Transformation space: Adam Kliment, Erik Wilde, and Zdenek "Z" Nemec. Good API was founded by Zdenek Nemec in 2016 when he left the position of the Director of API Design at Apiary (acquired by Oracle). Z has previously authored API Blueprint at Apiary and pioneered the API design-first approach. Adam, former Senior Principal Product Manager for Oracle API platform, is the author of API testing framework Dredd and creator of one of the first service virtualization platforms. Erik, holder of a Ph.D. from ETH Zürich, is a co-author of Continuous API Management book and has deep experience with setting API strategies and distributed systems. We're driven by our goal to make APIs and Digital Transformation work. Both in terms of the technical depth and understanding of the non-technical aspects of making initiatives succeed inside organizations. Independent API Consulting
  2. goodapi.co Bezos Mandate 1. All teams will henceforth expose their

    data and functionality through service interfaces. 2. Teams must communicate with each other through these interfaces. 3. There will be no other form of interprocess communication allowed: no direct linking, no direct reads of another team's data store, no shared-memory model, no back-doors whatsoever. The only communication allowed is via service interface calls over the network. 4. It doesn't matter what technology they use. HTTP, Corba,Pubsub, custom protocols -- doesn't matter. Bezos doesn't care. 5. All service interfaces, without exception, must be designed from the ground up to be externalizable. That is to say, the team must plan and design to be able to expose the interface to developers in the outside world. No exceptions. 6. Anyone who doesn't do this will be fired. 7. Thank you; have a nice day! source
  3. goodapi.co Bezos Mandate Famous small set of SOA design rules

    • Teams must expose functionality through services • Communication happens only through service interfaces • There are no hard guidelines for service design • Internal/external service is a matter of policy, not one of design Consequences • API-first ◦ Every product is or has an API • More freedom and more responsibility • Requirements for sophisticated tooling
  4. goodapi.co API-first fallacies 1. Setting a vision is enough to

    make it happen a. Digital transformation is a deep process touching everything in the organization b. Defining and executing business, organizational, and technical strategies is essential 2. Restructuring IT will cause digital transformation to bubble up a. IT has to align with the digital transformation strategy and program b. The business and organizational pillars are essential to success source
  5. goodapi.co Business APIs are the products that you create, manage,

    sell, measure, recombine, and retire. API First means that if a product in your organization does not have an API, it essentially does not exist. APIs are the connective fabric.
  6. goodapi.co Organization No matter how good your service or product

    is, if it is delivered through a bad API, this substantially diminishes the quality of the product. Teams embrace the fact that APIs is their main deliverables.
  7. goodapi.co Everything that gets created or consumed in the organization

    is based on APIs. The quality of APIs greatly matter for how easy it is to create and consume company products. APIs change must not create expensive and time-consuming ripple effects through a chain of API dependencies. Technology
  8. goodapi.co The API Product API-as-a-Product Direct API monetization. Where possible,

    the company product is offered directly through a paid API. Product as API Indirect “monetization”. Each product is an API and used through its API. APIs are contributing indirectly to the bottomline through increasing stickiness, driving revenue-generating activities, leveraging partner channels, increasing efficiency or leading innovation.
  9. goodapi.co API Product Hierarchy • UIs are the human-oriented representation

    of API products User Interface (UI) for allowing human users access to a service through an API • APIs are the technical representation of services Application Programming Interface (API) as a programmable service representation • Services are the concepts that provide business value Decomposing organizations in composable services makes management easier Service API UI API Product
  10. goodapi.co API Product API Product API Product API Product API

    Product Landscape Hierarchy • Experience APIs Realize the API product value for API consumers • Core APIs Provide core (raw) business capabilities and necessary supporting services • Backend APIs Provide access to backends like databases, CRMs, ERPs or other 3rd party services, serves as first level of vendor-independence abstraction layer Backend APIs Core APIs Experience APIs
  11. goodapi.co Consistency Consistency Consistency is a win-win for both API

    consumers and providers: • Reduces complexity • Encourages re-use • Enables upsell • Reduces time-to-market • Reduces maintenance • Enables scaling
  12. goodapi.co API Product Lifecycle Create Publish Realize Maintain Update/Retire Strategy

    x x x Design x x x Documentation x x x Development x x x Testing x x x Deployment x x Security x x Monitoring x x Discovery x x Change management x x x
  13. goodapi.co Design-first API Before Implementation As with any good product,

    the work on API product starts with hypothesis, verification and design–prototyping.
  14. goodapi.co Product Manager A product manager is a professional role

    which is responsible for the development of products for an organization, known as the practice of product management. Product managers own the business strategy behind a product , specify its functional requirements and generally manage the launch of features. They coordinate work done by many other functions (like software engineers, data scientists and product designers) and are ultimately responsible for the business success of the product. – Wikipedia “
  15. goodapi.co Product Manager and Product Owner Product Owner is a

    role you play on a Scrum team. Product Manager is the job. – Melissa Perri “ Product Manager is a strategical role Product Owner is tactical one. – Product Plan “
  16. goodapi.co API Product Owner • Owns and manages a product

    for software developers ◦ DX ◦ Engineering background • Understands API Economy • As such Product Owner musts be highly technical, yet still driven by the business (as opposed to technology)
  17. goodapi.co Absent Product Owner • Code-first • No outreach to

    users • Unverified product hypotheses • Poor or no product specification • Poor relation with business, sales • Poor contribution to overall company strategic goals • Limited visibility • Poor or documentation • Absent roadmap, backlog prioritization • Minimal usage insights • Technology-driven decisions ◦ API architectural style is decision of engineers taste, not product/market fit • No alignment with other API products • Bloated interface • Lower level of abstraction - exposing internals • Lack of end-to-end testing • No go-live strategy Pitfalls of “Designed by engineers” * * unless “talking to yourself”
  18. goodapi.co Who Acts as Product Owner Public APIs Partner APIs

    Organizational APIs Cross-team APIs Team APIs Backend-for-frontend APIs (one team) Dedicated Product Owner Architect acting as Product Owner Engineer acting as Product Owner “talking to yourself”
  19. goodapi.co Evolution Consumption Implementation Product Foundation Areas of Responsibility Strategy

    Specification Deployment Development Documentation Support Customer Success DX Marketing & Evangelism Reporting Updates Tactics Retirement Publishing Create & Publish Create Realize & Maintain Update / Retire
  20. goodapi.co API Product Foundation • Vision & Business case for

    product • Positioning and product-market fit • User and stakeholder identification • Positioning in organizational API Landscape • Hypotheses-driven product development, Domain-driven • Outreach, marketing, and evangelism strategies • Go-live strategy • Roadmap • Goals and objectives • Budget, financials Strategy
  21. goodapi.co API Product Foundation • Design-fist (contract-driven) • Realization of

    requirements • Specification verification ◦ Prototyping • Functional requirement • Non-functional specifications ◦ For example: estimated load, usage, geographical (and other availability) • API architectural style ◦ In cooperation with architecture or engineering • Evolvability • Landscape Product Consistency Product Specification
  22. goodapi.co • Product backlog ◦ Clear backlog items ◦ Backlog

    prioritizations to achieve the goals ◦ Visibility • Works with the development team (e.g. part of sprints) • Optimizes value of the team’s work • What to work on next API Product Implementation Tactics, Development
  23. goodapi.co API Product Implementation • With the engineering and OPS

    • Deployment environments ◦ Product accessibility ▪ Production ▪ Staging ▪ Sandbox • Deployment zones ◦ Product availability • API Management ◦ Product setup ◦ Product bundles ◦ Monetization & metric setups ◦ Authentication, identity Deployment, Publishing
  24. goodapi.co • Overview • Getting started including use-cases • Vocabulary

    • API description • Non-functional requirements like SLAs, rate limits, support • Change-log, release notes • Versions • Roadmap API Product Consumption Documentation
  25. goodapi.co • DX ◦ Interactive Documentation ◦ Sample code ◦

    SDKs ◦ API Mock, Sandbox ◦ Postman collections, traffic recordings (HAR) • Support ◦ Contacts ▪ Support availability ▪ Expectations settings ◦ Q&A ◦ Forums, chat and other channels ◦ Bug tracking and backlog keeping API Product Consumption DX, Support
  26. goodapi.co API Product Consumption Marketing, Evangelism, Customer Success • Marketing

    • Evangelism ◦ Internal ◦ External ◦ Meetups & conferences ◦ Feedback loop to product research • Customer Success ◦ Sales (pre-sales) ◦ After-sales ▪ In cooperation with engineering
  27. goodapi.co • Usage ◦ Use-case ◦ Design-wise • Operations ◦

    Performance ◦ Response times ◦ Errors • Non-functional ◦ Quotas, limits • User satisfaction – NPS • Financials ◦ Monetization ◦ Business impact ◦ Product budget report API Product Consumption Reporting
  28. goodapi.co • Updates ◦ Iteration ◦ Continuous evaluation of product

    foundations ▪ Objectives ▪ Business alignment ▪ Roadmap • Deprecation & Retirement ◦ Decision when and what should be deprecated or retired ◦ Phasing out ▪ Implementation ▪ Communication & documentation API Product Evolution Updates, Deprecation & Retirement
  29. goodapi.co There is no such thing as “no API product

    management.” It is either good product management or bad product management.