Kin Lane

Postman As My Muse

I love telling stories about APIs, but I perpetually find myself challenged in major way-—I need a steady source of inspiration and seeds for my storytelling, otherwise the well runs dry quite often. If I’m not exposed to interesting human beings doing interesting things with APIs, the stories do not happen. I know people think I just make this shit up on my own, but I’m actually very dependent on stories from within companies, organizations, institutions, and government agencies as being the seeds for my storytelling. I can usually work my way through my news feeds, Twitter stream, and grind away at my API industry research to get enough stories to get me by. However, I much prefer having access to human beings and having actual conversation about the successes and challenges they face when moving the API conversations forward within their worlds. This is how my storytelling works—-I need real world stories to feed off, otherwise the words just to not come to me.

All of this is why I am beyond excited to be evangelizing for Postman now. I could not think of a better muse for performing as the API Evangelist. What is so important for me is that it isn’t the tool or company that is my muse, it is the community that gives me inspiration. It is one of those tools that is beloved by developers, and is such a Swiss army knife that the possibilities of what developers can do with it are endless. This provides me with an endless stream of inspiration for my storytelling that is spread across every business sector. The storytelling well for me is overflowing, and I have access to and endless flow of interesting ideas, successes, challenges, and innovation to draw inspiration from when writing stories each day—-I am very fortunate.

As a writer it is easy to succumb to the desire to isolate yourself in the cabin in the woods, or somewhere where you can’t be bothered. This isn’t the type of writer I am. I need people. I need to have conversations with people about the impact APIs are making (or not) at their organization. I have a pretty robust imagination and can glean quite a bit from the web, but these stories won’t always have the roots that my stories derived from human conversations will have. I had access to a lot of different people as the API Evangelist over the years, but I had to cover my own travel and bills to make the conversations happen. At Postman I get access to unlimited conversation with people doing interesting things at very interesting companies, and I get my travel paid, and I get a paycheck to boot! So, I get to do what I’ve always done, listen to what is happening, craft stories, and share what I learn with my audience. Now my well of knowledge, information and audience will be much, much, bigger, and continue to grow.

I know that many people dismiss my calls for them to share their stories with me. Thinking it is something superficial or just for show. No, I depend on it. It is how I do what I do. Those of you who have been sharing stories with me over the years know what I am talking about. The API Evangelist performance isn’t about me, it is about the community. It is why I’ve had highs and lows, because the community has had highs and lows. It is why I burnout and get so discouraged with what is going on, because the community is going through the same emotions. When there is nothing interesting going on there is nothing interesting to write about. This is why a community as diverse as Postman is so intriguing. It provides me with an endless stream of people to talk with, use cases to build off of, and passionate people who really get APIs to engage with. I feel like I used to as a kid in the public library, where there are just endless tales to choose from and get lost within.

I’m really looking forward to the storytelling I’m going to be able to do here at Postman. I’m sitting on the couch in our office on Market Street in San Francisco with a notebook of ideas—-almost too many ideas. Im holding on to a lightning rod of API ideas. Which is exhilarating and a little scary. I have a blank canvas with an endless supply of colors to work with. I felt like I had this all figured out as the API Evangelist, but now I am seeing an entirely new horizon emerging, where I can still be just as opinionated and transparent as I ever have, but I have more access to people and information than ever before. I can’t think of a better muse for channeling my API Evangelist performance than Postman, and I’m thankful to Abhinav and team for the opportunity to take my stories to the next level within the Postman community, but also on the main stage I’ve been performing for the last decade, highlighting the good and bad in the cracks of the technology, business, and politics of the APIs that are touching almost every aspect of our increasingly online lives.