Business Models for Your API as a Start-Up #APIDays

The organizers of APIs Days asked me at the last moment if I'd like to do a third talk at the European API event, due to last minute cancellations.  Of course, I jumped on the opportunity to generate to material and work through it in front of a live audience.  

The talk was on business models for your API as a start-up.  On the plane ride over I reviewed John Musser's great material on API business models, and prepared a walk through, from a startup's perspective.  

Then after watching Guillaume Ballas (@guillaumebalas) from 3Scale give his talk APIs for Biz Dev 2.0, Which Business Model?  And watching other speakers I decide to scrap what I had put together, and went an entirely different direction.

I decide to walk through the evolution of an imaginary startup, keeping in mind 3Scale's philosphy that:

Then I walked through what I would consider a robust, healthy startup business model with five tiers:

  • Free users
  • Paid users
  • Free developers
  • Paid developers
  • Partners
  • Incubation

Of course, this approach isn't for every startup.  I highly recommend checking out 3Scale's presentation if you want to better understand which API business model is right for your startup.

I wanted to tell the story of how you could apply some or all of the monetization strategies outlined by John Musser in his work, while also listening to Guillaume from 3Scale.

The talk is rooted in my research on the Business of Twitter's API and experience I've had in the field consulting and building strategies with existing API owners.

You can view the presentation of my Business Models For Your API as a Start-Up, and I believe the session was video taped so I'm sure there will be video coming soon.