The craft of API Product Management

Identifying the business problem

What problem are you solving and for whom?

  1. Research users
  2. Validate proposal
  3. Clarify the value exchange


Understand the users

There are real people on the other side of your APIs.

What do they need to be successful?

  1. Real people
  2. Standards
  3. MVP


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Understand the use-cases

How will the applications on the other side of your APIs interact with your platform?

What are their needs?

  1. Data type
  2. Usage patterns
  3. Reliability
  4. Upgrades


Define a business model

Will you monetize?

If so, how?

  1. Align billing with value
  2. Strategic benefit vs direct return
  3. Customer expectations


Be the first user; Build on your own APIs

Empower customers; APIs as a product feature


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Focus on the user and the “why”

  1. What problems do people face?
  2. What would they do if they didn’t have this?
  3. How can you trust what they tell you?
  4. How might you measure the impact of a solution?


Anticipate user’s questions

  1. What does it do, and does it solve my problem?
  2. Can I trust this? How is it architected?
  3. How do I use it? Will it mean less work?
  4. What happens when things go wrong?


Evangelize, hustle, sell

  1. Raise awareness of the API catalog
  2. Run hackathons and invite bug bashes
  3. Support users and ensure their success
  4. Leverage your early users into other leads


Measure twice; cut once

  1. What can you learn from web metrics?
  2. What patterns can you distill from qualitative feedback?
  3. What are the KPIs for your APIs?
  4. How can you demonstrate the business impact with data?


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You are not really monetizing the APIs. You are monetizing your core assets by exposing them as APIs.


Different audiences value different things and are reached in different ways.


The whole funnel matters. Ads work.

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There is more to operating an API program.


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Monitor and Manage your APIs

  • API downtime: Revenue, customer experience, brand value impact
  • Proactive vs Reactive
  • Zeroing in on the root cause
  • It’s broken – What vs Where

Improve the Developer Experience

  • Developers have choices
  • Speed to App
  • How are my apps doing?
  • Path to $$$$$

Make Data-Driven Decisions

  • Is my API program successful?
  • ROI from APIs
  • Measuring value – end user
  • Engagement metrics