Posted by: asmitty | March 20, 2009

Show me the money


You remember that famous line, when Rod Tidwell had Jerry on the ropes, and Bob Sugar on hold? Remember what he said?

“Show me the money”

Yeah, well, being a Product Manager is a lot like being poor Jerry. The last thing you want to do is ask for funding for a project that has no target market or nebulous one at best. My process for getting approved for funding went something like this:

  • Build a business case for integrations between us [content provider] and two or more CRM’s.
  • Perform a technology assessment – we did not have the expertise to build the integrations ourselves.
  • Locate a systems integration partner.
  • Partner has requested access to API.

And so the story goes, the API was a means to an end. We did not position that a bunch of companies would come banging at our door to give us money for using the API (which they would still have to build a client facing application around).

Of those we did speak with, there was always a put and take involved. We provide some access to the API along with training/consultinig while the partner pays us on a % of revenue or a fixed rate [data] subscription. And each partner had a different business arrangement. That is why you need API management; to enforce the business rules that you have set up with your partners.

Why do you want an API?
1. Are you trying to integrate endpoint a to endpoint b?
2. Would you like to open up a developer channel for new business opportunities?

The truth is that, to those of us in business, API is really a buzzword. Sure, we think we know what it means. We try to create marketing campaigns around it. Data sheets for it. T-shirts to wear it. As Dave McClure pointed out, the API is for geeks. You’d better know how to market to THEM. As a business manager, our job is to make sure that we establish the rules and controls around the API.

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