APIs Make Inc, But Aren't Understood

Adam DuVander
Jul. 18 2013, 09:00AM EDT

It should be solely a good thing when APIs get mentioned in a popular business magazine. After all, APIs mean business, we wrote over a year ago. When the term, as geeky as it is, turned up in my Inc Magazine, it was the context and the wording that kept it from being entirely exciting.

There are real businesses built entirely on APIs and huge companies whose product line is APIs that people are paying to use (including my employer). But the business magazines take awhile to catch up.

Notice that Inc suggests that one can "download" an API. This is a tiny nit to pick with a mainstream magazine. Yet, it's also a big deal, because it completely misses the point of APIs as on-demand.

The association with spam is a secondary nuisance, though ProgrammableWeb certainly lists the Death By CAPTCHA API and has written about the rise of the spambots previously. But there are so many great stories they could be running about APIs, such as how developers enabled the rise of Twitter or how Facebook created an entire industry with its API.

Alas, that wouldn't fit in their infographic.

Adam DuVander is Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and Contributing Editor of ProgrammableWeb. Previously he edited this site and wrote for Wired. You can follow him on Twitter.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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