Tom Evslin, in a typically thoughtful pair of posts, Bubble 2.0 – It’s The APIs and Bubble 2.0 – Why Not APIs?, addressed the topic of APIs. Beginning with a concise historical background he covers the strategy behind providing APIs and answers the question, why would a provider not want to build an API? A: time, commitment, market protectionism, abuse prevention and security risks. But argues these issues should not dissuade companies from providing APIs:
"Becoming a platform will be the road to fame and glory - not to mention riches - for many Web 2.0 services. Success will be determined by the usefulness of the underlying service and how attractive it is to third party developers and to other services. And, of course, how well it is marketed to developers."