PW Interview: Ricky Robinett, API, Ordering Food meets API

Here is an interview with Ricky Robinett, senior Hacker at which promises to revolutionize the online ordering of food via an API and analytics based on that by connecting every restaurant everywhere to customers through an efficient digital Platform. We have covered before but here Ricky talks about the API, how to increase developer involvement with the API and the huge growth in traffic in the API in 2013!

Ajay: How does the API work? What are your plans for 2013?

Ricky: aims to be a complete platform that allows developers to build the next generation of food ordering apps. Beyond our RESTful APIs, we have language wrappers and our deliverator (server-side proxy) and mustardjs (client-side js that brings menus to life) libraries.

For 2013 we're focusing on two main goals. First, we want to give developers even more ways to quickly get started with our platform. Late last year we launched deliverator and mustardjs. Earlier this year we launched a Codecademy course for our Ruby Library. This year we'll officially launch our web and mobile widgets which make adding food ordering as simple as adding a few lines of JavaScript to your page.

Our other focus is to continue to increase our network size giving developers access to even more restaurants.

Ajay: What plans do you have for encouraging usage from developers?

Ricky: We see 3 key ways to encourage usage on our platform from developers.

1) Engagement - We exist as a company because of the great developer community around the world. We try to engage that community in as many way as possible, some big ways we do this are via hackathons and conferences. For us, being part of this incredible community is a privilege and something we truly care. We hope that knowing that we're part of this community encourages developers to give our platform a tray.

2) Empowerment - We want to continually give developers tools that empower them to create great things. Whether that's a helpful new Endpoint, or a blog post.

3) Support - From when a developer signs up for an API Key all the way to their millionth user we want to provide support along the way. Our goal is to make sure developers know they can come to us with questions, and not just technical ones. We've happily fielded questions from our developers about marketing, business models and even how to get funding.

Ajay: What are some of the mashups that use your API?

Ricky: A few mashups we really love that use our API are:

SpeedSlice - The fastest way to order pizza.

Hubot-Food - A mashup of the ordrin api with hubot to allow ordering of food from with a chat room.

Jane's Lunch - Built by students at the Flatiron School, a killer group ordering app that is officially launching soon.

(Note- You see other apps using the API here )

Ajay: What kind of language support and analytics do you give with the API?

Ricky: We provide simple RESTful APIs that we strive to make easy to integrate in any language.We have helper libraries in Nodejs, PHP, Python, Ruby & Objective-C to make things even easier.

Ajay: You have been around for some time. What were some of the key product decisions or turning points in this journey. What are some of the traffic statistics you can share about your API?

Ricky: One thing we pride ourselves on at on is staying true to our original goal, build technology that allows innovators to build the next generation of food ordering apps. started out building a core of powerful APIs, one key product decision we made is to continue building tools to make sure we're not just an API company, but a true platform; A platform that gives anyone, whether skill or background, the ability to integrate food ordering into their applications.

We currently don't share traffic statistics about our API, but one we're really excited about the network growth we experienced in 2012, and we are already on target to exceed that growth in the first months of 2013!

You can read more about the APIs here. Feel hungry while writing code? Food is just another ( API call away!

Be sure to read the next Best Practices article: PW Interview: Greg Lamp and Austin Ogilvie of Yhat on Shipping Predictive Models via API