Err what's an API? Lessons on driving API adoption in the "not for profit" sector

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    17-Dec-2014

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Presentation from #APIStrat 2014 Amsterdam conference

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1. Err what's an API? Lessons on driving API adoption in the "not for profit" sector 2. 10 years ago at eBay 10 years ago at eBay I had no idea what an API was! 3. 5 years ago at vzaar Without knowing it I designed a product that would be API powered 4. 3 years ago at JustGiving The not for profit sector showed very little interest in API adoption 5. Today Im here as head of JustGivings Consumer APIs! 6. Warning: There is nothing technical about APIs that I can teach you! 7. 5 personal lessons on growing a community in an industry resistant to APIs 8. So what is 9. Since 2011, developer account growth has been consistent 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 Jan-11 Feb-11 Mar-11 Apr-11 May-11 Jun-11 Jul-11 Aug-11 Sep-11 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Jun-12 Jul-12 Aug-12 Sep-12 Oct-12 Nov-12 Dec-12 Jan-13 Feb-13 Mar-13 Apr-13 May-13 Jun-13 Jul-13 Aug-13 Sep-13 Oct-13 Nov-13 Dec-13 10. Hits are growing nicely 0 1000000 2000000 3000000 4000000 5000000 6000000 7000000 8000000 9000000 Jan-11 Feb-11 Mar-11 Apr-11 May-11 Jun-11 Jul-11 Aug-11 Sep-11 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Jun-12 Jul-12 Aug-12 Sep-12 Oct-12 Nov-12 Dec-12 Jan-13 Feb-13 Mar-13 Apr-13 May-13 Jun-13 Jul-13 Aug-13 Sep-13 Oct-13 Nov-13 Dec-13 11. And weve slowly built up a community of users 1,500 developer accounts (~10% active) 30-50 charities using our APIs 20-25% of annual revenues driven via API activity 12. But first lets go back in time 13. The landscape was barren The landscape was barren 14. 12 months ago did your charity understand what APIs were? Source: JustGiving API survey Feb 2014 Yes - we clearly understood APIs and their potential at the time Yes - we had heard of APIs but didn't really know what they offered No - we had no idea what APIs did at the time No - we still don't know what APIs do! 50% had limited or no understanding of APIs 15. The APIs landscape in the not-for-profit sector Charities traditionally have very limited budget Rarely have in-house developer resource Short term planning over long term Reliance on voluntary employees Understanding of APIs was/is low 16. Lesson 1: Launch & Build upon your own APIs 17. Lesson 1: Launch and build upon your own APIs Helps validate your methods Lifts a lid on what sucks (or whats missing) Forces you to at least plan how to manage and document them Gives you some credibility from day 1 18. Lesson 2: Pick a significant launch partner Our # 1 client Raised > 40m on JustGiving in 2013 alone FTSE 100 style organisation - big enough to have an innovation team In 2010 expressed a desire to stay ahead of comp and to leverage tech All their fundraising campaigns today are API driven through JustGiving Took 3 years to get to this stage Lots of blood, sweat and tears Test & learn, test & learn 19. Lesson 2: Pick a significant launch partner This trust in our system was a industry wide game changer They singularly validate our API stack Both parties learnt loads! Missing methods Error handling Documentation Educating & Empowering multiple stakeholders 20. The floodgates opened (kind of!) 21. But know one knew what they wanted How do I get that integration? CoolWhats an API? Its API driven 22. Lesson 3: So be prepared to put in the hard yards 23. Lesson 3: Putting in the hard yards Get out and meet your future clients (e.g. charities, agencies) Show them real life, tangible examples Find ways to get round lots of red tape / bureaucracy Test things quickly (prove/disprove, move on) Co-fund projects Be prepared to coach, guide, review and tweak Demos, flow diagrams etc Train up those that can broadcast the API message Account Managers, Bus Dev, PR etc Prepare for a slow life cycle of development And meantime plan for what they will want next 24. Lesson 4: Invest in making life easy for others 25. Lesson 4: Invest in making life easy for others Get out of their way (whilst supporting them!) Pick an API service provider Live or die by your documentation Provide a reliable sandbox Build and support a help group. Zero in on your biggest advocates Empower other staff to answer questions Plan for CRM & Developer outreach (emails, customer care, doc updates etc) 26. Lesson 5: Encourage & Celebrate Innovation 27. 5. Encourage & Celebrate Innovation Show what people are building External communities (PR, blogs, social) Internal stakeholders (excite your staff) Partners (oh I want that!) Attend/Sponsor hacks Find the relevant hack(s) for your business goals Evangelize your APIs/Platform Invest in Developer Outreach Hook up with influencer/guru in your industry Inspire others E.G. JustGiving award for technology White paper / research / infographics etc 28. Good news! 84% of charities say API adoption will grow in next 12 months! Source: JustGiving API survey Feb 2014 API adoption will grow No change 29. 1. Build and launch something yourself to get ahead 2. Pick a partner and go through the growing pains together 3. Be prepared to put in the hard yards 4. Invest in the making life easy for others 5. Encourage and celebrate innovation 30. Thank you Follow @jghackers and justgiving.com/developer slideshare.net/parkins1/err-whats-an-api

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