30 December, 2009

The Perils of 3rd Party APIs -ReadWriteWeb

In 2006, Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake coined the term "BizDev 2.0" when looking at the phenomenon of supplying commercial API keys to startup partners. Said Fake, traditional business development meant "trying to get hopelessly overbooked people to return your email. And then after the deal was done, squabbling over who dealt with the customer service. [It's] much, much better this way!" Three years later, many are finding that while APIs are great biz dev tools for the larger provider, startups can often suffer under the thumb of their platform keepers.

In July 2008, unbeknownst to Ilan, Google was about to change its YouTube terms of service. According to the startup entrepreneur and father of two, Ilan found himself in a predicament. He had originally planned to find sponsorship for his community of curated toddler-appropriate YouTube videos; however, the new YouTube ToS restricted commercial use and his ability to monetize. In one fell swoop from the API provider, his entire business model and livelihood changed. Unwilling to violate the new terms, Ilan began work on a subscription model.

You never believe your home is going to be damaged by an earthquake, but for some it happens. If you build on a platform you don't control, is this akin to laying your foundation on a fault line? If you've got suggestions on how to mitigate this type of risk, let us know in the comments below.

#Full article here

Great stories... For us developers is always great to remember from time to time who is the big fish. Personally I try to rely the minimum in 3rd parties, and sometimes to have different suppliers for the same type of data (e.g. reverse geo coding, video.)...
Posted by: Hugo Romano Author Profile Page | December 29, 2009 3:21 PM

Sort of scratching my head at this article. YouTube is made out to be a villain due to the changing of their policies, which is their prerogative to do. Their distribution of API keys isn't to facilitate someone's short-sighted business plan but to bring eyeballs to YouTube's hosted content for their advertising purposes.
Posted by: Matt Perrin | December 29, 2009 4:29 PM

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