The API product management newsletter #005 – 20 June 2023

Welcome to the latest edition of the API product management newsletter, dedicated to helping product teams drive more business value from their APIs and API products.

This week: Should we really treat all APIs as products? We share a great debate we spotted around this topic from the Product Tank Cologne meet-up. Plus applying design theory to API development and a real-world API and integration example from Uber.

But first, a reminder! We only include:

  • The top 3 most useful resources we’ve come across the two weeks prior. Any more than that, and we find our browser tabs become unmanageable
  • What we find personally useful – and digestible – as product and product marketing managers
  • Educational content (whether an article, whitepaper or event). No product pitches – that includes yours truly.

💡The good stuff: This week’s API product management links:


‘Should APIs really be treated as a product? Discuss!’ – Audrey Kolski, Tim Klein, Simonetta Batteiger, et al [LinkedIn post and comments]

Last month the Product Tank Cologne meet-up group gathered to discuss ‘Should APIs be treated as a product?’ And it appears to have caused quite the debate within the group. Audrey Kolski focused on the approach we at Tyk tend to agree with which is that, yes APIs should be treated as products. But Tim Klein chimed in arguing that this approach should only apply to external APIs, not internal. You can see more of his argument via his comments here, and Simonetta Batteiger’s comment also helpfully provides a neat summary of the discussion’s key points.

Unfortunately there was no recording but the comments section of the post provides some great perspectives from other API product management thought leaders. There’s also the suggestion of a joint article from Audrey and Tim on the subject, so if you’re keen to see the debate captured in more detail from them both, why not drop a comment on the post to encourage them? I’d love to feature it!

‘Design strategy for APIs’ – Anwesha Bhattacharjee [Medium article]

This is a great practical article on how to use the tenets of UX and Design Thinking to approach your API design and development. In it, Anwesha Bhatacharjee outlines the five most common hurdles that PMs face while formulating their API development requirements, arguing that Design Strategy has a solution for each and every one of them.

‘Your Uber ride is possible because of over 5 services working together’– Ankit Shukla [LinkedIn post]

This is a nice ‘APIs 101 for product managers’ post, in which Ankit Shukla shows how one service, Uber, uses (at least) 5 different services, each orchestrated and connected with the help of APIs. A great post to share with other product managers wishing to learn more about APIs, or as part of business case documentation for your own orchestration efforts.


♟️ Looking to make a move? Current API product management vacancies:


Developer Advocate – Developer Marketplace – Vodafone (London, UK)

Product Manager – API Experience – Walmart (Sunnyvale, CA)

That’s it for this time. If you found this useful, please consider sharing with someone else who may benefit from it!

💥 Got an article, video or event that belongs on this list? Respond to this email telling us why you think it’s useful to product managers learning about APIs and the API lifecycle. If you’d like a shout-out, please include your Twitter, Github handle or LinkedIn URL and the name you’d like including. 

💌 And finally… This newsletter is created by Tyk – API management that accelerates your product development. By signing up to this newsletter you’ll be consenting to receiving the next one (and the one after that), but we will never put you on another list without your *explicit* consent. Read the previous edition here.

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