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 is the first edition of the newsletter in 2024, so to mark the occasion I thought I’d kick us off with something a little different: hearing from you, the API Product Management community!
I put out the bat call for your API product management predictions, wishes and worries for the next twelve months, and you didn’t disappoint. Here’s what you had to say about the future of API product management (and spoiler alert, it looks pretty exciting!)
💡The good stuff: This week’s API product management links:
“My biggest wish for API Product Management in 2024 is that we escape the overly simplistic framing of API products as being externally-focused. An API becomes more than a technical solution whenever it begins to onboard consumers, facilitating any value exchange. This includes internal APIs.”
Data and APIs aren’t long-lost siblings who can’t be in the same room – Joyce Stack
For API champion Joyce Stack, the focus in 2024 needs to be on more efficient and connected thinking around the relationship between APIs and data. In addition to writing on the topic on API Community Chronicles, Joyce comments:
“My wish for 2024 is that product organisations break free from the habit of treating Data And APIs like long-lost siblings who can’t be in the same room.
“Let’s ditch the notion that APIs are just a minor technical detail for the engineering teams.
Consider this: you wouldn’t build stations in a city without pondering how they connect, so why focus on your data points (which are essentially those stations) without considering the underlying network (the APIs)? APIs are crucial in your product landscape for seamlessly connecting and navigating features. Picture your product without APIs – it’s like a city without Tube lines – disconnected and lacking organised and efficient routes that are critical for success in your offerings.
“Let’s make 2024 the year that we embrace API literacy along with our data literacy initiatives. To ignore one for the other feels shortsighted and organisations do it at their peril.”
The biggest challenge will be proving ROI – Matthew Reinbold
Top of mind for Matthew Reinbold of Concentrix Catalyst in 2024 is the need for API product managers to demonstrate return on investment (ROI). He explains, further to this thought-provoking article on Net API Notes:
“In 2024, the biggest challenge for those performing the API Product Management role will be proving ROI, tailored to the unique metrics and objectives of their organizations. With tepid economic confidence, businesses are doubling down on tactical management. That means a drumbeat of cost-cutting, enhancing operational efficiencies, and demonstrable measurement controls. Whiz-bang growth projects, done in the name of innovation and exploration, are mostly sidelined.
“API Product Managers will be challenged to elevate customer satisfaction without additional budget support. They also need to do this in a period marked by increasing risk aversion. Demonstrating responsible security posture while navigating intensified corporate scrutiny becomes a must-have.
“For those who thrive on restorative maintenance and excel at iterative improvement, YOUR TIME IS NOW. The current challenges present a unique opportunity to underscore the value of refinement and optimization in sustaining and enhancing product value. And there’s a silver lining—the worst of the economic boogiemen appear to be behind us; renewed investment and growth is just around the corner. We just need to perform the necessary tactical bridge building to get us there.”
API product management will continue to grow in importance – Claire Barrett
“API product management will continue to evolve with many different interpretations of what it looks like for different types of industries and organisations. Larger companies in incumbent industries will be investing further in digital products and digital product management. API products—along with “AI products” and/or data products—will continue to be niche, but getting less so in these types of companies. For tech businesses with an understanding of the disciplines and monetisation opportunities around APIs, the API product management function will continue to grow in prevalence and importance.”
API product management will play a more prominent role in future digital experiences – David Roldán Martínez
Sharing his thoughts on the most exciting parts of the API product management landscape in 2024, David Roldán Martínez, Head of APIs at Shaper, is focused on user experiences. He was also keen to point out the need for collaboration and knowledge sharing across the community – something we’re certainly keen to do with this newsletter! David comments:
“I am most excited about the potential for API product management to play a more prominent role in shaping the future of digital experiences. APIs are becoming the backbone of many modern applications, and the ability to design and manage APIs effectively will be crucial for businesses to create seamless and engaging experiences for their users.
“In my opinion, what the API product management community needs more of in 2024 is collaboration and knowledge sharing. There is a wealth of expertise within the API community, but it is often siloed within individual organizations. I believe that we need to do a better job of sharing our knowledge and best practices with each other, so that we can all learn from and improve our skills. Indeed, putting my two cents on this is one of my main commitments for this year.”
LLM models have opened the floodgates – Daan Stolk
For Alphadoc Co-founder and CPO Daan Stolk, AI is going to be a major element of API product management over the year ahead. He explains:
“Every single new (and old ones as well!) API will need to be built to handle AIs performing the calls. Ask yourself: How will LLM driven applications interface with your API?
“LLM models have opened the floodgates for all aspects of APIs – so much innovation is happening now in the API tooling space and I feel like only the surface has been scratched.”
The community needs to grow and become a platform – Bruno Pedro
Looking ahead to 2024, API Changelog contributor Bruno Pedro considered what the API product management community needs more of. His view was that awareness, education and connected growth are all crucial:
“The API product management community needs to grow and become a platform. It will then be possible for API product managers to find their paths inside companies building API products. To get there, you need more awareness and education on the topic, things I’m seeing taking off now.”
We need to shift towards the concept of making APIs-as-products – Audrey Kolski
API product management consultant Audrey Kolski has also been thinking about the future of the community. Audrey feels that increased evangelization is critical to aligning with users’ and stakeholders’ needs:
“I believe the API product management community could benefit significantly from increased evangelization. Rather than primarily focusing on the productization of existing APIs, there’s a need to shift towards the concept of making APIs-as-products. This involves delving deeper into the foundational needs, understanding the core requirements, and crafting APIs that truly address those roots. By emphasizing this approach, we can foster a culture of creating more purposeful and effective APIs that align closely with the genuine needs of our users and stakeholders.”
♟️ Looking to make a move? Current API product management vacancies
Senior Product Manager – Cost Service/API – Tesco – Welwyn Garden City, England
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