APIs are the expressions of the capabilities of organizations for all to use. For example, map APIs express Google’s map capabilities, payment APIs express PayPal’s business, while AI APIs express AI expertise for Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and others. There are a lot of these APIs around, counting in the tens of thousands, and serving millions of requests.
APIs are also the unit of reuse for the cloud. Just as most precloud-era applications were built reusing libraries, most cloud-native apps are built by reusing APIs in their implementation. Connecting and recombining those capabilities would be invaluable to startups. A startup could go to market faster using services such as SendGrid®, Twilio, Stripe, Lob, and so forth. Often this involves making their APIs work together.
Furthermore, by connecting and recombining those capabilities, we can build digital experiences that enhance customer’s lifestyles (e.g., one app to manage all our finances or a new app to entice consumers to order your furniture). Some of these ideas can lead to the next startup, to change the world, or to the next Google. For example, regulations like PSD2 (a European regulation for electronic payment services) and FHIR-based health care APIs are revealing interesting data through APIs, thus creating opportunities to build apps and startups around those results. For instance, using PSD2 APIs, we can build an app that manages all finances in one place or build an app that moves money around to optimize the returns.