First of all, this is a non-technical approach to API’s, so if you want in-depth tech insights, I recommend you get in touch with Hitch — the API experts.

However, if you’re looking to get insight in why you should use API’s to strengthen and grow your business, and what metrics you should be aware of when taking advantage of an application programming interface (API), you’ve come to the right place.

A whole or core product?

To really understand how your company can utilize API’s we need to understand the concept of the core product and what many call the whole product.

Famous marketer Regis Mckenna that helped launch the first microprocessor for Intel and the first computer for Apple said it like this:

(…) A whole product is a generic product augmented by everything that is needed for the customer to have a compelling reason to buy.

So for example a computer is a core product, and the mouse, the software, the screen and any other necessity being part of the whole product.

It’s very important to understand these definitions, because having insight here will help you know how to approach your customers, potential partners and competitors.

Hacking partnership agreements

As your startup grow, you’ll probably be looking to form partnership agreements with other complementary products and companies.

This can be super valuable, but often takes a lot of time and effort, in other words, it’s often very expensive.

So to hack this time-demanding and expensive process of partnering up with other companies, and API can provide this kind of partnership without all the hassle, often at a fraction of the cost.

Bruno Pedro is the CTO of Barcelona-based API startup Hitch. He explain that many underestimates the cost connected with taking use of an API, especially the cost of support.

The thing with building or using an API is that it doesn’t matter if you consider yourself as a part of a whole or a core product. If you’re able to see through your customers (or potential customers) eyes, you’ll probably discover how your product can transmit value both as an integration into a bigger product, or as an integration to enrich smaller products.

The cost of integration

Integrating your product with other businesses through an API offers many possibilities, but also new costs related to integration.

Development costs start out high, but turns to zero as the product finishes. The maintenance costs remains low but stable with a few peaks around new releases with bugs attached. The big cost related to support which will be higher as your API becomes more popular.

Development costs: very high at first, but becomes zero when the API is launched.

Maintenance costs: high after the launch because of bugs, and for every iteration you do you’ll have peaks with your maintenance costs, as well as routinely maintaining the API itself.

Support costs: This will depend on how well your API is performing, but the more users you have, the bigger the support cost will be, so this is the really expensive one.

And remember, these costs need comes with each separate integration.

So, is your API worth the effort?

In other words, we need to understand the life time value (LTV) of our integration.

First you need to measure where your customers come from, then you need to identify the new customers that are using one of your integrations within a specific timeframe and estimate the lifetime value (LTV) of those customers.

Then, when you know the LTV of each particular integration, you can easily know which is giving you growth, and which that are only causing costs to rise.

The last thing you need to figure out to see if your integration is worth doing is the payback period (PBP), i.e if your integration or your API is earning you more money than what you’re spending on it.

To find this number you have to take all of your costs (as mentioned above) and divide it by your monthly recurring revenue (MRR), and again, you have to do this for each integration.

https://upscri.be/285782-2

Getting to the good stuff — growth!

Your product can be the core product which is the big one in the middle, or part of the whole product which is one of the smaller ones on the side. No matter where you are in the ecosystem, you’ll have costs related to the integration.

To be clear, with growth we don’t mean a profitable company, but a business that is multiplying their growth month over month, or year over year. It can even be unprofitable.

So what is growth for an integration?

  • In most companies it’s considered growth if the lifetime value of the integration is three times higher than the cost of integration. If not you’re loosing money. Some experts say that 4 times higher LTV than costs is the number to aim at.
  • And not enough with with a high LTV, it also considered necessary to have a payback period of less than 12 months. If not, you’re also loosing money.

So remember, if you think about how your company is used in a broader context, and not only how its used as intended, there may be many possibilities with using API’s.


This post was written by media manager itnig, Sindre Hopland based on the presentation of Hitch CTO Bruno Pedro.

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W.

WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A COWORKING SPACE FOR YOUR STARTUP

Your home office or a coffee shop won’t be enough!

Yes, we all know the tale about the guy who starts a small company in their garage or basement, has a brilliant idea and becomes the next Steve Jobs. It’s true, most successes have very humble beginnings. It’s also true that not all garage or basements are going to magically get you a successful business. They might work in the very (veeeery) early stages of your startup, but you can’t always meet a client at coffee shops, not to say your basement. 

A great, if not the best, solution is to find a coworking space. Coworking spaces have become very popular all over the world, either for freelancers or entrepreneurs and startups. 

Coworking spaces are not just big rooms with desks and chairs with high-speed wifi. The areas are made to be exciting places to work and improve your productivity.

As a startup, you need to find resources fast and affordably. More importantly, you’ll need motivation. This is why you should consider a coworking space. 

Here are some basic but amazing benefits from coworking spaces:

Community

Joining a coworking means joining a community.  Being surrounded by other entrepreneurs, freelancers and talented independent people is without doubt a one of the best features of a coworking.

Motivation is key when starting a new project and trying to develop your own business. The road will get though and you’ll appreciate other entrepreneurs’ vision and support! Other workers’ feedback can be very useful to improve your service/product before trying to sell it to the world. 

Networking, networking and…networking!

As a startup, you’ll be looking for networking opportunities. Most coworkings host professionals from different kind of industries, which can open up many doors for you and your business. Not all coworking spaces are about networking, some of them prefer to have a quiet individual work environment, so as a startup you have to make sure to choose a coworking with networking opportunities.

At Itnig, for example, we love to share ideas and support other entrepreneurs. Don’t be shy, some of the other coworking tenants can bring great business opportunities, or even become new clients (and friends)! 

Budgetfriendly

As entrepreneurs (or people for that matter) it’s very important to understand the importance of money, more specifically: budget. Tight budgets call for smart spending. Coworkings are usually budget friendly, most of them offer different membership options depending on your startup’s needs and budget.

Amenities 

A coworking provides you with everything needed to be as productive as possible. High speed internet connection, printers, conference rooms and COFFEE. Some coworkings even plan afterwork activities and events to make it all more fun! As a startup, a coworking space is your best chance at having all the basic amenities but also the fun ones, like a ping pong table or a nice chill out terrace. 

Happy clients

As you grow and have more clients, it can get messy if you keep meeting them in coffee shops. Coworking spaces offer office services such as conference rooms. That way your meetings will be more professional and comfortable for everyone. 

Barcelona is a city full of coworkings of every kind! Our Itnig community keeps growing, we now have up to 20 startups such as Andjoy, Classlife, Factorial and Freeverse, all under the same roof. We have afterwork activities and we also plan different kinds of events open to anyone interested in marketing, tech stuff, entrepreneurship and design. Our space is about 2.100m2 with up to 800m2 of conference rooms, events space, ping pong and fun activities. 

There’s also  wifi, endless coffee and talented people. Join us!