A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of discussing my story API project with API Evangelist and rock star – Kin Lane. I was a bit anxious about pitching him my story API project. But the conversation went really well, Kin Lane gave me useful feedback, and was incredibly supportive – which of course is his job as an API evangelist, but still!
Kin Lane gave me a bunch of advice and tips on how to start with my project. Main take aways:
1/ The technology of APIs – tips for beginners
- Due diligence, due diligence, and more due diligence : start by identifying and collecting all the other APIs that exist for media content as sources of inspiration for my design.
- Start open source: starting open source is the best way to build a working prototype without having to worry about copyrights and intellectual property issues, quickly test my design and iterate.
2/ The business of APIs
- Find partners: Once you have a working open source prototype, you can go pitch potential partners. You can either talk them into feeding the existing API with their some of their assets, or convince them to build a tailor-made API for their franchises and storyworlds.
- Tell stories: Never stop telling more and more stories around your project. It’s what helps you formulate ideas, iterate and move forward. It’s also the best way to communicate about your project, get feedback and improve.
3/ The politics of APIs
- It’ll be tough: the hardest part about building APIs for industries that don’t use them (yet) is what he calls “the politics of APIs.” As anyone can imagine, advocating openness isn’t easy, especially when the data involved is sensitive (think healthcare, government…) and when you have to deal with complex legal issues – such as copyrights and intellectual property.
- It’s normal – so don’t give up: if healthcare and government are now building APIs to foster innovation, why not the entertainment industry? Keep faith, my friend, was basically his message. I’ll try to keep that in mind 🙂