Swedish Startup Space

What we learned at the Nordic APIs conference

Written by on September 26

Editor note: This is a guest post written by Andreas Krohn, a Swedish API junkie who is the organiser of the Nordic API’s conference.

Much to learn from Nordic APIs

Last week we arranged the Nordic APIs conference in Stockholm, a conference on APIs, for anyone working with APIs. The event was extremely successful, especially as we managed to gather a large group of people with the same interest, allowing many people to learn from each other. With over 30 presentations and demos, there is too much to write about for one article, so here’s a brief summary of the presentations that I think were the most interesting.

Package your API correct

Besides all the technical details around an API, there was a theme throughout the whole conference about how important it is to have a clear business model and to package the API correctly, in order to reach the selected target group. The packaging is about everything from documentation to how the API is marketed to users. It is important that any company that publishes an API has visions and goals, and knows how the technical design of the API is formed around those.

Ronnie Mitra proved a point about good presentation by starting his with his back turned to the audience and mumbling. After a few minutes of awkward silence, he turned around and said that it is equally important to present something on stage as it is to present your API.

Let others develop applications

The fact that other developers can build applications on an API is naturally one of the strengths of a public API. David Henricson Briggs from Playback Energy talked about how this understanding affected their service Energimolet, which allows someone to keep track of their energy consumption, an important part of this is the API that Energimolet provides. It enables Playback to concentrate on what they do best – which is to collect and analyze data, while others can build applications on this data.

APIs as marketing

Eva Sjökvist gave a very interesting presentation about how Absolut use APIs in their marketing. The API provides data for drinks, what they contain , how they are mixed. In addition to data on drinks, the API also provides thousands of high-resolution images on drinks of all kinds. Soon, even videos for each step of mixing a drink. All of these resources allow the advertising people at Absolut to use the API to create new campaigns very quickly and easily. A lot of marketing teams could learn from this!

In addition, there were many presentations on how to build an API correctly, how to test an API, which tools to use and a whole bunch of lessons learned. This fall, Nordic APIs will attend Internetdagarna to talk about how to use the APIs to make money and how to use the APIs as a part of marketing. I hope to see you there !

Many thanks to Layer7, Ping Identity and all other sponsors that made Nordic APIs possible!

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