Adopting a Product Mindset when Developing your API Ecosystem

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Laptop computer: Product Mindset

As your organization undergoes major digital transformations and starts adopting new technologies, it's critical to evaluate how you're currently looking at your technology assets. Do you see them as differentiated business capabilities? Adopting a product mindset with developing your API ecosystem becomes simpler when you can shift your focus away from the technical implementation process and its challenges and start focusing on your strategy and its relevant business outcomes.

Modern organizations are constructing complex and advanced ecosystems using APIs as their building blocks. When done correctly, your organization can reuse its API throughout the economy, giving you a launchpad for future growth. This means, as you work to build a company of the future, it's crucial that you embrace APIs and products and services that can help grow your revenue, here and in the years to come. 

Transforming Your API Mindset

In modern companies, APIs are now being viewed as products and services. While powerful and meaningful, this shift in thinking often poses the biggest hurdle for most organizations who are trying to implement APIs into their environment. However, adopting this new way of thinking is also paramount to unlocking new sources of revenue. Organizations must break the thought barriers that are currently holding them back and open up their minds to new business models, allowing partners and developers through the door to co-create business value. 

If you're unconvinced that the product mindset matters, just look to some of the biggest adopters of APIs as products. Salesforce has generated half its revenue through APIs in recent years. Meanwhile, eBay has generated 60% of its revenue doing the same.'s numbers are even more astonishing, with 90% of the company's revenue coming from its API assets. These numbers show that APIs can realistically be major generators of value for your company, but you'll never attain the best results unless you approach APIs with a product mindset--and changing your mindset is a task that should be undertaken as soon as possible.

How Product Mindset Impacts Design

Adopting the product mindset is not as simple as re-evaluating the potential use cases of APIs, it starts from the design process. The way in which an API is designed will determine how easily that API can be consumed and leveraged in the future. If the API is designed with a single connection in mind, all limited by the scope of the project at hand, its creator may fail to include consistent standards, documentation, security, or versioning that will prove crucial to its extensibility and future use. 

On the other hand, when a company and its developers adopt a product mindset, the development and design of a given API is carefully considered because the business recognizes that there is future extensibility opportunity that they must support. Now the API can be seen as a standalone product, something that can be built upon and used again and again for solutions you haven't yet thought of. Since almost all business leaders share in the fear of being committed to a single use case or application, the impact and benefit of adopting a product mindset in the design of APIs is clear. What's most difficult for organizations is figuring out how they can make the shift.

The Pillars of Product Mindset

Most would agree that adopting a product mindset in API design relies on three pillars: an outside-in approach, time-to-market focus, and a culture of constant improvement. Be obsessed with your customers and use customer needs, preferences, and pain points to guide every strategy. Use data, avoid presumptions, and remind yourself that your product and its uses are going to evolve as users interact with it, give feedback on it, and experience changing needs in their own implementations.

With these things in mind, your technology choices will play an equally important role in how your organization is able to plan, create, and manage its APIs. DreamFactory empowers you to utilize the product mindset and get more out of your APIs with seamless management and publishing tools that make extending and reusing your API "building blocks" a breeze. Explore all of DreamFactory's features today!

Take Advantage of Advanced Features

As a platform, DreamFactory has evolved right along with its users, helping innovative companies like yours get more out of the APIs they create. From instant API creation to automatic live documentation generation, advanced management, organized catalogs, and intuitive logging tools, DreamFactory makes every stage of API creation and maintenance easier.

Plus, with DreamFactory's dedicated publishing tools, it's never been easier to deploy your APIs and repurpose them throughout your organization in a consistent and standardized manner. With role-based access and rock-solid security, DreamFactory can help you bring your API-as-a-product mindset to life and get more out of the solutions your business is creating. Start your 14-day free trial today and experience it for yourself.