Your Business is an API

I was following a little link love and found myself over at BuzzMachine — where I have not been in some time. It is funny, but I do seem to go through phases where I will visit, read and comment on some blogs and not others … so it was good to check out Jeff Jarvis’ most recent posts and reacquaint myself with some of the most insightful thinking around.

One thing that struck me was the idea of looking at your business as an API (application programming interface — or techno speak for a way of letting different computer programs talk to each other). In many ways, this is what Web 2.0 is all about — focusing on the conversation NOT the technology — but again, it has profound implications for brands. As we make it easier for consumers/stakeholders to engage, play, experiment and immerse themselves in our brands, there will be trade-offs. Of course, one of the largest challenges is that we have to view our businesses and our brands as something that is NOT wholly within our control. This has probably always been the case.

But for all the talk about brands, conversation and so on … seeing your business as an API is a simple analogy that makes sense.

5 thoughts on “Your Business is an API

  1. thanks. it’s also interesting that once you turn yourself into an api, you also open yourself up to others’ apis. once you can be exported, you can also import. it’s about openness, both ways.
    anway, glad you’re back!

  2. Gavin,
    I have no idea what an API is, even after you explain it. But if the analogy works for you, it must be a good one. The bottom line: Nothing good comes from a lack of human interaction.

  3. Gavin – I like the analogy a lot but suspect it’s opaque to those who don’t dream in php.
    Some other possible analogies:
    – Your business is a platform (a la Wikinomics). Still a bit techy tho.
    – Your business is a ball – and you are just one of the players on the pitch.
    – Your business is a stage – but you don’t get to write the script.
    – Your brand is a beta (always).
    In a value network, the only role you can control is your own.

  4. Wow.
    Love what you’ve captured.
    Control is such a sticky issue. And by thinking about where we can define interaction points with consumers, this allows us to focus control THERE and not on controlling the conversation.
    ie: What points in your organization and brand should be open for interaction?
    Great analogy. Agree it will only work for the geeks, though. Damn. 😉

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