APIs are like a garden hose. They can make things grow.
Well that's what I was thinking as I tried to save my roses from the blistering summer heat here in Dallas, Texas. It really started to make sense when I snapped off my trigger nozzle in favor of a sprinkler. I have the quick connect system so it's a piece of cake to swap out attachments. The 104 degree heat was getting to me, and I started to imagine the hose being connected to retail information and inventory - the API being the quick connect and the nozzles being the interface to consumers.
I'm sitting on the patio at this point, the sprinklers doing the work now, and I'm thinking I should grab a beer and really see where this analogy goes. I watch the sprinkler go back and forth, spraying a pattern of precious water across the lawn - and on my FENCE!
No, the source of life cannot be wasted on a board-on-board fence. I get up and carefully plan my assault on the sprinkler, careful not to get wet (note to self: cold water pelting your body when its 104 is not something you should avoid). The sprinkler has all kinds of adjustment mechanisms. I can adjust the spray pattern left or right, long or short. I can control the amount of water going through the valve and of course there's a timer.
Ahhhhh, this like API infrastructure, the control panel for APIs. Crystal clear. Just like the mechanisms of the garden hose nozzle let your control and target different areas of your lawn, API infrastructure lets you optimize your API for various sections of the market - from mobile developers to affiliate marketers. And just like a great sprinkler system, an API infrastructure lets you scale up to cover your whole "lawn." Finally, API infrastructure provides visibility, letting you see where your services are going and how they are being used.
At its core, an API infrastructure lets you harness and control the power of an API and grow your market, just like a garden hose lets you harness the power of water to grow your lawn.
So you know what I did? The next time I went to talk to a prospect I carried a garden hose, quick connect and sprinkler with me (at least they will remember me).
Analogy complete. No!
One more beer (my answer to Job's "One more thing").
API.... A Profit Interface. Another entry on that soon.