Today, Simon Wardley on twitter while in a talk regarding Amazon AWS innovation and competitors, said that there’s not that much innovation from Amazon competitors, just pointless differentiation, e.g. APIs’. Which I entirely agree. Competition for me happens when; you can lower your price against your market – lowering your profit, you can have the same price but with more features, or less features and cheaper price. That’s pretty much how to do disruptive innovation, and Amazon is alone in that field when we’re talking about cloud computing.
But, what does that have to do with API’s ?? Well, API’s are “pointless differentiation” – and I’m citing Simon out of context here. (Web)API’s are the new EAI, publicly open but it’s just like karma. Someday it bites you in the ass!
See the Twitter example and this post from Nova Spivack. Don’t get me wrong, API’s can be and are a good thing. It brings openness to the web, new ways to interact and connect, but also usually can give startups/programmers an option to develop new services on top of someone’s else infrastructure, and that’s where the problem resides. Other people infrastructure. You can’t control it and it’s not a business. Someday you can be shutdown without any notice or even worse, the work you developed by extending that product using their API can be easily replaced by the them.