API Catalyst Program
The Catalyst Program was created to help companies rapidly accelerate the success of their API developer programs. The Conversation Group works closely with our partner Mashery to help companies implement scalable, manageable, and easy to use APIs. But this is only the first step to a successful program. A successful API program is in attracting and supporting developers. The Conversation Group can help recruit developers, support them in building applications, and then help distribute their applications, making the developers, and ultimately the company, successful.
The Catalyst: Our Team
When you launch your developer program, you can count on The Conversation Group to be your professional community manager and we'll help you get it off the ground. From monitoring blogs and twitter, to offering practical hands-on assistance, we'll get developers excited about working with you from day one. We'll also help you recruit and train your own staff to support the program. From recruiting developers to supporting them, and finally to helping market their applications, The Conversation Group has a set of proven methods for making your program a success.
How do you attract developers?
An API program must be designed to contain elements attractive to developers. Typically this will be an economic incentive for the developer, some information or calculation which can add to the value of their applications, or a combination of the two.
Developers can be recruited through a focused business development approach in which specific developers are identified and contacted or through a more general marketing approach. Marketing programs can include the creation of editorial content, events, and outreach to influential communities or individuals.
Developers will also be attracted to join an API developer program that provides sufficient support to them in developing and distributing their applications.
What does an API program need to be successful?
Developers want three things: they want to easily build applications using the API, they want help distributing these applications, and they want to earn recognition or financial rewards from these applications. The Conversation Group can help your company create a program which provides these three elements and attract developers who will become champions for the company, creating a network effect for API adoption.
The Conversation Group can help construct and operate the elements of a successful developer community:
Attracting developers through blogs, events, newsletters, and community interactions
Supporting the development of applications through tutorials, code libraries, developer forums, a shared community knowledge base, and direct developer support.
Help developers distribute their applications through co-marketing programs
Why have an API?
The Internet is evolving from islands of destination web sites to an increasingly granular and dynamic assembly of components which are combined and recombined by companies, communities and individuals. In the first generation of the web, companies constructed and operated their own web sites to present and sell their products or services. In order to draw customers and prospects to visit these sites, companies purchased banner advertisements or ran other marketing campaigns that attracted visitors to these sites.
But the evolving "programmable web" now provides companies with another alternative. Functions which were once solely accessible through a company's own web site can now be broken into component parts and embedded into other web sites. Companies can build their own "widgets" to distribute their site's functions but a more exciting alternative is available. Called an "application programming interface" or simply API, companies can provide the core building blocks for others to construct their own web experiences that connect back to a company — generating interest, attention, and often sales far from the company's own website.
In this new component based web experience, a company will succeed as a result of the broad distribution of applications built using their API. Getting developers to build these applications is about providing the right set of incentives — both monetary and through the added value that the company creates for communities and users by providing its data and functions as a part of these other web experiences.
The Conversation Group and Mashery can help your company design and promote your API program and help your developers build and distribute compelling applications, bringing success both to them and to you.