Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sachin Rekhi: Being entrepreneurial product manager

Sachin Rekhi is a serial entrepreneur with product management background.  He founded Connected and Feedera which got acquired by LinkedIn.  He is also a coder and writes about API platform and how to build developer community.

He has been blogging since 2009, and he has shared product management and lessons he learned from his startup experiences through his personal blog.

Here are some blog entries that I found helpful:

One that resonated with me the most was solving the different pieces of problem for three constituents to get developer platform going.  There are developers who want to build their fame and livelihood on the platform, end users who want to solve specific problems, and platform provider who wants to create vibrant application ecosystem that provide additional revenue stream.  The difficult piece is to create a win-win-win situation for all three so that there can be positive feedback loop among all constituents.

In order to create a vibrant developer community, first there has to be clear incentives for developers to invest their time and energy in building applications.  There must also be users who are interested in using the applications developed by the third party developers.  Sometimes the development or integration work starts out by having users funding the efforts.  Regardless, what is important is that two parties must find incentives to work with the platform.

Then finally there is the platform provider.  The developer support and API servicing must be economically sustainable.

I wanted to share Sam Ramji's comment from the last Wednesday's SVPMA panel discussion talking about API platform strategy.  I'm paraphrasing:

There is no API business model.  It depends on your current business model.  API is wrap-around distribution strategy that allows you to scale using external developers.

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