The World Through an API

watch time: 18 minutes

As the API or “application programming interface” becomes the primary interface for business (in much the same way physical storefronts gave way to applications and websites), we’re seeing a new chapter in the story of software emerge. While it’s playing out against the backdrop of other trends (microservices, software-defined networking, developers as buyers, and connectivity as a utility), the big idea here is that traditional, large programs are being broken down into and being offered as — or with data exposed to — services. But more importantly, these pieces and services are being recombined by other companies to create something new… it’s combinatorial innovation in action.

In this talk (originally delivered at our most recent annual a16z Summit in November 2017), general partner Martin Casado describes the evolution of “the API economy” in the context of the history of computing; shares examples of companies whose entire business is based on or around APIs; considers implications for future infrastructure, IT business leaders, and others; and shares how APIs are already fueling the expansion of software eating the world.

 

image credits: Library of Congress via Wikipedia; Pixabay (Creative Commons 1.0); purchased/licensed stock (iStock, Shutterstock, and Unsplash); and own screenshots/ photos