An API is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing a Web based software application or web tool, it’s stand for Application Programming Interface. Since we founded Mashape, “The first APIs Marketplace”, I thought that could be interesting to share some numbers and major players of this new market.
API is a very old concept; but API in the cloud, accessible everywhere from anyone, the so called Open API is a completely new story. In 2000 the first company that embraced this route was Ebay, pushing out some API to help power sellers, than in 2002 came out Amazon and Salesforce in 2003. However the first strong signal was between 2005 and 2007 when Yahoo, Google, Flickr, Skype, Twitter, AOL, Windows Live and Facebook started to push out their APIs. Since then, the trend is growing fast year over year: it took 8 years to get to 1000 APIs, but 18 months to get to 2000 APIs; 2010 has a 2x increase…continue reading
HeyZap vs AirBnB: Two different approaches, Two unique success.
I asked myself a question: What are the real magic pills that a geek entrepreneur should have to increase his chance to success? Well by observing two successful startups closely, I began to understand that - most of the time - it is a combination of several factors. I was lucky enough to get to know two successful start-ups and began to understand that the real power lies in their soul.
One year ago, I slept in the AirBnb building for nearly 3 weeks, when they were just a company comprised of eight people. I also worked in their office/living room and played kickball with them; at that time they needed more people to have a fun kickball game. Now they have enough to field 6 kickball teams and host an AirBnb league! Later, at the beginning of 2010, I met the Heyzap team, fresh from their move to a new office. We are very close, and Jude is helping us build a sweet company.
In my opinion these are the points that summarize the power of the two start-ups:
When I come back home from my office I often pass theirs (usually after 1:00am), and they are there, working. Saturday and Sunday, they are there working. Not just the founders, but most of the team as well. They have funding and revenue, but are still working very hard. They didn’t lose the hunger. That’s impressive.
There are lots of start-ups in the valley that are willing to help you out. I think that if you want quick help, the Heyzap team is the most active. They always try to help you without asking for anything back. They just have a sense of sharing passion, success, and love.
Speed of light
Probably most of it comes from their nitro-working method, but not just this. One time I got the chance to take a look at Jude’s calendar, it had like 400 items - not joking! 400 – to-do’s for 2 weeks, from meetings, partnership, conferences, travels, teams brainstorming, and even parties - something regular people accomplish in 2 years, Heyzap will accomplish in 2 weeks.
The Art Of Networking
They know how to do it. They’re always present at the right place and at the right time to let people know about Heyzap. Every single person is an evangelist of the company. They speed up the word of mouth by having being omnipresent.
Be humble. We hear this all the time. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have huge ambitions or a big vision. It means having respect for people, for every person, even those who have failed, who haven’t achieved what they want yet. It just means that you know your weaknesses and that you will do your best to improve it; it means that you easily accept criticism around you, but the next day you will work to fix it. Being egoless is probably the most common characteristic that we see in every successful entrepreneur.
Well they are crazy (in a good way), possibly the craziest team that I have ever met. They’re unpredictable. How many companies have an ex-professional runner leading all the whole marketing team? Christopher was a professional middle distance runner and a winner. AirBnb throws the craziest parties in the Silicon Valley, and the team never applies an idea until has enough craziness. Isn’t the AirBnb idea crazy after all? :)
A launch pad for design
As most of you already know AirBnb was founded by 3 amazing guys; and 2 of them are designers. Joe in particular is obsessed with that. He gets into details in a way that people can’t. AirBnb has a clear focus around UX/UI that can compete, without problems, with Apple. Don’t be surprised if you crash in their office and suddenly be covered by this aura of design, from the floor, desk, walls, to the sky. That’s their DNA.
“Keep going” Mood
Aside from being egoless, determination and perseverance are the most important qualities for an entrepreneur. They fought for 2 years, and failed a lot before got big. At one point they hadn’t money to eat and a started to have debts on their credit cards. You know what? They keep going, keep going at a crazy level. As Brian one time said: at one point we were like that captain that arrived in a island, and then the boat went on fire and he has no other solutions than conquer the island. Well that was AirBnb two years ago, now they are conquering the world.
Mary Poppins Bag
If I had to describe AirBnb in one word I would say “unstoppable”. Not only because of the determination back in their bad days, but because they are endlessly resourceful. They have used the power of creativity more than once to resolve their problems; and it worked out magnificently. Everybody remember the Obama/McCain cereals. Selling the “strange” cereals that they made earned them $30k and stayed afloat enough to arrive at the Ycombinator of 2009.
AirBnb is turning the entire hotel industry upside down, but that is because this is their modus operandi. I saw the AirBnb team brainstorm, and they approached the problems at multiple levels and from different angles. Then the day later, they repeated the same process, again and again until they solved the problem. They transform problems into solutions.
Both of the teams have strong visions, visual thinking, and are really good guys ^_^ , able to pivot fast, big parties, culture and a sense of family.
I hope one day we could achieve the same results, guys.