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API Strategy and "Niches": Are you missing an opportunity?

Apr 18, 2012

A couple weeks ago Eventbrite launched an iPad payment card reader for event merchants to sell tickets and merchandise on-site.

However, as Austin Carr from FastCompany reported in this excellent article, Eventbrite built the system in-house instead of partnering with the obvious choice, Square.


"Square does not have an open API," Mendelsohn says. "The real value of the solution is the ability to pass data back into the Eventbrite's management console and reporting. So if you are using a device like Square, you wouldn't be able to capture all that attendee information and marry it back into our dashboard."

Square is a very successful and innovative company - one of Fast Company's 50 Most Innovative Companies and is processing $4 billion in annualized payments. This could have been a classic 'niches' opportunity for Square... creating a new channel for their payment processing services by being embedded in Eventbrite applications. 

Eventbrite would carry the Square service to its events customers and event attendees, generating business for Square. This is a classic illustration of the new value chain model that savvy companies are executing towards with their API strategies.  Thinking about this as a possible missed opportunity for a company like Square, you should stop and consider, "what opportunities is my company missing by not having an API strategy?"

Austin nails the second major point later in his article as he writes:

"Arguably, it's less expensive for Eventbrite to create its own hardware--an orange, flimsy piece of plastic that, like Square, is free for merchants to use--than it would be for the company to adopt Square, and lose access to the valuable data it's been collecting online."

Companies are exploring their ‘niches’… reaching out into the places where customers are, and selling in that context. Data and insights about those customer interactions, which are happening more and more at the edge of your enterprise through mobile apps and devices, are incredibly valuable.

Taking advantage of a data platform to give you and your API partners deep insights on your API transactions is table stakes for companies who are extending their reach and growing revenues via APIs.

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