The Innovator Spotlight Interview: Brendan Hayes, The Weather Underground
Brendan Hayes, The Weather Underground’s API product owner, spoke with us at I ♥ APIs 2014 about the important role APIs play in sharing his company’s weather data.
The Weather Underground, which uses APIs to provide weather data to the developer community and to power its mobile apps and web pages, was purchased in 2012 by The Weather Channel Companies.
Since it was acquired, Hayes company has been helping to spread the API gospel throughout the larger parent company. One measure of success: APIs have become what he describes as a “lead generation” tool that opens the door to some significant enterprise deals.
“We work with a lot of larger companies,” including Facebook and Snapchat, to which The Weather Underground provides weather data. “That wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t have an API so easily accessible.”
Prior to The Weather Underground’s adoption of APIs, Hayes, an 11-year veteran of the company, spent a lot of time toiling to develop custom feeds for clients. With APIs, however, that level of customization is unnecessary.
“APIs have really allowed us to standardize our data and expose it in a way that people can reuse data in a way they see as best, instead of me having to make a whole web page or fresh XML for every client,” Hayes said.