Darwin’s Finches, 20th Century Business, and Open APIs: Evolve Your Business Model

Sam Ramji (Apigee)
Average rating: ****.
(4.20, 20 ratings)

When the world is changing quickly there is great pressure to adapt in order to survive. Darwin observed this in Galapagos Islands and codified the process into “On Origin of Species”. A century later DNA was identified as the mechanism of adaption and evolution by Watson and Crick. In just twenty more years Richard Dawkins called out the individual gene as the atomic unit of competition.

Looking at business through an evolutionary lens there is much to observe. Many industries have changed dramatically, and today we see only the result of the successful adaptations.

The overall economy of the technology space is moving from a web-based model to one based on more open, agile, collaborative technologies enabled by cloud computing and APIs. This movement offers an unprecedented opportunity for increased scale, efficiency, and revenue while simultaneously being less expensive than previous technology. At the same time, this movement issues a challenge to businesses- to get in and excel before their competitors do. Companies need to learn how to build a new business model that both capitalizes on the new opportunities and adapts to the new risks.

Sam Ramji is the former head of open source strategy at Microsoft and presently VP of strategy Sonoa Systems provider or enterprise API management solutions and Apigee, a lifecycle platform for API developers. Sam will talk about best practices and case studies in thinking about how to evolve your business model as the API economy creates an explosion of indirect channels.

The talk will discuss:

• How to find, develop, and exploit the value in existing or legacy data and services by offering and packaging them through open APIs

• How to protect your business, data, and consumers while still cultivating an open technology platform

• How to identify the value proposition of your API offering and attract new partners for increased distribution, new revenue sources, and enhanced functionality

• How to attract- and support- a developer community that will build successful applications off your offering and increase the reach and depth of your service

• How to monetize your open API through multiple revenue options

Ultimately attendees will walk away with an enhanced understanding of how to develop a new business model- and new revenue streams- by successfully building, providing and monetizing an open API. Most importantly, they will have compelling arguments and examples to act as a change agent within their company to drive forward with an API strategy.

Photo of Sam Ramji

Sam Ramji


Sam Ramji brings over 15 years of industry experience in enterprise software, product development, and open source strategy. Prior to Sonoa, Ramji led open source strategy across Microsoft. He was a founding member of the AquaLogic product team and has built large-scale enterprise and Web-scale applications, leading the Ofoto engineering team through its acquisition by Kodak. Other experience includes hands-on development of client, client-server and distributed applications on Unix, Windows and Macintosh at companies ranging from Broderbund to Fair Isaac. Sam holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Cognitive Science from the University of California at San Diego, and is a member of the Institute for Generative Leadership.

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