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

Sam Ramji (Cloud Foundry Foundation)
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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

Photo of Sam Ramji

Sam Ramji

Cloud Foundry Foundation

Sam Ramji is CEO of the Cloud Foundry Foundation. He has over 20 years of industry experience in enterprise software, product development, and open source strategy.

He previously served as Vice President of Strategy of Apigee, one of the 5 fastest-growing software companies in the Deloitte Fast 500, and is a member of their Board of Advisors. He joined Apigee from Microsoft, where he was responsible for driving Microsoft’s worldwide open source strategy. He drove many of Microsoft’s contributions to open source and its shift to embrace open source technologies like PHP. He was a leader in BEA’s move into EAI/ESB as a founding member of the AquaLogic product team.

Mr. Ramji has built large-scale enterprise and Web-scale applications, leading the Ofoto engineering team through its acquisition by Kodak. His other experience includes leading engineering teams to build large-scale applications on open source software, as well as hands-on development of client, client-server and distributed applications on Unix, Windows and Macintosh at prior companies. He is a Member of the Institute for Generative Leadership. Sam holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Cognitive Science from the University of California at San Diego.

His work has been covered in Wired and many other industry publications.

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