Transitioning from a service to an API and monetisation


#1

Question for Kin:
Hey Kin, since you have expertise in the business aspects of APIs, I wanted to ask a noob question in the same field, hope you don’t mind.

So basically I have been working on a converter service that takes existing web pages and converts them to AMP compliant ones with additional customizations making it easy to integrate with CMS build pipelines. It is mostly targetted at the content creators who use a CMS to write articles so that they can have AMP versions of the same on the fly.

Now the issue is that I was thinking of providing it as a service and charge users based on the features of the page to be converted but some people suggested it would be better to expose the functionality through an API so that people could post the URL of the existing pages as parameters to an endpoint and achieve the same functionality. I am not sure how I would be able to use the feature based monetization with the API model. An endpoint hit count based model doesn’t really work in this case. Any suggestions?

Thanks already.


#2

Interesting use case. I’d suggest you make sure and conduct your due diligence and perform an exhaustive search for similar or complimentary services that are out there. you’d be surprised how a several day, exhaustive search can uncover potential competitors. If you don’t find any, I’m guessing you’ll find a ton of interesting APIs, who have interesting and not so interesting business models–which you can learn from.

I recommend avoid falling into trappings of per API call or eyeball based revenue models. spend the time and be more creative. Do your project. Offer it up for free. Beta test. Get feedback. Understand intimately where the value is for end-users, and understand what features they might pay for to deliver on your premium feature approach. Just be honest with your plans from the beginning, and tell people it won’t be free forever, and that you are just trying to innovate and understand.