Startup lessons: using other’s API

It is interesting sometimes how similar subjects seem to surface from multiple avenues at the same time.

Just yesterday one of my partners in emailed me an article about Pinterest, and how their rise to social media stardom had been fraught with struggles until they began utilizing social sign-ons through Facebook. Then, this morning, I read Fred Wilson’s article title “Can you Build a Network on Top of Another Network?”. Wilson’s thoughts are that you can, and sometimes should do so, however at that point he felt you really don’t have your own network.

The culmination of both conversations got me thinking back to the early days of and our decision to remain independent of other sites.

Without question I can tell you that had we used social sign-ons through sites like Facebook and LinkedIn our site would be much, much further along in terms of registered members. After all, by doing so you make the registration process quicker and you are able to use status updates to broadcast to potential members. So, in terms of membership numbers not using other APIs was a mistake.

Where I think we did go right with our strategy is that our independence protected us in two ways. First, it allowed us to avoid worrying about being shut down by someone else. LinkedIn has recently announced that in the near future Twitter access from their site will be limited. Prior to buying them, Twitter shut down all access for Tweetdeck for a period of time. When you connect yourself wholly to another platform you risk being closed down by their decisions. Second, like Fred Wilson mentions, I feel we truly have our own network of members. Not merely access to members of another site.

Only time will tell what was the right decision.

Build your network, increase your business, do it over lunch!


About Jonathan Patrick connects like-minded business professionals over face to face, one on one appointments based on each member's preferences.

Posted on April 9, 2012, in Timelime and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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