Internet programs are inter-operating between each other using a technology called REST APIs. Apiary provides a hosted service helping programmers and companies build, document and support REST APIs quickly and painlessly. REST APIs are an exciting market currently undergoing a huge shift – as everything from mobile apps to SaaS to cloud services is powered by APIs, the market quickly grew from 100s of APIs a couple years back to 1 million APIs in 2-3 years from now. Apiary provides tools for the lower 95% of the market, tools that any programmer or programming team can use to simplify and speed up their work.
How did you come up with the idea for apiary?
Back in 2010, The engineering team in our previous startup decided to take part in a weekend hackathon in a hot new technology – Node.JS. We were thinking hard about what would be a nice cool tool we’d like to use ourselves in our dayjobs that we’re missing. We coded up a prototype over 48h during the hackathon – and the rest is history. We ended up winning the hackathon out of a group of 400 other developers, and the feedback from other developers blew us away.
What major pivots have you made from the conception of apiary to where you are now?
We haven’t yet done a full 180 pivot in Apiary – we’re building and expending on top of our original vision. The go-to-market strategy has shifted significantly though, to those parts of the REST API tool set that provide the quickest path to happy customers. We know we have plenty of room to grow into as the company gets bigger, but our focus is concentrating on API documentation.
You were part of the SpringBoard accelerator program, what difference do you feel being part of an accelerator made to your company?
We probably wouldn’t have done the startup without Springboard. Providing us with 3 months of paid coding time was a huge start for us, and adding on top of that a huge network of mentors, investors and helpful contacts just makes ALL the difference. As first-time founders, the help we received was priceless.
What advice would you give to people looking to start a company and work on developing a business plan?
Don’t bother with a too detailed business plan. Most likely you don’t know enough about your customers and the market – even if you think you do. Make sure that the envelope figure, the total market that you’re looking at, is big enough to support the vision of your company. After that, just focus on the product and refine the business plan as you keep moving.
A big thanks to Jakub for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer some of our questions. You can follow their progress on twitter.
We will be reconnecting with Jakub and his team sometime early next year for a video interview to see how things have progressed from now to then, so stay tuned!