API´s have left us dumb
I stole part of this idea from a good friend named René Figueroa. Some years ago, in a blog post, he describes how the internet and the mobile applications have left him dumb.
He explained this as part of the experience he had in a trip to San Francisco, CA. He told the story like this:
- I took an UBER to go from my house to the airport
- I made the check in during the trip through the airline mobile app
- When I arrived to San Francisco, I request another UBER to go to the hotel
- During my travel from the airport to the hotel, I made my hotel check in through the hotel app
- I arrived t the hotel and with the check in code generated by the app, I got my hotel room key
He told us: I did not have a need to talk to anybody.
Noe, the idea is not to stand out that we do not have a need to talk to anybody and that we have been converted into a society that is limited to live along with the smartphones. No! That is not the idea. The idea I want to transmit is the following:
The APIs permit us to do all of that, they simplify our life. Thanks to the API’s is that the users are getting a comfort that in the past is not easy to reach:
- UBER. Request a car anywhere you are. In Mexico, at least, it does not matter where you request the car. If you want them to get inside your garage they will make it.
- UBER eats. They do not only pick you up, they carry food to your home =)
- NETFLIX. You can enjoy your favorite TV series in any gadget you have and now you can enjoy a wide variety of content that the platform offers.
- There are applications in the cities to find restrooms (This was made by my friend Isaac Ruiz, to whom we call RUGI). So, if you are in an urgent need to go to a restroom, you can use your app to find out the closest restroom.
- WAZE. Actually, the people believes more in WAZE than in any person that says he knows the city (anywhere in the world).
- Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin. All of them publish their APIs so you, through any other APP, can publish anything you want only with a click.
- Mobile applications in general: To check ut the traffic in the city, to make a complaint, to call the City Manager
- Governments expose their API’s so the third parties can connect to them and the citizen can make procedures in a more comfortable way without the need to be in long rows.
- Establishments/restaurants apply their loyalty programs so the you can enjoy the benefits of being a customer of the big chains such as Burger King, Domino’s, Italliani’s, etc. In Mexico, this already happens, so if you buy a coffee in Starbucks, this accumulate points that you can use later in Burger King, for example. When did this happened before?
And my tenth example is probably my favorite:
To have a machine that prepare a meal such as if you go to a famous restaurant. How? What is this crazy guy saying now?
Yes, there is a machine under the Thermomix brand. It is an appliance with the capability to cook. You only place the ingredients and it makes the full preparation so that the effort is minimum when cooking and not only simple things, you can cook: Pozole, meat balls, deserts, cakes, etc.
This appliance has the capability to connect to internet to find new recipes. How do you think this is done? Of course, through APIs.
The APIs are changing the way in which we live. It is the case that this have become our everyday language. Not only of the technical people but for the people in general.
Not a long time ago, in a radio program, I heard an interview to a company that was developing a mobile application that may validate if a police officer can penalize you when you drive in the “ordered” Mexico City.
She was a marketing women that introduced herself as the person in charge of marketing the APP. She says: “…In reality, we are very close to commercialize this app, which will help the citizen to avoid that a police officer penalizes him, when such officer does not have the faculty to do so…” and she continued “…the only thing that is now pending is that the police dept. publish an API/WEB service to consult a data base about the police officers…”. She used the term API/Web Service as something normal, as something that the public in general should understand and recognize.
Well, this is now a reality, the APIs are changing our way of living, the way in which we express ourselves. They are changing the user’s requirements for the use of the technology. I listen my friends that mentions when they are playing Nintendo: “Why can’t we publish this specific part of the game in You Tube?”. Let’s say that there are some rules or that kids below the 10 years that demand to see some Netflix program any time they want. Or that you turn on the regular TV and it is strange for them that they cannot select the cartoon that they want to see in that specific moment.
Never before in the technology history, the programmers had in their hands such number of assets to create new software. The APIs are there, ready to be used. The developers have their hands full to be able to create applications, software to change the world. They have at the reach of their fingers the power to get to any part of the world to build something that put together different APIs to give a huge benefit to the consumer. The mobile apps are massive, they are not limited to be used to certain part of the population, they can be used globally. A young person below 15 years old can be programing something form home, interacting with different Google, Facebook Twitter or Netflix APIs and building something that in the next day can be changing the way we are living. Isn’t it fascinating?
The APIs have been there from the beginning of the programming, but the Web APIs simply have created a new economy. An economy that benefits the consumer, the programmer and the publisher. It is absolutely not a unilateral economy.
A year ago, together with a couple of colleagues I wrote this book:
When I wrote, I thought that the subject can be a subject matter of conversation some years later and seems that it will be. We live in a world of APIs, an APIs economy.