Look, I’m not even going to reproduce the diagram here. I know you’ve seen it. Everybody’s seen it. Goodness knows my tweet stream has been full of it for the best part of the last month.
Just in case you haven’t seen it: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=pizza-as-a-service
In doing my prep for my upcoming talk at TechEd Australia I came across this gem from April 2004 (yep, that’s over 10 years ago folks!) that shows how a public API can have a positive upside to any business, even if the usage is not strictly that which was intended.
The back story is that some guys worked out how to directly call Domino’s online ordering backend web service at the time without needing to drive it all through a web interface.
This small example really demonstrates the power of a public API and how people will take it and use it in ways you had not intended, but in ways which will have a positive impact on your business.
What’s the bet that CompSci dorm rooms all over America in 2004 were happily ordering their delivered pizzas from a Linux command prompt?!
Check out the sourcecode up on Github!