Third-Party API Economy.

The Third-Party API Economy
Image: Grace Isford

How to Give Your Users Superpowers

Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, thrive and give companies an edge for focusing on very specific issues. While the pattern has been around sind the early 2000s, the ecosystem only started to develop this rapidly recently.

Only to make an example, Twilio started their service as an API only offering. The problem the company solves is basically notification. On all channels, mainly texting and calling. Which by itself is pretty complex, compared to what the involving party actually wants to achieve. Twilio is wrapping this functionality to allow their customers take advantage of telecommunication.

Grace Isford made an effort to classify vendors in the market, that follow similar patterns. The criteria for the selection in his chart are:

  • The product reduces complexity
  • The company provides Business Critical Functionality
  • It takes advantage of a technological shift
  • And finally a community factor

The entire sector is currently exploding and it’s difficult to keep track. Specialised services, consumable through Web-APIs become a commodity for at least developers. Grace Isfords chart gives a good overview of the current situation, along with some criteria to consider the offering.

Source: The Third-Party API Economy. How to Give Your Users Superpowers | by Grace Isford | Sep, 2020 | Medium

Save ARM

After nVidia announced their intent to acquire ARM for $40B the other day, ARMs cofounder Hermann Hauser cofounder, today published an open letter to the british prime minister. The letter brings attention to economic implications the deal will bring and appeals to prevent those. To save ARM:

Critical voices have expressed their concern over the market share nvidia would build only after the announcement.

Tesla teardown of Tesla electronics

Japanese researches looked into a recent Tesla Model 3. Their analysis has some interesting findings over traditional car manufacturing methods. In particular when it comes to electronics, “ECUs” how they’re called in the automotive world, “Electronical Control Units” A regular Toyota or European car relies on dozens or more of these to make the car work.

However, research found that Tesla really only relies on one central component to take care of both autonomous driving and the entertainment part.

Self-driving AI sends shivers through traditional supply chains

From the article

This actually is big news, because it indicates Tesla has chosen to develop core technology in house, becoming (more) independent of supply chains. As of this writing, Tesla produces a fraction of what VW and Toyota output. To achieve the scale, automotive Industries traditionally groomed a rich ecosystem of suppliers, to form the entire value chain.

Automakers worry that […] will render obsolete the parts supply chains they have cultivated over decades, […]

From the article

However, it appears Tesla has an substantial competitive through this supplier independence. All of the above worry aside, Automakers will have to invest their capacity and headcount to catch up with this assumed advantage of 6 years.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

Privacy in the Platform Economy: In the tracking business, access to the customers desktop was in firm hands of Google and Facebook. Until recently!

SnakeOil promises people security to get them install software that’s capable of eavesdropping ssl and all other access to a computers interaction. Quite obvious to see this is a good source to profile a users behavior. A violation of users privacy for the sake of security. You sure all read the fineprint in the anti virus software, right?

Now apparently, somebody in the SnakeOil industry figured that out. A recent leak disclosed Avast Antivirus leverages their market access to almost hald a billion user profiles and devices to package up this insight. “every search” that promises ‘Every search. Every click. Every buy. On every site.’. Of course the target audience is the same as for marketing- and tracking clients.

Source: vice.

See also:
Economist Paul Krugman predicts the impact of the internet
Economist Paul Krugman

Prognosen sind schwierig, besonders wenn sie die Zukunft betreffen.

 Karl Valentin,  Mark Twain oder Niels Bohr zu. (Wikipedia)

Natürlich ist es immer schwierig, Vorhersagen zu treffen. Nachdem es sich bei dem Urheber des Zitates um einen führenden Ökonomen handelt, kann man das ein bisschen strenger betrachten. Um etwas positiver zu sein, kann man an der stelle vielleicht noch anführend, dass Deutschland offenbar nach wie vor Marktführend in der Anwendung von Faxgeräten ist:

Amazon could write books.

Today in dystopian news: Amazon, the book selling department, controlling about 40% of the US book market, collects reading habbits from their sales and Kindle. By now the corporation knows enough about it’s customers it could be generating best selling books. Spookey. And potentially game changing, when machines replace creative professions.

Amazon has the ability to track vast amounts of reader data and use it to change the landscape of American fiction.

Source: Amazon has so much data it could make algorithm-driven fiction — Quartz

Economics Has a Math Problem

The field begins to look like others that rely on data.

This is a discussion I had more than a decade back with economy students, as a student of computer science. The argument was much the same and nothing much has changed in the meantime. The difference is more data is available today and can be used much easier, though, which is to Noah Smiths argument.

via: Economics Has a Math Problem – Bloomberg View


In manchen, gerade konservativeren Kreisen wird EDV auch als “Ende der Vernunft” interpretiert. Und wer mit gängiger, gerne auch Cloud-basierter, Office Software arbeitet, kann sofort nachvollziehen, warum die Produktivität sich durch den Einsatz von Computern nicht steigern ließ. Vermutlich ist das aber alles auf die Existenz von Email zurückzuführen.

Ganz so, als habe die EDV-Einführung und die Anschaffung von PCs seit den frühen 80er-Jahren die Anwender nicht vorangebracht, sondern gebremst.

Quelle: Produktivität – Bahnbrechende Innovationen bleiben aus – Wirtschaft – Sü

Internet: The winner takes all

Lesebefehl: Der Artikel beginnt damit, Marktgrößen der vorangegangenen Generation, der Pre-Internet Zeit, als Beispiele zu nennen. Konsum-Produkte sind als “Long Tail” leichter durch das Internet als Vertriebskanal zu verkaufen sind und gegenüber den bekannten Marken genauso leicht zu finden sind. Damit sind die Beispiele, die der Autor nennt, schwer zu vergleichen mit Amazon, Google, Apple oder Amazon, die es tatsächlich geschafft haben, Infrastruktur zu werden, fast alle anderen Angebote hängen in der ein oder anderen Form von diesen 4 Firmen ab.

assertTrue( ): How the Internet is Changing Economics

Am Ende ist das Argument “Winner Takes all” leicht nachzuvollziehen. Diversität findet im Internet (Content-) Business gerade wenig statt.