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API-Tech + Product
Since my last post titled “API or Platform”, I realised, after talking to a bunch of guys, that you can be successfully working on and also selling two different but connected things at the same time. The first being the means to the second one: I’m talking API-Tech + Product.
Look at Mandrill & Mailchimp: API for email delivery + Email marketing product. And if we push that simple paradigm a bit further, Amazon is a great example too: Logistic (amazon marketplace) + E-Commerce (amazon).
Also, hidden in the back, Mixpanel has its own database software, Capitaine Train has its own transporter combination software. You may not realise it but that’s what make those companies initially unique, and successful afterwards ! It shows the clarity, the obstination and the quality of the founders behind those choices.
We see all those Uber-like or messaging-based startups popping-up every single day. Some of them will succeed. In the same time, Homejoy is shutting down after having raised $40M. Will both Magic and Operator survive? I have no idea.
If you want to have a chance to build a real empire, besides the great product, experience and customer care that you are putting together, think deeper… Not more complicated, deeper ! You don’t want to build your own twilio, stripe or algolia, that’s stupid. What asset, game changer, barriers are you building to make your company truly unique? Don’t be afraid it may be a defocus as long as it fully serves your product :)