Yet another example of changing APIs
Seems as if LinkedIn is changing their developer application programming interfaces (APIs) to remove some functionality from the control of 3rd party developers. To be sure, some of their closer (pay-for-play) buddies will still have access to this functionality. It’s the smaller developers, like you and me, that are getting shut out. I’ve written about this before, way, way back in December of 2013 in the “The Gorilla and the API“. I’m not saying that I told you so, but I told you so. You are always at risk as an independent developer or middle market company that depends upon functionality from one of the big boys to make your product work. They make their engines available to you in order to grow THEIR market, not yours. When they’ve had their fill, they just simply close the door on you. That EULA-like developer agreement that you “signed” in order to get access to the developer program in the first place leaves you without recourse. Too bad, so sad! You are unlikely to be important enough or to be able to pay enough to remain in the inner circle. And if you depend upon that partner for your revenue stream, then you are well and truly up that proverbial river. That’s why you have to be super careful about plugging into someone else’s platform — Salesforce.com, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google … the list goes on and on. That’s not to say that you can’t plug into some Gorilla’s ecosystem — it’s that you better have a contingency plan for when they pull the rug out from under you. And they will. This isn’t just limited to programming interfaces either. Have a look at this article from VentureBeat that talks about Pinterest removing all affiliate links OVERNIGHT. You cannot build a company around someone else’s product line unless you are absolutely convinced that the company that you are working with is going to have to buy you at some point. And there is no guarantee of that. Yes, it COULD happen, but to paraphrase Rick Page, “HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY“.