I was learning about the approach Amazon has taken with their serverless API developer portal, and highlighting their approach to API plans, and couldn't help but think there was more to it all than just rate limiting your API. Amazon's approach to API plans is in alignment with other API management providers, allowing you to deploy your APIs, meter, rate limit, and charge for access to your API--standard business of APIs stuff.
Controlling access to a variety of API resources is something that has been well-defined over the last decade by API management providers like 3Scale, and now Tyk and DreamFactory. They provide you with all the tools you need to define access to APIs, and meter access based upon a wide variety of parameters. While I haven't seen the type of growth I expected to see in this area, we have seen a significant amount of growth because API management providers are helping to standardize things--something that will grow significantly because of availability from cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft, and Google.
We have a lot of work ahead of us, standardizing how we charge for API consumption at scale. We have even more work ahead of us to realize that we can turn all of this on its head, and start paying for API consumption at scale. I do not understand how we've gotten so hung up on the click and the view, when there are so many other richer, and more meaningful actions already occurring every second, of each day online. We should be identifying these opportunities, then paying and incentivizing developers to consume APIs in most valuable way possible.
With modern approaches to API management, we already have the infrastructure in place. We need to just start thinking about our APIs differently. We also need to get better at leveraging POST, PUT, and PATCH, as well as GET, when it comes to paying for consumption. Imagine a sort of event driven API affiliate layer to the web, mobile, device, and even conversational interfaces--where developers get paid for making the most meaningful events occur. It makes the notion of paying per view or click seem really, really, shit simple.
Anyways, just a thought I needed to get out. The lack of innovation, and abundance of greed when it comes to API monetization and planning always leaves me depressed. I wish someone would move the needle forward with some sort of modular, event-driven API monetization framework--allowing some different dimensions to be added to the API economy.