Fostering Innovation With An Open API
Sometimes it takes us a significant amount of time to gather information, consume it, digest it, make sense of it and make an important business decision. The choice of whether to keep everything in house or grant access to our proprietary data to third party developers could have gone through a similar process, but it didn't. Here's why.
Since we launched on Kickstarter, the following things happened:
- A dog sledding team and a K9 search and rescue unit reached out asking us to create custom analytics
- A food manufacturer asked us to plug ourselves into their system to help them make smart food recommendations
- An online retailer asked us to let their users tap into our platform to understand their customers and service them better
- A shelter asked us to create a web app that allows them to monitor the well being of every dog and optimize volunteer efforts
- A daycare provider asked us to create real-time analytics of each dog at their facilities
- A dog walking company asked us to create custom analytics to monitor and rank their employees (!)
- A dog hotel asked us to create virtual check-ins and a loyalty program for their furry guests
- A trainer asked us to create an app for custom exercise plans (specifically for weight loss) and to monitor compliance
- A toy manufacturer asked us to collaborate to create smart toys
- A vet school asked us to design an interface to visualize dog data remotely for a specific longitudinal study
- A vet school from overseas asked us to compile a web app to remotely monitor recovery after a specific orthopedic procedure
- A veterinary behaviorist asked us to create a dashboard to monitor treatment progress of dogs with separation anxiety
- A chain of vet hospitals asked us to create a platform that allows their vets to be in touch with their patients, using FitBark's data to make better diagnoses and decisions about whether to call a dog in for a visit
- A Kickstarter backer asked us to create an app that would advise him how much to feed his dog based on her activity levels
- A pet insurance company asked us to work together to lower insurance premia for the most active and healthy dogs
All of a sudden, the choice whether to open our API became an easy one.
On the one hand, as a young company, we don't have the resources to create all these innovative web and mobile apps that leverage the rich data that FitBark seamlessly generates. And even if we did, we wouldn't want to prevent a talented developer from creating something exciting for the greater good of all dogs.
On the other hand, embracing an open API not only fosters innovation, but also helps us create strong data-driven partnerships that generate additional revenues for FitBark and, in turn, make us more successful.
We are excited, and this is your call to action. If you are a dog loving developer and would like to participate in our adventure, please sign up here. We'll be in touch.