11 Lessons Learned as an API-first Product Manager

In a previous post, we talked about why developer experiences are so critical in today’s modern technology focused world. A subsequent post focused on APIs – how they help enable developer experiences and drive exponential end-user value. In this post I focus on building APIs and 11 lessons that have been invaluable in my journey as an API focused Product Manager.

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Plaid and Visa, PSD2, and the API-first Economy

We dove into why developer experiences are gaining criticality in my last post. Part of the post focused on APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) & use cases they enable. Often referred to as the plumbing beneath the modern application development infrastructure, APIs seem to be everywhere. The $5.3B Plaid acquisition by Visa and the PSD2 mandate enforced in Europe were just the latest high profile examples that shone the spotlights on this. In this post, we dive deeper into an exciting revolution in the Fintech industry and understand the value driven by APIs.

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DX: The Developer Experience Initiative every B2B company needs to build on

The $7.5B Github acquisition by Microsoft last year placed lots of focus on the value of selling to developers in today’s technologically diverse ecosystem, and the investments companies are willing to make to cater to this community.

This wasn’t a surprising move and follows many such moves – IBM spending $34B on RedHat, Twilio acquiring Sendgrid for $2B, and even Salesforce acquiring Heroku for $250M as far back as 2011. If there is still skepticism, one only needs to follow the mind boggling growth patterns of businesses such as AWS, Stripe, and Atlassian that are building products with one primary theme – enabling developers to be more productive. So lets explore why the developer user base is so critical to companies today and how should organisations build products to address this? 

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Scaling your small business website? It might be time for a CDN. But wait, what’s a CDN?

We are living the online economy today. Business models that are solely reliant on online revenue, distribution, and awareness are entrenched in our system. This is an irreversible trend, and there is no going back.

As online business owners look to expand their businesses and tackle the challenges related to scale and differentiation, one of the first things they hear is “you should think of leveraging a CDN to help with your website”. In this post I’ll try to bring more clarity to the murky world of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), how they work, and why they are so important for enterprise websites or anyone looking to scale their online business. 

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EMC’s Unity Virtual Storage Appliance: A deep dive

EMC announced Unity, its brand new midrange product line at EMC World this week. The Unity evolution story is fascinating and you can read more about it here.

The new product line includes the UnityVSA- a software only subscription based offering that complements the Unity hardware platform. In this post I dive deeper into the benefits provided by this new solution in the exciting software defined world.

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Five Practical Product Management Lessons from ProductCamp Boston

ProductCamp Boston hosted its annual conference last weekend – this year’s event had more than 500 ‘Product People’, making it the largest ProductCamp in the world. For me, the most fascinating observation was how Product Managers across all kinds of organizations- enterprise or consumer oriented, small or large, and catering to very different customer segments face a very similar set of daily challenges and can use similar tools to deal with these.

The conference had over 80 sessions catering to different facets of Product Management. Having had the opportunity to attend five sessions through the day, I wanted to share some takeaways that resonated:

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Behavioral Economics in Emerging Storage: Taking away the Pain of Paying

Imagine the following very regular situation- after a great Saturday night out at his favorite country bar, Jim decides to call it a night and head back home. He steps out and sees a line of yellow cabs waiting. He ignores them and pulls out the Uber app on your IPhone. The app informs him that surge pricing is at 2x. This means his uber ride will be more expensive than hailing a regular cab. 

Yet Jim ignores both the cost and additional waiting time and sticks to the Uber ride. Seems familiar? Irrational? 

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The Business Benefits of Software Defined Storage

After my last post on VSAs I received a few notes/questions around expanding upon the benefits of VSAs over traditional arrays. I felt it will be beneficial to step back and discuss the big picture benefits of the Software Defined Storage (SDS) space in general. In this post I discuss the key attributes that are making SDS so popular.

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What is a Virtual Storage Appliance?

What is a Virtual Storage Appliance?

One of the hottest trends in the storage industry recently has been that of the Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA). Depending on who your favorite market research firm is, the CAGR for VSAs is projected to be between 25 to 48% over the next five years. What is a virtual storage appliance? Surely this doesn’t mean that all your data goes virtual too? Where is the data actually stored? In this post I’ll aim to address these questions and simplify this new emerging trend.

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Demystifying the Hybrid Cloud

Keeping up with technology can be an impossible task. It only feels like a few months ago when we were all still trying to figure out what exactly the cloud was. For those still living under a cloud (for lack of a better word), cloud computing refers to the ability to access you data from anywhere. Your information is stored by cloud providers (such as Amazon and Google) inside their own physical infrastructure instead of on your devices (such as hard disks) as done previously. Cloud host interfaces then allow you to connect any device to their storage and hence provide ubiquitous access.

But just as we were getting comfortable with this, enterprises and startups everywhere have started promoting the hybrid cloud. So what exactly is this hybrid cloud!?

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