September 26, 2012

BAPI San Francisco 2012: The Perfect Mix


Think Best Buy—a household name by any measure, the specialty retailer has a huge market share in sales of consumer electronics in the U.S., along with a growing presence in such regions as Canada and China. Now switch to, a startup with a solution for SMB brand and social media managers to segment and engage social influencers in real time, based on demographics, rare interests, life-stage and personality. And just one more: Capital One, the brand behind the “What’s In Your Wallet?” TV ads. This multinational conglomerate is a true pioneer in credit cards and a fixture in the Fortune 500.  

It’s hard to think of a more diverse group of businesses, but they do have some things in common. For one, they’re among the real innovators in using API strategies to expand their business. For another, the people heading up those efforts will be talking about what they’re doing, and how they’re doing it, on the morning of the first Business of APIs (BAPI) conference this year, in San Francisco on Oct. 2, 2012. 

The difference between these corporate entities is partly what makes this group so interesting. 

For example, Jeffrey Schaubschlager, the Senior Product Manager for Best Buy's Emerging Platforms department, led the transformation of a raw API platform, fresh out of beta, into a product and strategy that’s now a significant driver of growth for Best Buy. In fact, BBY Open—tasked with driving Future Ready Retail—was a winner of  the company’s Global Growth Strategy Award last year. His topic at BAPI is ‘Platform Diving – Head First.  How to Build A Real API Business,’ and he brings a wealth of experience to the task., meanwhile, is at the other end of the spectrum—it’s betting on an API as the sole go-to-market channel, with offerings that help developers build more relevant apps and websites for their users through rare interests, personality traits, derived demographics and sentiment analysis. Andi Gillentine, whose title really is the Producer, identifies an API as “the most direct route to massive traction in online commerce and advertising.”  She’ll be addressing an even more daunting challenge, one that should be of unique interest to every attendee: ‘Launching an API from Zero to 60 in 60 Days.’ (Full disclosure: We work with her on that sprint, and we’re proud of it.)

Finally, Capital One will be represented by Paul Sun, who leads the West Coast office of Capital One Labs, a unit created in early 2011 to accelerate the company’s enterprise-wide digital agenda through research and learning, rapid prototyping, and applied pilot market tests. He oversees a cross-functional team in the conception, design, implementation, and marketing of Capital One’s partner  platform and collaborates with strategic partners to bring new customer experiences and business models to life. His focus is on ‘Enabling Financial Services Innovation with APIs.’ What’s going to be in your wallet a year from now? 

Every one of these presentations (and all the others as well) will be short, informative and collaborative. If you’re in San Francisco on Oct. 2, come by. If you are not in San Francisco, be sure to come to our Business of APIs (BAPI) conference  in New York, Oct. 17 or London, Nov. 6.