Just over a week ago, we published the first draft of the Dribbble API. But it seems like much longer, given the avalanche of API-related inquiries, shots, apps, sites and other creations in this short period.
Players and other interested parties have been requesting an API from Dribbble’s [yes, I’m going there] Inception. (They asked during the beta; the beta beta; the beta beta beta; ok, the top has long stopped spinning on this joke.) We’ve always been excited about the prospect of having an API, but dragged our feet on it for a while, as it comes with risks.
Releasing an API marks the progression of an application from web site to PLATFORM. Even without the caps, it’s a scary transition. Ease of access to your data is accompanied by potential for abuse, new and more difficult-to-predict scaling issues, loss of control over the presentation of your content, the need to define guidelines for usage, etc. It’s a big leap.
It also presents business challenges: If folks start viewing Dribbble through other lenses (iPhone, iPad, etc), are we cannibalizing our own advertising revenue? How do our nascent efforts toward a sustainable Dribbble (revenue) fit in this new paradigm?
We thought long and hard about all these issues, read all the research and came up with a comprehensive 5-year plan for our business. Wait, that was in the dream. What we actually did was add another server, set some rate limits and take the red pill. (Whoops, wrong movie.)
We’re not sure how many levels deep the API is going to take us. And we don’t know what it means for our current reality. Nonetheless, the seed has been planted. APInception. We can’t wait to see what you dream up.
Posted by Rich