Hardly a week has passed since Elon Musk and the inhabitants of the Reddit WallStreetBets forum made headlines after a handful of retail investors taught a bunch of institutional investors a painful lesson about shorting the GameStop stock. But, a little more than a week later, both are in the mainstream news again, this time for the sudden meteoric growth in the share price of Agora — a new apparent darling of the API economy.
Buried in this CNBC article about the intersection of Elon Musk, Reddit, the social media platform Clubhouse, and Agora is a line that connects agility to value generation. It’s a principle that every organization must take to heart when it comes to the efficacy of APIs and the reasons for rethinking both your old and new application infrastructure as an API-led application network instead.
“It’s not widely [known], but the app was reportedly built on Agora’s application program interface (API) in a week.”
The quote, according to the CNBC article, comes from a user of the WallStreetBets forum who viewed an investment in Agora’s stock as a way to capitalize on a sudden and explosive interest in Clubhouse, much of which was driven by Musk’s recent arrival and engagement on the social media platform. The investment logic goes something like this: if you can’t invest in Clubhouse itself (which you can’t), then invest in the API platform that it’s built on. Especially when that API platform relies on the coin-operated API business model whereby consumers of an API are billed based on their usage, in the same way most of us pay for kilowatts of electricity. The bigger Clubhouse gets, the more it will consume the Agora API. Ergo, investors can indirectly invest in Clubhouse’s growth by investing in Agora whose stock ticker happens to be API.
To be clear, as of the publication of this blog post, there has been no confirmation that Agora’s APIs are in-fact powering the Clubhouse user experience. Additionally, just because Agora publicly advertises its coin-operated business model does not mean that Clubhouse hasn’t negotiated its own, non-coin-operated arrangement. Even so, everyone should take notice that Clubhouse may have needed only one week to enable its users with voice and video by sprinkling Agora’s API into its application as though it were garlic being casually added as an ingredient to mashed potatoes.
This same extraordinary time to value is widely recognized across MuleSoft’s API-led customers who, on average, report a 78.1% improvement in initiative time to market and a 63.5% improvement in software developer on-ramp time according to an Omidia analyst report.
Not only does this API-driven business operating model allow organizations to respond to rapidly shifting marketing conditions (like pandemics) with innovative solutions in record time, other “innovations” can fail faster, leaving precious time and resources available for another try.
To learn more about MuleSoft’s approach to value realization with APIs, download the report.