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As the API economy matures, an increasing number of organizations are co-creating API-based products in collaboration with other ecosystem members — including customers, partners, independent developers, software vendors, etc. Empowered with a fresh perspective of consumer-centric thinking, organizations should be open to reimagining value creation in collaboration with their partners. 

Organizations are constructing ecosystems with APIs as building blocks that they can reuse in the API economy and act as a launchpad for future growth. In their journey to building a company of the future, organizations should embrace these four ecosystem principles to unlock new innovations: 

#1 Consider your APIs as products

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APIs are now seen as products and services. The shift in thinking towards APIs as products may pose the biggest hurdle along the way for organizations to truly unlock new sources of revenue. Organizations should break their current thought barriers and open up their business models — letting partners and developers in the door to co-create value. 

#2 Simplify your API offerings

As organizations build API products, they must avoid crumbling under questions such as “how should I bundle the products?” or “how should I go to market with the products” — as these questions get overwhelming quickly. Be prepared to experiment, fail fast, and mature your API capabilities as your ecosystem evolves.

#3 Define and measure success

With extensive experimentation, organizations also need a data-driven mindset and a direction for management and operations. To drive maximum value, leaders should continuously size their ecosystem investments for revenue, productivity, and customer experience to identify where APIs can best add value. Leaders should employ a disciplined approach to identify APIs that have the highest business impact and strategic value while keeping in mind the importance of quick wins.

#4 Gain customer loyalty

Organizations should not worry about cannibalizing their own business for short-term revenues; instead, they should focus on sustaining long-term customer loyalty — even if it means opening up to other companies being the point of engagement for customers or including competitors’ offerings in their end-to-end customer experience to enhance the customer’s value chain.  

Whether your organization is just starting to build an API ecosystem or is already growing one and looking to drive API consumption, measure success, and better engage consumers — MuleSoft can help. Check out the seven steps to creating a thriving API ecosystem by downloading our white paper. 

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