DO YOU HAVE disdain for your customers? Do you
wish they would go away? When you interact with
customers are you silently fantasizing about them
switching to your competitor’s product? In short, do
you hate your customers?
Maybe you should try using your company’s external
APIs to show your disdain. What? How could you do that?
In this article, I document a number of industry
best practices designed to show customers how
much you hate them. All of them are easy to
implement. Heck, your company may be doing many
of them already.
Why would you want to use your company’s API to
show your hate? I think the answer is quite simple:
Customers are jerks.
Darn customers! Always using our services!
Bothering our salespeople for quotes!
Creating more work for the accounts
receivable department by sending us
money. Needing customer support for
stupid reasons such as: “The documen-
tation is wrong,” or “This feature is bro-
ken,” or “Your product killed my cat.”
Older readers may long for the good
old days when companies that were ac-
tual monopolies would pretend to love
their customers. Now we all work for
companies that don’t admit to being
monopolies and actually hate their cus-
tomers. Boy, how times have changed.
Technique #1: Don’t Have an API
Not having an API is a good start. It
also requires the least effort of all the
techniques. All you have to do is think
about adding an API, then not do it.
What good is an API, anyway? Primarily it allows customers to implement features that you didn’t think
of. “Look, buddy, if we didn’t think of
the feature, it couldn’t possibly be very
good. We hire the best and brightest
to think of new features all day long
and not implement them. Don’t horn
in on their turf.”
APIs also permit customers to use a
lot more of your product. If they have to
click, click, click to use your product,
they are going to use it only a little. If an
API exists, they can automate their use
of your product, which would let them
use it a lot more. They could automate
provisioning for their entire company.
They could build entire new applications based on your API. Just think how
much more of your product they would
be able to consume with an API.
How totally rude! If they use your
product more, you will have to buy more
servers, spend more time cashing their
checks, and, heaven forbid, maybe start
hosting conferences where people use
terms such as leverage, hackathons, and
chalk talks. Conferences? Ick.
Technique #2: Make Signups Difficult
OK, you have lost the battle and your
company wants to build an API anyway.
At least you can press the brakes a bit
If You Hate
Article development led by
Application programming interfaces
speak louder than words.
BY THOMAS A. LIMONCELLI