API AARRR funnel
DX is just part of the story when it comes to managing an API product.
Following the AARRR funnel, these are the factors that influence each step of the way:
- DX influences acquisition and activation: Developers build integrations with an API once so they don’t have power over the retention of second-degree users (people who use your API indirectly through an integrated application). Activation is also influenced by DX through authentication and authorization. Use something like API keys and users will find it hard to start using your API. With something like OAuth, things will be easier.
- API UX influences retention and referral: Alignment with the needs of consumers makes them use an API repeatedly. Being available on the tools that consumers use, and following the architectural style that best adapts, makes using the API a joy. Happy users who obtain value from an API will refer it to others.
- VX influences revenue: Being able to align the value you’re offering to consumers with your monetization model will enable a stream of revenue. Consumers who extract the right value from an API will be open to paying for using it.
I’ve been exploring this area and I’m synthesizing my findings in this framework.