Ask HN: What is your risk plan if your app is purely dependent on 3rd party API?

14 points by nibdo a year ago

You build app around specific free API, for example some social media. Without this API, your app is useless as you can't just easily switch providers like with some weather app.

What is your risk plan, when some day you could be cut off from accessing API?

Do you make it modular enough, so when time come, you just switch to another API?

I'm asking, because for me, it always seemed like a big risk without some long term agreement.

3dsnano a year ago

i used to be an amazon seller in the early days of FBA and that shit sucked. at one point our account got shut down due to some bullshit copyright infringement complaint from some other random-ass seller (this was for LED ninja swords).

amazon's response was to shut down our ability to make money, so we had tons of inventory in FBA for great items but were unable to sell any of it.

i sent email after email to seller support, but they didn't fucking care, so i started sending emails every day to pleading for help. i begged him to treat me (a seller on his platform) to treat me with the "manic customer obsession" bullshit he groans on and on about.

god looked at me that day and decided to atone my sins. by god i mean somehow jeff bezo brain saw my dumb emails and had a drone of his "bless our account" thereby unlocking our ability to make amazon money and grift off a small morsel to keep the fire burning and family eating frozen corn dogs.

oh, and now there's shopify, which is the better way, right? i mean they never screw anything up and they'd never treat us like amazon did?

making that mistake is dumb because you built a business around something because it was easy to get started and eventually become a user of, develop dependencies. kind of like how opiates and heroin and shit work (never tried it, stay clean yolo).

for the folks who built shit around twitter's API, i get it you are pissed now that some fucking zealot billionare shut you down.

so maybe don't build an app around a free API? where's the beef?????

SeanAnderson a year ago

I didn't have a risk plan aside from "grow big enough to fuck around and find out" and my idea was shut down :D :(

Modularity wasn't practical here as content is king.

Going forward, I still plan on using commercial APIs (chatGPT I'm looking at you), but will emphasize acquiring original content from users along the way to allow for more options to pivot if shit hits the fan.

aliqot a year ago

I never associated that mindset with risk plans, only contingencies and a drive to 'make hay while the sun shines' as it were

steponlego a year ago

Get bought out? We had a term for companies like this at my old place. Remoras.