Be bold but don’t lie to customers while selling something

XapiX: Developer tool to bridge the gap between API providers and APP developers

Please introduce yourself and your startup XAPIX to our readers!
Hi, I am Oliver, a Software Architect and senior Ruby on Rails Developer. I am an API, Hypermedia and Ruby enthusiast and that way became a co founder of XapiX.

XapiX is a Berlin born and San Francisco based enterprise software startup with the mission to “make APIs easy”. For our customers those APIs usually are hundreds of internal heterogeneous, decades old and often badly documented internal data interfaces.

How did you get the idea to XAPIX?
On a hackathon at the Factory in Berlin 2.5 years ago, I met my two co-founders. While I joined as a developers, Ralph’s aim was to connect with startups and enterprises through this prior BD role and Christian was promoting the usage of Lufthansa’s Open API. We synced on the challenge that accessing multiple data sources and APIs from the various enterprises was a challenging and complicated task for developers. Hardly any participant in the hackathon got more than one integrated if any.
So we had the idea to build a Data Integration as a Service tool for developers.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
We started out by doing field studies on hackathons to answer a burning question: What keeps developers from integrating an API or data source?
In that process we learned and wrote down what “makes an API easy” and share that publicly on conferences and workshops. We continuously applied our learnings on drop out points, Developer Experience and User Experience on our product XapiX.

Becoming a technology partner of a hackathon series hoster (tnooz.com) went pretty quick. A bigger challenge was to find first enterprise customers on the data provider side. In Lufthansa Innovation Hub we then found a partner whom we could support to gain traction and feedback around the Lufthansa API and support it on hackathons. Later on we facilitated an open innovation program for airberlin: More than 400 developers built travel apps on top of airberlin’s services. After that came the Techstars IoT accelerator in New York City and we have managed to grow our customer base steadily from there on.

Until that very time enterprise sales was really hard for us as a very small startup with an MVP’ish software.
On the tech side it was more around super fast prototyping without going into technical debt too much and still preserve our simplistic core data model that is making our software so flexible and easy to extend.

Who is your target audience?
Enterprises with a focus on digitization and innovation. Established corporates usually have systems that are decades old with very hard to use interfaces, manuals and documentation that counts hundreds of pages, if any, and full of domain knowledge artifacts of a specific team inside the company. Our audience are people who are having an interest in getting those interfaces truly interoperable to boost development of new internal projects and 3rd party partnerships. This helps those companies drive sales through new partner engagements. Our core audience are CDOs, CIOs, innovation managers and such.

What is the USP of your startup?
XapiX makes it easy for enterprise developers to discover, integrate and combine data and services from multiple internal or public data sources. As the “Github of APIs” XapiX helps businesses create, improve and distribute API-based products.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
I come to the office at 9am, get settled, read my emails and such and kick off the day with our engineering stand up. Then it’s coding time with occasional check ins on specific topics with my engineers until lunch.
After lunch our San Francisco based team members start their day, there is usually a lot more check ins, sales and customer sessions happening then. At 5pm CET we have a stand up call with every team member briefly reporting their day and schedule.
Around 6pm CET the engineering office typically starts emptying and I finish my tasks and attend networking events or just go home.

Where do you see yourself and your startup XAPIX in five years?
Seeing the progress of the last 2.5 years, I would see XapiX being widely known as the top notch solution for data transformation within corporates. Our customers will use our tool to break their data silos for internal projects and use it to provide an easy to use and thus very scalable integration method to external developers around the world.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
1. Be bold but don’t lie to customers while selling something.
2. Do quality networking.
3. Reflect well on critical business decisions with mentors and advisors and be approachable for your customers.

More information you will find here

Thank you Oliver Thamm for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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