What is an API?


an API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of functions and procedures allowing the creation of applications that access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service.


An API is like a waiter in a restaurant.

Imagine that you are sitting down in a restaurant. You are representing the end user. The kitchen that prepares your food is representing the backend. The waiter is who communicates between the two, just like an API.

When you enter the restaurant, you interact with the waiter and place your order. The waiter then walks over to the kitchen and tells them what they need to prepare. Once ready, the waiter will bring your order from the kitchen back to you.

In other words...

An API is what helps facilitate communication between two applications, whether that be the frontend and backend or the backend or your platform and a 3rd party’s services.

Pre-Product Score


As a founder, an API is only relevant to you from a planning perspective. You need to know what third parties you will integrate or communicate with. If you are a product that works with Spotify, you need to read through Spotify’s API permissions to ensure that you can actually do what you intend on doing.

Live-Product Score


As a founder, an API is very relevant to you. You need to know what your product is interacting with. For example:

  • If your app interacts with Google Calendar, you need to understand how it interacts and what data you are trying to access.
  • You need to be able to speak with your developers to make sure your business priorities align with what is possible from an API point of view. If Google changes it’s permissions, that isn’t in the control of your development team, so you need to pivot as a business.

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