After working hard for months and iterating numerous times based on our beta feedback, Emergent One is launching to the public!
What is Emergent One?
Emergent One automatically generates REST APIs for existing applications and databases.
Have you ever wanted to launch an API to your users? Maybe build a new mobile app to expand your reach? Or enable your partners to integrate with your data to expand your business? Us too! Only building an API is hard and takes a long time, especially if you’re application wasn’t built with an API in mind. We launched this endeavor after working on a Rackspace API with a 4 developer-year product roadmap.
So we set off to make building APIs easier for everyone. Now, if you have an application built on a MySQL or PostgreSQL database, you can have an API up and running today! And not only do you get a robust new REST API but we automatically generate documentation (who likes writing that stuff anyway), provide you with a customizable developer portal, and support client libraries for Ruby, Java/Android, and (in the next couple days) Objective-C/iOS.
How Does It Work?
Emergent One works by establishing a connection to your existing database. We have step-by-step guides to establishing a direct connection, and a lightweight agent in development that will automatically configure a completely secure reverse-SSH tunnel to your database server. Once connected, we gather a bit of metadata, and you’re ready to start designing your API.
In our simple API editor you can manipulate your data into more API-friendly forms. After just a few minutes of configuration, your new API is online. You can customize things further by adding a custom hostname, branding your developer portal, enabling user-based authentication, or monetizing your dataset by charging users for access. We handle the rest, auto-magically.
Click here for a more detailed explanation of our platform and features.
How Do I Get Started?
The first 30 days are free, and we are extremely dedicated to working with you over this period to make your API awesome. Just sign up and explore.
Head on over to our home page to learn more. You can also always contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll work with you personally.
We look forward to helping build a world filled with many, many more great APIs!
Recently there was a post on Hacker News that showed off an easily configurable MySQL table for countries in the world. Yet sometimes, for those quick and dirty scripts, importing a database dump into MySQL is still too much effort. So I present a free and easy to use REST API based off this data: The Country and Timezone API
You can register for a key, read up on the documentation, and explore the API.
Example Use Case
Fill an option group with country codes, use selected code to get country information.
Note: We’re taking advantage of the hypertext driven nature of this API, so even if the API changes this code snippet will not break!
This REST API was built using the Emergent One platform. If you have a database that you’d like to expose via an API, we’re in open beta now! We’re also doing a webinar where we’ll create an API from scratch on October 15th 2012 at 3pm Eastern / 12pm Pacific.
Hacker News Discussion: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4635962
Original Thread: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4562051
Props to http://github.com/peric for the original post
Your elevator pitch. This short summary of your business is as important as it is difficult to craft.
Not only has a well tuned elevator pitch help my co-founder and I land a seed round of investment but has also brought us dozens of clients. The various articles we’ve been mentioned in have all used our elevator pitch to describe our business. It becomes the basis of how you talk about your startup and how others see it. The core of your message is built into the pitch.
It took us roughly a month to land on a pitch that we loved. And we’ve been using it ever since. But we kept a record of every pitch we said out loud, and we wanted to share the evolution.
First, the pitch we give today: Emergent One generates a customized REST API for an existing application in minutes.
Now let’s rewind that pitch a month.
Building a public API for a legacy application can be an expensive and time consuming process. Emergent One can automatically generate a world-class REST API for these applications at the push of a button, enabling data portability, third party integrations, and collaboration with partners.
Building a public API for a legacy application can be an expensive and time consuming process. Emergent One can automatically generate a world-class REST API for these applications at the push of a button, enabling new integrations, access to the mobile world, and collaboration with partners.
Many companies have built web applications without concern for an API, and retrofitting a good API can be difficult and expensive. For these applications, Emergent One can instantly generate a world-class API, enabling new channels such as the mobile world, integration with partners, and an external developer community.
Our early pitches were extremely verbose. In a set of two sentences, we were trying to explicitly answer “What’s the problem you’re solving?””, “How do you solve it?”, and “Why is it valuable?”. At face value, answering all those questions sound like the makings of a wholesome elevator pitch!
But people couldn’t figure out what we did after we pitched it. How could this be?
Many companies have built web applications without concern for an API, and retrofitting a good API can be difficult and expensive. For these applications, Emergent One can instantly generate a world-class API directly from the database in under 5 minutes.
Many companies have built web applications without concern for an API, and retrofitting a good API can be difficult and expensive. For these applications, Emergent One can generate a customized API directly from the database in under 5 minutes.
We hypothesized that the pitch was too long, and people were getting lost in the middle just from the sheer number of words we were dropping at once. This thought proved true, and you’ll notice that the pitches get shorter and shorter over time.
Companies that want to go mobile or integrate with partners with their existing data need an API, but either don’t have one, or have one that’s not sufficient. For these companies, Emergent One can automatically generate a customized REST API directly from a database in as little as 5 minutes.
A good API is required to integrate an application with mobile devices and partners. Emergent One generates a customized REST API for an existing application directly from the data store, quickly enabling these integrations at a fraction of the cost.
Emergent One generates a customized REST API for an existing application, quickly enabling new integrations with mobile platforms and partners at a fraction of the cost of in-house development.
An interesting transition happened during the weeks that we used the above 3 pitches. Mentioning the benefits of our product to mobile developers started resonating heavily, so we featured it within our pitch.
However, as time went on this proved a detriment to our conversations. Our audience, investors in particular, started to pigeon-holed us into being a tool for that vertical only, and began to dismiss the business because “market was too small”.
It’s extremely difficult to take advantage of data that’s locked away in old, unmaintained software. Emergent One generates a customized API for these applications in minutes, freeing critical business data for new uses.
There’s a ton of data locked away in the databases of existing applications without APIs. Emergent One enables new channels and opportunities for these applications by generating a customized API in minutes.
There are a massive number of applications without an API with data locked away and unavailable for new opportunities. Emergent One makes it super easy to create an API in minutes, enabling access to new partners and integrations.
After we removed mention of mobile from the pitch, we stumped across the phrasing “data locked away.” It allowed us to paint a picture of old, decaying software that needed life pumped back into it through new innovations. It also pitched our product as useful to the systems integration market, which is significantly larger than the mobile marketing we were pitching previously.
The 2/8/2012 pitch seemingly worked great for weeks. People immediately understood what we did, and why it was useful.
But this isn’t the pitch that we use today.
During our time in TechStars Cloud, a San Antonio based accelerator, we pitched our business dozens of times a day. But we didn’t just judge pitches on how effective they communicated the product their company was building. Instead, during the group pitch sessions, we would evaluate them by asking two questions back to our audience: “Do you understand what do we do?” and “What’s your first question?”
By asking the audience for their first question about our business, not only were we able to figure out the weak points in the pitch, but we were able to figure out how to steer the conversation about our business in the direction we wanted it to go.
The 2/8/2012 pitch both started and ended the conversation in two sentences. People stopped asking us good follow up questions. Our audience was content with the content of the pitch, and weren’t intrigued enough to probe further.
So we stripped everything that wasn’t core to what we did. And as a result, we landed on our final pitch: Emergent One generates a customized REST API for an existing application in minutes.
After pitching this single sentence, not only did people began asking follow up questions again, almost everyone’s first question converged into: “How?”
This was exactly the follow up question we wanted.
They understood the why, the what, and they wanted to just know how. And they were excited to learn more about how our platform worked. This made it incredibly easy for us to transition into any point we wanted to make, with the full attention of the audience.
Successfully leading your audience to ask questions that you want to answer is the key to making a good elevator pitch great.
And while the current iteration has been very successful, we aren’t settling. As long as you’re regularly pitching your business, your elevator pitch should always be evolving.