OPEN TALK (API): Build vs Buy: How APIs Can Speed up the Product Development Process

Tanel Tähepõld
PDF Generator API, Founder

Tanel Tähepõld is a product manager (and a founder) from Estonia.He started his career as a developer in Mobi Solutions, a company that has launched the careers of many up-and-coming talents from Estonia. Over the course of his career, he has focused more and more on APIs to the point where he was responsible for all internal and external APIs at Fleet Complete — the leading global provider of fleet and asset management services.Tanel is now focusing on building his own company, PDF Generator API, which brings together his two passions — SaaS products and APIs.

We, as developers and engineers, love to build new things - it is in our DNA. But as CTOs, engineering leads and product managers, we need to take one step back and look over our strategy. The challenge we often face is that the business side expects us to deliver the best product with the least time without compromising the quality. How can this be done with limited resources and short timeframes?

Whenever planning a new application or improving an existing one, we should constantly evaluate if the next feature is developed in-house or pick an off-the-shelf solution. I believe that one should only build the things that are the core function of their business and add direct value to IP and customers.

Let's dig into the benefits and challenges of using third party APIs to speed up the product development process.