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Building Digital Ecosystems - Digital Experience and Developer Experience

Interview with Nick Veenhof (Dropsolid)

Aug 12, 2021

Nick Veenhof is the CTO of Dropsolid, a Digital Experience company, offering a single platform driven by various Open Source technologies.

In this episode:

What specialization has to do with the evolution of organizations and why is it essential to think about companies as part of complex (digital) ecosystems?

Tune in and learn about:

  • What’s the difference between Digital Experience and Developer Experience platforms
  • Why pure SaaS solutions can be a dead end for organizations on the long term
  • Why APIs and digital ecosystems mean serious challenge for data sovereignty
  • Why specialization is crucial for organizations to provide value, and how Dropsolid and Pronovix managed to find their markets by differentiation


Also available on Anchor, Google, and Apple.


2:45 Digital Experience and Developer Experience: two sides of the same coin

4:00 build or buy

4:30 out-of-the-box, configure, build

5:35 devportal-as-a-service

7:00 Product businesses, where an API portal is a must VS Service businesses they should/could have API portals

8:00 time is our common constrain: reducing the time of building integrations means that you are faster than the competition

9:00 two main driving factors of change today: Digital proximity: digital experience through interfaces. A defined end-to-end journey that organizations can control Complex adaptive organizations: instead of hierarchical control they provide capabilities for users and even ecosystems

12:50 social impact of open source: it is about sharing and reusing

17:00 organization size: above a certain level human scale interconnections are no longer possible

17:50 shift from human centered hierarchical organzitaions to structures where teams communicate via interfaces

19:00 creating APIs: governance and constraints are crucial

19:40 on top of that: you need developer experience that helps adaptivity and evolvement

21:50 API gateways and data sovereignty

22:30 “Do I really have control over my data?”

24:50 “Are you a product or a service company? – Kind of both.”

27:00 Customers often expect clean product with clear boundaries. But then in the long term it is against scalability.

29:50 Who is going to adapt to whom? The organization will adapt to the tool or the way around? Young organizations might be able to do the former one.

31:50 60-70 people in a company is the scale where nobody can contact everybody in a timely manner

33:30 deploy auto-braking machines above a size: making things sustainable is key in large and medium orgs

35:50 transitioning from an (Drupal) agency to a DX company was crucial in the success of both Dropsolid and Pronovix

38:00 Challenge: help customers shaping the project rather than just providing what they (think they) need

41:00 Open Source and Fair Code license

45:00 differentiating, specializing and succeeding as a company is similar to the evolution of species

45:50 building ecosystems

47:00 ecosystems: Walmart vs. Amazon


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