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Alex Akimov (Monite): API First Strategy: Adapting Your  Approach for Startups vs. Enterprises

API The Docs 2023 Developer Success: Looking Beyond Developer Experience Recap

This talk was presented at the API The Docs Amsterdam 2023 conference on 6-7 June. We are glad to present the video recording and the talk summary.

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Alex Akimov

Head of API Platform at Monite

Alex's presentation (video recording) 

“You cannot achieve high quality of your API in just a single day. It is always a sequence of steps, it is a mindset and company culture.”


In the demo, you can hear about:

  • What patterns we can observe in the case of startups and enterprise organizations with regard to size, maturity, speed, opportunities, legacy, and institutionalization (resistance to change). 
  • API strategy & API First principles: Regardless of what API strategy enterprises and startups used in the past, what is important is how they build their product now.
  • Examples of different API strategies in startup and enterprise environments: API as a product, API documentation, API governance, API change management, and pragmatism vs. perfectionism.
  • Conway's law, the Inverse Conway maneuver, and the influence that organizational structure and system architecture have on the final product.
  • The role of API culture in both startups and enterprise organizations. 


  • Try to come up with some patterns and techniques to better understand the organization. See how principles and best practices arise from the patterns. 
  • At a startup, it’s easier to set up API First at the beginning. Always focus on moving fast. 
  • At an enterprise, spend time on automation and API discovery. Seek for different ways to reduce the amount of legacy. 
  • At both: talk about APIs, evangelize, enable, find allies and ambassadors. Make sure everyone understands that API doesn’t end with API design.

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