Any damn fool can make something complex.
It takes a genius to make something simple.
Pete Seeger, American Singer and Songwriter (1919 2014)
I currently work for The Expedia Group as the Senior Global Product Manager for Expedia's partner-facing API platform. This platform provides search and book capability for partners looking to integrate Expedia Lodging, Flight, Car, Package, and Activity products into their websites and applications.
API Platform Ownership
Over the past 2 years in this role I have worked with business and technology teams to completely redesign and rebuild our entire API Platform, which was delivered in 18 months from start to finish. Building a solution platform from the ground up was tremendously satisfying and it's great to see the platform begin to drive significant change and value with Expedia partners.
API Product Management
Product Management has been the best fit thus far for my diverse skill set:
Product Management is best described as the intersection
between business process, user experience, and technology.
The unique value proposition of a Product Manager is that they are conversant with all of the disciplines in the graphic above and could do a respectable job at any of them. They should be the one person who understands all aspects of the product and can set a direction based on the challenges and opportunities inherent in all three at the same time.
The Complex Challenge
Being the Product Manager of an API platform has inherent challenges built in: APIs are products that you cannot readily see. Their features are invisible to the naked eye, and only appear once you have both access and instruction. There are additional challenges to my API platform though.
The API Platform that I manage supports hundreds of billions of transactions per day, and tens of billion dollars in bookings per year. As a shared platform, it is leveraged by 17 different teams spread across 8 Expedia Group companies. It supports 5 separate Design Patterns each enabling a set of unique Use Cases. Managing this platform means effectively managing across the organization and ensuring that all stakeholders are getting their needs met.