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Web Services as a Strategy for Startups: Opening Up and Letting Go
Stewart Butterfield, General Manager, Flickr, Yahoo! Inc.
Cal Henderson, Lead Developer, Flickr/Yahoo!

Date: Tuesday, March 15
Time: 9:15am - 9:30am
Location: California Ballroom B & C

Move over eBay, Amazon, and Google: exposing the functionality of your applications through standard web services protocols is a viable move for even scrappiest little startups.

It can be a very risky move, but the potential benefits are huge: happier users, a healthier ecosystem, accelerated time to market, and product depth--and a more disciplined development effort internally.

Drawing on real world experience in designing, launching, and managing the Flickr API (available in REST/SOAP/XML-RPC), Butterfield's session gives an overview of the business decisions, product design goals, architecture, and technical implementation of a web service that has given rise to a thriving development community.

Capturing the creative energy of the hive can be scary. It requires giving up some control, and eliminating lock-in as a strategy. This session candidly addresses what went right and what went wrong, using concrete examples drawn from the code shipped by outside developers to illustrate what opening up can mean to a startup.

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