How to Monetize an API’s Users

Today, I’m excited to announce the API-First Directory, a growing record of API-first companies across enterprise and consumer industries.

You can find the API-First Directory here and fill out this form to add your API-first company. Any VC-backed, acquired or public company qualifies as long as it has a valid URL and APIs are core to the company’s business.

My hope is that this will encourage the API-first ecosystem of entrepreneurs to continue to flourish, share best practices and learn from each other. …

How to Sell a Data Product

By Paul Hsiao, Grace Isford & Tobias Macey

Source: AWS Summit Sydney Presentation

Data is exploding, but the current data management workflow is broken across organizations large and small. Data continues to grow at 10x every 5 years and the collection of data tools continues to proliferate. For organizations evaluating data tools, the sophisticated ones grapple with whether a solution will be able to deliver value quickly as it gets started, with the potential to scale 100x and serve across many departments for the next 10–15 years.

How do you, as a data entrepreneur cut through the noise and land your first 20 data customers…

By Grace Isford & Gary Little

90% of modern software is open source, and 77% of companies use open source software in commercial products. Open source software (OSS) adoption continues to grow, expanding across every industry. With that increase, how enterprises manage and control their OSS use within their codebases will continue to increase in importance.

In spite of a growing open source landscape and increased opportunities for enterprise companies to leverage open source as a bigger component of their codebases, the existing developer experience for tracking and using open source software is poor with fragmented control and limited visibility…

How to Give Your Users Superpowers

Starting an API-first company bringing your users superpowers? I’d love to hear from you at

APIs are nothing new. In 2006, my colleague Gary Little wrote the first check into MuleSoft, the software integration platform to connect any app or data source using APIs. An overwhelming majority of software today is built using APIs.

But the next, exciting phase of the API economy, specifically third-party APIs, is just beginning in 2020. With the rise of serverless applications, backend functionalities are increasingly behind APIs, rather than on web servers. With an accelerated transition to cloud computing, APIs are playing a…

Here’s where VCs can invest to make a difference in the wake of the pandemic

Startup logos including Zoom, Slack, Coursera, Peloton, and more on a chart titled VC Investing in the Age of Covid-19.
Startup logos including Zoom, Slack, Coursera, Peloton, and more on a chart titled VC Investing in the Age of Covid-19.
Image: Grace Isford

Despite the economic impact of this crisis, there are many venture capitalists proclaiming they are “open for business,” eager to hunt down the next Uber, Slack, or Airbnb founded in the formative times of the last recession. The worst pandemic of the century appears to have occurred at the same time that the venture capital industry is sitting on a record amount of dry powder (unallocated capital) — $1.45 trillion in private markets by the end of 2019. As Stanford entrepreneurship professor Tina Seelig likes to say, “The bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity.

I am most motivated to…

Grace Isford

Investor at Canvas Ventures

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