Commentary

If The World And Enterprises Are Programmable, What Does That Make Us Humans?

API platform provider Apigee today launched the Apigee Institue, a research organization Apigee hopes will help Global 2000 companies in the app economy. The Institue will release monthly research notes. The first note, "Programmable World, Programmable Enterprise," became available today. I asked Bryan Kirschner, director of the Apigee Institute, what their definition of "programmable" was in this sense - as we all know that anything with a "program" prefix in the advertising world typically means automation.

In this case, it doesn't mean automation, but Apigee's "Programmable World, Programmable Enterprise" note hits the nail on the head as to what advertising technology is doing to the tangible world; it's changing it in real-time. Take a look at the ordinary list of items that Apigee gives in the research note that, when connected to ad tech such as an APIs, are creating a programmable world.

"Cars, televisions, DVD players, refrigerators, and washers all retain distinctive core purposes but can now connect to APIs and run apps. By connecting to APIs they can deliver on the larger context of their users' needs: cars can present traffic information, TVs and DVD players can stream movies, and washers can run when electricity is cheapest." Then, Apigee sums it up beautifully: "The cumulative effect of more devices and changed user expectations is creating a programmable world that we are just beginning to fully experience."

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There's a month wait in between Apigee's new surveys and benchmarks - all meant to help IT professionals and marketers speak the same language and see how the "best" are doing it - so it's not exactly coming out in real-time. In fact, today's news from Apigee doesn't include much about RTB, programmatic, or any other buzzwords we have been programmed to know. What interested me was the fact that, according to Apigee, the world is becoming programmable, and I agree.

Eventually, we got to Kirschner saying that humans are becoming programmable. Now, he wasn't speaking in a literal sense, but I posed the question anyway: Will the monthly reports - including benchmarks from industry leaders and insights into how to use APIs, apps, and data - essentially program marketing execs as to how to act?

I might be speaking hyperbolically, and he laughed the question off, saying that Apigee's original research is meant to help in a broader sense, but I think he was spot on in implying that humans are pliable.

If enterprises need to be programmable to thrive in a programmable world, doesn't that also make us, the humans, programmable?

1 comment about "If The World And Enterprises Are Programmable, What Does That Make Us Humans?".
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  1. Joseph Pych from NextMark, Inc., May 17, 2013 at 9:22 a.m.

    Humans do have API's today e.g. Nike FuelBand

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