Close this search box.

What is API Product Management? Everything You Need to Know

By Jason Knight – Product Director at DueDil

What is a product? A product is a tool or a service that solves a problem that exists for many people and solves it in a sustainable and scalable way. What distinguishes a successful product is its sustainability, scalability, and the ability to function as a tool or service.

In the domain of API product management, the focus lies on product managers to build APIs or solutions that work for many people. So it’s important to consider the scalability aspect of API product management, because that will ensure the product’s relevance and impact in the market.

Key Takeaways:

  • Product management and API product management both involve finding solutions to product problems while collaborating with UX, tech and business teams.
  • Product managers do not need to build APIs as that is the role of the engineering team.
  • But they do need to know their product well, interact with the API and need to understand how to send requests and receive and read responses.
In this article
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    What is API product management?

    product management and API product management are essentially the same, despite differing in their products. This fundamentally involves deciding the problems that are most important, and working with your engineers and stakeholders, to build the solutions that work to solve those problems. In the context of API Product Management, the ideal solution often takes the form of an Application Programming Interface.

    A product manager’s role requires him to operate at the intersection of three major teams- UX, business and technology to understand what’s important and provide the best solutions.

    What API Product Managers don't need

    There is a common misconception that API product managers need to be technical. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t need extensive technical expertise to become good at their job. Though they need to understand technology, they don’t need to be developers. If they have a background in tech, it might be an added advantage but it is not a requirement. The reason behind that is because there is a full-fledged engineering and technology team for that purpose.

    These engineering teams take care of the programming languages, protocols, implementation details, or any technical details that have to be utilized in API building.

    What API Product Managers do need

    Though technical expertise is not a necessary requirement for API product managers, they do need to be able to understand their own product. So they need to be able to interact with an API including sending requests, receiving responses and reading responses from an API. So there is some level of expertise needed around this aspect. But the good news is, this is something that they can pick up quite easily with very little fuss. 

    Another important skill that they need is being able to articulate and explain APIs to various stakeholders. It is a critical skill of any product manager’s job to be able to explain your product, and the value that it can bring to customers. 

    API Product Management is a relatively new field that requires a unique set of skills like product understanding, communication, and a basic grasp of API interactions. While the role does not demand extensive technical expertise, API Product Managers play an important role in driving the success of products that rely on APIs.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    In API Product Management, the usual solution for product problems often takes the form of an Application Programming Interface (API).

    It is a common misconception that API product managers need technical expertise to solve product problems. The engineering and technology teams are required to have these skills.

    Product managers need to be able to interact with an API including sending requests, receiving responses and reading responses from an API. They also need to be able to clearly explain APIs to various stakeholders

    About the Author:

    Jason KnightProduct Director at DueDil

    Explore Our Programs

    Institute of Product Leadership is Asia’s First Business School providing accredited degree programs and certification courses exclusively in Product Management, Strategy, and Leadership.

    Talk to a counselor today and embark on your journey towards becoming an exceptional product manager.

    Whether you’re seeking advice on career paths, looking to enhance your skills, or facing challenges in your current role, our counselors are ready to provide valuable insights and actionable strategies.