If your company is anything like most carsharing or vehicle sharing startups, or even in the tech sector at all, you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘tech stack’ before. It’s not just another piece of jargon, however. Understanding your tech stack is vital for the success of your product, whether it’s just a standalone app or a complete ecosystem.
To make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s clarify what we mean by ‘tech stack’. Imagine all the technologies used to build and maintain a web or mobile application. From the languages and libraries of the developers, to the front-end experience of the users, to the data analysis tools of the product managers, there are so many options at each step of the process. Making the right choice, or more importantly, having the flexibility of choice, can play a vital role in your car sharing business’s success.
An API (or Application Programming Interface) allows you to extend or customise your tech stack by creating, as the name suggests, an interface for communication; a handshake between your core platform and any third party apps, vehicles, tools or whatever it is that needs to connect! This is what gives your tech ecosystem the chance to grow and scale with you.
APIs allow you to connect to new software and hardware
Time for a real-world example, yay!
To use a very 21st century example, let’s imagine you want to get the latest model of your mobile phone. There may be a small set-up process, but before you know it, you’re making calls and googling what year ‘The Lion King’ was released just as you would have done previously (it’s ‘94 by the way). Only now you have vastly improved performance, a much crisper camera and maybe some extra features.
With an open API, the same thing is possible for your platform. Perhaps you just want some stronger, deeper data analysis. There are so many tools out there to help you, simply take your pick. Your analyst refuses to work with anything other than pure, uncensored SQL, no problem. What’s this hype around predictive analytics? Let’s try it! With the example of data, an API lets you leverage the many endpoints it offers to get the data you need into whatever tool or software you are using. It’s not 2013, so I won’t remind you how important data is for a tech business (or any business, for that matter). But deciding how, when, and what to analyse is a flexibility and advantage not all platforms offer.
An API gives you an open connection to your bigger, brighter, future business
In the world of carsharing - or really any shared mobility company - there’s a lot of handshaking to be done between different technologies. Driver license verification, payments and of course the vehicles, to name just a few. Vehicles need to be connected with an IoT device. All the data touch-points from this IoT device are then available to you to use as you please. Operationally, vehicle health and tracking is simple. For your customers, they get a seamless experience when finding, unlocking and riding your shared vehicles.
So our stack gets higher when you integrate or upgrade your IoT device. This raises the question: is this even possible with your current tech stack? Well, if your core platform is built with flexibility in mind, then yes! If not, then you’ll either be stuck with a limited selection of hardware choices, or you could move to a more open platform.
Vehicles with IoT devices are sharing-ready
In a carsharing company, the technology you use becomes the glue holding your product together. Since it plays such a pivotal role in determining your sharing startup’s success, it’s wise to go for something that can grow and scale with you. An API gives you an open connection to your bigger, brighter, future business!
It pays to give your business and your customers a smooth ride and a seamless experience. Make sure you can provide them with one by having a flexible platform that matches your ambitions.