High fives to MailChimp today. They just launched a $1 million integrations fund. They are paying small amounts to startups to fund development on their API. They don’t want equity. They just want you to do it. Awesome.
If you can believe it, when FreshBooks, MailChimp, BatchBlue, Outright, and Shoeboxed started The Small Business Web nearly two years ago most companies I talked to still thought that APIs were crazy talk. They would say to me, “Why would we give away our data?”
Of course, in hindsight, that’s a stupid question. First, it’s not your data. It’s the customers’! But more importantly, integrations drive sales of your software. At FreshBooks, we found using a single integration triples the conversion rate from free to paid.
It’s awesome to see MailChimp putting their money where their API is. The most common question The Small Business Web faces today isn’t should we have an API, but why should I build on yours? Good on MailChimp for boldly answering that question.