If you’ve read about Prysm’s history, you know that the company acquired a software company called Anacore in 2014. I was the founder of this Indianapolis-based firm.
In our early days, companies hired us to develop custom software applications, which were often deployed on touchscreen displays. When customers challenged us to develop special functionality or integration with some legacy data source, the answer was always “yes.” There was almost no project we wouldn’t take on.
At first, we built each custom project from the ground up. However, after a couple of years in business, we noticed something our projects had in common — each of them was powered by a CMS (content management system) that we built from scratch every time. So, we began to focus more attention on building a more robust CMS that would become the foundation for each of our custom projects.
That CMS soon became our first product and began our transition from a custom software company into a software product company. In some ways, this was great, because it allowed us to focus all of our attention on a single project/product. At the same time, it signaled the end of an era: we could no longer say “yes” to every customer request.
There is a quote from Henry Ford that I think is relevant here: “If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” The takeaway is that as a product company, it is important to find a balance between your customers’ individual needs and staying true to your own product vision.
Our product roadmap is a blend of our vision, our continued research and observations, and the feedback we receive from our partners and customers. Unfortunately, not every customer request makes the cut. This has been hard for me because I am so used to being able to say “yes” to everything and I know that for some of the more unique customer use cases and workflows, our product may only get them 95% of the way.
This is where our application programming interface (API) comes into play.
This month at InfoComm 2017 (June 14-16, Orlando, FL), I will be demonstrating some examples of new, unique functionality that is achieved through our forthcoming API. This API will allow Prysm partners and enterprise customers to write their own custom software programs that interface with the Prysm Application Suite. It will allow us to fill that 5% gap that I mentioned and we can say “yes” again to the vast majority of those unique customer requirements.
Prysm has a rapidly growing network of partners around the world, many of whom have in-house software development capabilities. These partners will soon be able to leverage our API to develop highly customized solutions for our joint customers.
While we are not yet sure of the date that the Prysm API will be officially available, if you’re interested in seeing its capabilities first hand and/or gaining early access, please message me on LinkedIn and we can set up a time to get together at the Prysm InfoComm booth (#2575).