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Terapeak Wins 2013 CODiE Award

TP 9.0 CODiE Award

 

Terapeak has won the 2013 CODiE Award for Best Big Data solution! We were nominated in three categories, finalists in two, and winners in one. We are extremely proud to win this award, as we think we do some pretty cool things making big data applicable and understandable for online merchants.

Our official press release follows, as seen on the Wall Street Journal:

 

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 13, 2013-- Terapeak, the leading E-commerce analytics provider, today announced that Terapeak, its flagship product, won the SIIA CODiE Award for Best Big Data Solution.


The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, announced Terapeak's win as one of 27 CODiE Award winners in software categories. An SIIA CODiE Award win for software companies is an especially prestigious honor as each award winner was first reviewed by a field of software industry executives, whose evaluations determined 100 finalists. SIIA members then reviewed these finalists and voted to select 27 CODiE Awards Winners.


Terapeak offers unique marketplace insights to clients ranging from small business merchants to Fortune 500 companies. E-commerce merchants use Terapeak's reporting to evaluate sourcing opportunities, price points, market trends, product behavior across regions, and their competition. Terapeak currently supports the eBay and Yahoo! Japan marketplaces and offers sales performance visibility on Amazon.com, eBay and Magento through its MySales product.


"We are honored that Terapeak was chosen as the best Big Data solution," said Kevin North, President & CEO of Terapeak. "This space is challenging to master, and although we have so many more exciting developments planned for our customers, being recognized for our efforts to date validates our vision."


"SIIA's 2013 Software CODiE Award winners show that innovation and growth is alive in many areas of the software industry," said SIIA Vice President for the Software Division Rhianna Collier. "Among the 27 winners, you'll find many of the most exciting software products and services on the market today.


For more information about the CODiE Awards, visit http://www.siia.net/codies.


About Terapeak
Terapeak is the leading source for analyzing, understanding and predicting consumer and product behavior in e-commerce. As the first authorized analytics provider of eBay market data, and the leading aggregator of e-commerce data for eBay, Amazon, Yahoo! Japan and Magento, Terapeak is an indispensable resource for over 1.3 million online merchants.


About SIIA
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education, and intellectual property protection to more than 700 leading software and information companies. The SIIA Software Division provides a forum for companies developing the applications, services, infrastructure and tools that are driving the software and services industry forward. For further information, visit www.siia.net/software


About the SIIA CODiE(TM) Awards
The SIIA CODiE(TM) Awards, originally called the Excellence in Software Awards, were established in 1986 by the Software Publishers Association (SPA), now the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), so that pioneers of the then-nascent software industry could evaluate and honor each other's work. Since then, the CODiE Awards program has carried out the same purpose -- to showcase the software and information industry's finest products and services and to honor excellence in corporate achievement.

Terapeak

Shelley D'Amico, 250-661-5901
sdamico@terapeak.com

or
 

SIIA Communications:
Laura Greenback, 202-789-4461
lgreenback@siia.net

Build Something Relevant

By Ian Paterson, Director of Insights at Terapeak

 

We’ve just built an Excel plugin for Mac that will import Terapeak analytics directly into existing Excel spreadsheets.  This is awesome news for the end user of course, because the research data can be formatted in any way they choose.  But this news is even more awesome for you because now you can create and build a shiny, new app that’s relevant to your end user.

The Terapeak API lets you create data driven applications.  It provides a set of API calls that you can use to retrieve eBay market data.  You will be able to quickly aggregate meaningful statistics related to pricing, products and sellers on the platform.

Below is a small example of what's possible with Terapeak's APIs. You can edit the Applescript to take advantage of other API calls, such as getting information on specific user eBay accounts or category trend information. 

It’s a brand new year.  Build something better than cool.  Build something relevant.

Instructions for Mac

  1. Signup for a free API key at https://developer.terapeak.com/
    • The API key is your unique ID number that allows you access to Terapeak's API. You can use the key up to 500 times per month for free, or to get higher levels of access, you can review the packages available here: http://terapeak.com/products/insights
  2. Download the sample Excel file, and accompanying Applescript file in the attached zip.
  3. Open the Excel file
  4. Copy the API key into cell B2
  5. Copy your inventory (either titles or UPC numbers) into column "A"
  6. Put in the eBay site ID number you want to search for in column "B" (or leave to "0" to search eBay.com)
  7. Put in the condition type into column "C". This dictates what items you want to compare against
  8. Click the button
  9. Select the applescript that you downloaded in Step 2

The script will fetch data from Terapeak's servers, and put the average selling price per item in the cells you have specified. 

API University 2012 - San Francisco

This week I am attending the Business of APIs conference in San Francisco, which includes a morning session called "API University". Where was this when I was in real university?!

Class #1 - API Strategies that Achieve Business Goals

Chuck Freedman - Director, Platform Strategy - Mashery

@chuckstar gave a 101 level class on the essentials for a successful API strategy. Some key takeaways for me:

  • Internal buy-in is equally important to external success. Without understanding and support from within your own organization, your API, your Platform, your Program, will struggle. A platform should be treated like a product, and requires all the cross-functional support that a "real" product does.
  • You API should mimic your existing business model. This got me thinking. I really agree with this statement, as it helps make the API offering more clear for internal and internal "buyers". I think there is some mimicing that can happen both ways at Terapeak, and business model influencing will be something I muse over for the next few weeks.

Chuck also served up some examples of great developer portals that he has seen, and we made the list with big players that I look up to like ESPN! Thanks for the shout out!

Chuck Freedman presenting on API Strategies


Class #2 - Foundations for API Management & Security

Shailendra Gupta - Director, Client Services - Mashery

@shgupta gave the list of things that Thou Shalt Consider regarding scale and security of your APIs. Covering the basics, it was good to see that we have not made any foolish mistakes in designing and offering our API for public consumption. As we start to release new APIs that incorporate some Write capabilities, we will need to scale in a different way than we have for our purely Read based APIs.

Some key takeaways from Shail:

  • OAuth. We will need to start offering an OAuth model with our new APIs. We do not want to give away or expose our users' credentials. Ever. Nor do we want to be in the business of storing or capturing credentials of users on other platforms.
  • HTTPS. The Terapeak API needs to offer this. I think it should be optional, so we do not break anyone's integrations, but it is time for us to offer a secure endpoint so that keys and credentials are not at risk.
  • Reporting. Reporting on usage of the API, patterns, call behaviours... all of this is essential. Baking this into the key metrics of the Developer Program is something that I would like to do, so that internal stakeholders around Terapeak can have the same understanding about what "healthy" means and what "successful" means. That kind of reporting detail should be at their fingertips.

Shail also talked about providing feedback tools. I am happy with how the Terapeak Developer Program forum has been used effectively to support users. One thing that I have learned is that it does not matter what plans you have for a community tool, if the tool belongs to the community then you need to let the community turn it into something that they find useful!

 

Class #3 - Generating Interest & Activity

Neil Mansilla - Director, Developer Platform & Partnerships - Mashery

@mansillaDEV shared his wisdom and sage advice from the field for getting the word out and fostering engagement in your API community. You know you won't want to miss a talk when the speaker starts with "you won't want to miss this"...

Jokes aside, I have heard Neil speak and interact with crowds of all types, and he is a great source of insights for how to evangelize platforms.

"I want to help develop a long term, lasting relationship

between the developer and the platform"

- Neil Mansilla

Being prepared was the theme for me from Neil's talk. There is a change in activity and interaction as soon as you open your API for external consumption. This is very true, and the example used during this session to illustrate being unprepared was Pandora's Box.

Understanding your audience is also essential. Just ask them! Ping them, take a minute to survey them, and they will tell you. I have found this as well, that developers using the API are actually quite eager to share their story. Usually a develoepr audience is quite excited about what they do and they want to tell everyone about it. Find out what value your developers are getting from your platform, as well as what value you are getting from developers.

The Terapeak Developer Program gets value from its community by making it clear what is important, what we need to change, and how we should build differently in the future.

All this value needs to be shared! Coming up in the Developer Program will be a customer showcase, where we will be sharing the success stories of people using the Terapeak API. There are some amazing people and ideas out there that we are proud to be a part of. We need to start showcasing these ideas and people.

Neil defined some roles required for a support team that I had never heard articulated so well:

  • Community Leader - responsible for ensuring consistent levels of response and engagement
  • Support Agent - needs to be able to code!
  • Evangelist - someone who needs to be able to walk the walk, not just a marketing person

Some day I hope to have enough physical bodies that one of me is not doing all of these roles. I know there 

Thanks to Neil for the huge shout out for the Terapeak dev portal as an example of good documentation and use of Mashery's IO Docs!

This last class was definitely the one that gave me the biggest TODO list of things we need to add to the dev program from the day:

  1. Code Samples - should help with getting people successful within 5 minutes
  2. Customer Showcase - great examples of success and innovation
  3. SDKs - (our customers have told me that C# and PHP are the most used platforms... who knew?!) Mashery's IO Wraps

Overall, Neil's enthusiasm made it clear that he is in the right role at Mashery and out there in the community.

eCommerce Hack Day Prize Winners

This past weekend saw a very successful eCommerce Hack Day take place in New York city. Terapeak was giving away a great prize of a trip for two to the west coast of Canada. We are very pleased to announce the winners that were selected at the event.

ShopPapaya team - Nate Massey and Lydia Yao (center two, left to right)

Left to right: Tyler Black (Terapeak), Nate Massey (Spring Metrics), Lydia Yao (Seamless), Aidan Gordon (Terapeak) at the eCommerce Hack Day, NYC

 

Congratulations to Nate Massey and Lydia Yao who met and teamed up at the event to hack up a new idea they call ShopPapaya!

Nate is an engineer at Spring Metrics, a startup based in Durham, NC, that uses real-time behavioral targeting to present personalized content to help increase conversion rates.  Nate flew up to NYC to participate in eCommerce Hack Day.

Lydia is a front-end designer who also doubles as a Strategic Development Manager at Seamless.com, an online food ordering site based in NYC. Despite that Nate went to UNC and Lydia studied at Duke, they put aside their college rivalry and formed the dynamic duo that built ShopPapaya.

ShopPapaya

ShopPapaya is a one-click analytics tool that you can launch over any retailer site to check the latest price trends of that item on eBay.

ShopPapaya can look at a product offered and do some quick price checking for you

 

 ShopPapaya also provides tips on whether you should buy now (if prices are rising) or wait to buy (if prices are dropping).

ShopPapaya will help you spot rising or falling prices, and help you decide when to pull the trigger

 

Lydia and Nate did not even know each other before the weekend, and only met while sitting next to each other at the opening welcome session for the event. Their presentation was so polished and ShopPapaya was so slick, that the event judges initially had doubts that this was a hack that had only been built during the weekend. Those doubts were asuaged and the judges were so impressed that they also awarded Nate and Lydia the 2nd Place Overall prize of $2500! Nice to have some spending money for the trip out to to the edge of the world.

eCommerce Hack Day New York

Terapeak is proud to be a sponsor for eCommerce Hack Day in New York city this weekend (August 4-5)

Being the social sponsor, I am going to attend to ensure food quality and that the social events are up to our standards. In my spare time there, I will also be helping hackers make use of our Research API.

Oh, and giving away the best prize I have ever seen. I kind of wish I was not working for Terapeak so that I could win this prize, it is so good. I really love it when you approach something with a budget and what you think is a "standout" idea for a prize, and then your CEO comes in and blows the roof off the place. He demanded something better, and we put together a prize that has an estimate value just shy of $5000! Check this out:

Journey to the Edge of the World

  • Airfare for two from any major North American airport to Tofino, BC, Canada
  • Three nights accommodation in a west coast retreat + rental car
  • Adventure tourism package
  • Airfare for two from Tofino to Victoria, BC
  • Tour of Terapeak's Victoria office
  • Dinner on the town, accommodation in Victoria
  • Airfare for two from Victoria, BC to any major North American airport

I hope you are coming to New York to hack, because the rest of this description may just depress you.

The prize will be given to the hacker that builds an application at the event that best uses the Terapeak Research API to build a cross-marketplace tool

Where is Tofino?

Here:


View Larger Map

A map is interesting, but pictures really tell you where it is and what it is like. Tofino is a very popular surfing, paddling and general west coast experience destination. It was also the sight of the O'Neill Cold Water Classic.

Accomodation will be at the Chesterman Beach B&B

Adventure tour package will be offered by Jamie's Whaling Station or Surf Sisters (depending on the kind of adventure the winner wants to have).

Where is Victoria?

Victoria is the capital city of BC, Canada, and is located on the same big island as Tofino.


View Larger Map

Victoria is also where one of the Terapeak offices are located. We have one in Palto Alto, CA, and one in Victoria, BC. The winner of the Terapeak prize will be invited to Victoria as part of their return journey to meet the team, show off their hack, and be shown around the town.

More details about the prize will be shared at the conference.

Official rules are be posted here.

See you there!

Lessons Learned from Launching

In the first blog post, I stated that the first few posts would "chronicle the month or two involved" in finishing the launch preparations. Oh how naive that writer was, to think he would take the time while juggling the launch to post updates on juggling the launch!

The work involved in launching was diverse, and I learned a good deal. The launch went quite well, and we got some decent pickup:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/terapeak-launches-developer-program-on-open-api-platform-2012-06-27

http://blog.programmableweb.com/2012/07/10/terapeak-developer-program-opens-e-commerce-analytics-to-the-masses/ 

Even wildly successful projects have some lessons to share, and there are plenty of ways to find out what went wrong or what went right. It is true that the unspoken word never does harm1, but the unspoken lesson never does good. Personally, I am a big fan of sharing lessons learned in a retrospective format from my time spent steeping in Agile development teams.

There are a few tools out there for retrospectives, but I like the simplicity of Stop-Start-Continue

Stop Start Continue

 

The unspoken word never does harm,

 but the unspoken lesson never does good

Stop

Making up deadlines

Having deadlines shows structure. It shows that goals are defined, and makes for a great presentation of the plan. For this launch, I thought that I should get all of our existing API customers migrated over before the beginning of July. Why? There was no good reason. I did not want to force extra discomfort on our users, who I was already forcing to make changes on their end, by slapping an unneccessary deadline on them. I created a deadline for myself purely to bring structure to a project, but it ended up having the opposite effect. A pointless deadline complicates a project and introduces stress on anyone with half a Project Manager bone in their body. In retrospect, avoiding made up deadlines sounds obvious, but it is awfully tempting when putting together that initial project plan to see milestones as deadlines.

Start

Tackling the messy stuff first

I love eating low hanging fruit as much as the next guy, but in a project with timelines and external dependencies you need to address the risky items first. Risk can take on many forms, but one that I experience a lot are the dark corners... the not quite defined... the parts that you will figure out later. It is really tempting to make progress by getting some "early wins" out of the way. During this launch, I should have put more effort into managing the things that I was not quite sure about. Things like getting pricing tiers defined, new terms of use drafted... these were issues that had a long list of contributors that could potentially block them and thereby block the release. I left some of them untended for too long and it required some scrambling near the end. By tackling the messy, dark corners of a project first, risk gets removed. This does not mean that these things need to be finished right away, just defined and planned.

Continue

Getting it done

No one else was as invested in launching this developer portal as I was. It would not have happened without the efforts of many people, but sometimes I just had to wade into the weeds and get 'er done myself. We are a relatively small company, and the Developer Program is not the only thing going on. There were a few resources (talented people) that I wanted time from so that I could delegate some work to them. They were not available, so I had to pretend to be a talented person in their place. No web developer available for CSS magic? No problem. No editor available for marketing copy? Fine. Documentation needs testing for accuracy? I love XML. Developers are too busy to check the cause of an error message? Give me git access. Do not let a little thing like having to do the work yourself stop you from shipping, especially if it's not the work you thought you would be doing when you woke up today.

First!

Welcome to the Terapeak Developer Program Blog's innagural post!

This is where the story begins for the Developer Program, and I am very excited to see how the story evolves and grows over time. This blog will focus on news, feature updates, tutorials, travels and partnerships that pertain to the Terapeak Developer Program.

You can find out more about me personally by reading up on my post in the Collaboration forum category. While I will be writing most of the content in the blog, I will certainly be inviting guest contributors and authors to share their expertise and perspectives with you as well. If you feel like you have something to share as part of an official Terapeak Developer Program blog post, then let me know! Email us at developer_content@terapeak.com with who you are and what you want to post about.

Get Started

Currently we are just on the verge of releasing the Developer Program to the public. The first few posts will chronicle the month or two involved in finishing preparations, completing the collaborative integration with our API Portal partner Mashery, migrating customers, and getting the word out. Throughout the process of helping our current API customers migrate into the Developer Program, I will be making a point of getting to know each customer. I want to gain and share an understanding of what they are trying to accomplish in their business, and how we at Terapeak can better serve them. There should be some great stories and spotlights that I will be able to shine on how businesses and developers are using Terapeak developer tools.

I also plan to create a series of tutorials on each and every one of our API calls, and offer tips and guidance through this blog specific to each call. I am very hopeful that you will comment and contribute feedback of your own, either through comments on blog posts or by actively participating in our Developer Program forum.

Terapeak has enabled hundreds of thousands of users through our SaaS products, Terapeak for eBay and Terapeak for Yahoo! Japan, and we are in the process of building a great new platform. By starting this Developer Program, we will be able to share the tools that power our analytics with an order of magnitude more people. Our goal is to share our years of experience working with eCommerce data with you, by opening up the tools on which we have built a business.

We have used these tools to build great products that help merchants become more successful. If we can do it, then so can you! Even better, you do not need to start from scratch. We have been using these tools for years, and we are here to help. I am really looking forward to seeing what the world does with our APIs and services, and where the story goes from here.

Cheers,

Tyler Black


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