“Breaking Changes” with Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Nnamdi Iregbulem: Real-Time API Infrastructure Investments
I always enjoy sitting down with investors to understand how they see the world of APIs, but I was especially happy to chat with Nnamdi Iregbulem, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, for an episode of Postman’s Breaking Changes podcast to learn from his specialization in early-stage investment at the intersection of streaming data and machine learning.
Nnamdi has his finger on the pulse of what is happening when it comes to real-time APIs, and he gets the growing importance of developer tools when it comes to the business landscape. He brings another valuable perspective to the conversation by looking at things through both the technical and business lens.
Nnamdi had a clear map of the continued shift in the API landscape to be more real-time, streaming, and event-driven. He walked me through a mix of known and some not-so-well-known solutions for working with the volumes of data an enterprise is producing, piping it in from our databases, warehouses, and lakes, using it in applications, but also, more importantly, to train the next generation of business intelligence with machine learning. Nnamdi echoed conversations from last season of Breaking Changes where we discussed how smaller, more granular machine learning was being developed on top of the data exhaust from regular business operations. This is shortening the cycles it takes to produce machine learning models and making the scope of how they are applied much more precise.
In our discussion, we explored how this real-time streaming data landscape was impacting our operations, what the “op-ification” of everything meant, and what DevOps, GitOps, DataOps, MLOps, and ModelOps meant to enterprise operations. Nnamdi shared some compelling views of how this shifting landscape and what tomorrow’s workforce will look like. I don’t think that investors like Nnamdi win all of the bets they are making, but Nnamdi has clearly done his homework, has had successful investments, and venture capital from the likes of Lightspeed Ventures play an outsized role in shaping what the next wave of API expansion will look like. Nnamdi’s understanding of the intersection of streaming data and machine learning applied to early-stage investment provides a pretty compelling look at what is to come.
Nnamdi’s view of the API landscape validates Postman’s position driving our investment in the open source specification AsyncAPI. There will always be a place for synchronous request and response APIs that are ubiquitous across the enterprise today, but as the volume of data needed to do business continues to grow, the need for more real-time and streaming APIs powered by the next generation of multi-protocol API gateways will grow exponentially.
This is something that will continue to increase rapidly based on the volume of data being produced daily. It will also be perpetually amplified by our appetite to train tomorrow’s machine learning on top of the data we are generating, aggregating, and using to develop tomorrow’s ML models—with APIs as the backbone of the operation for the ever-growing DevOps, DataOps, GitOps, MLOps, and ModelOps heartbeat of enterprise operations powered with today’s API platform.