API Banking Update – How We Build and Ship Products at SVB

Finding product/market fit is crucial to long-term success of our API and Open Platform initiatives. Banking APIs are not only a new product for Silicon Valley Bank, but also largely new to the banking industry. To ensure we quickly find product/market fit for each new API product, we use a variant of Agile software development to build and ship new capabilities. A key tenet of Agile is to work side-by-side with users, in our case, developers, to meet their specific needs. This improves the odds that we find product/market fit for our products and ultimately, better serve SVB clients.

The first step of our product development process is to identify a market need that we believe our team is well positioned to solve. Once we have identified this need, we find specific users who want this need solved with a modern API. We partner with these users to understand their specific use case in detail, and build a minimal viable product to solve the biggest pain points surrounding said use case. Once built, we release the minimal viable product into production and get feedback from these users - good and bad.

If we are on the wrong track, we stop, reevaluate, and work with our users to understand where the product needs improvement. If we are on the right track, we find additional users with more complex use cases, working with them to build the required features to support those use cases. Once we believe we have a sufficiently robust product offering, we open the product to all users, and continue to enhance the product offering to support added functionality.

We will be back next month with another post.

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