Hello World: Beeswax

Thanks to Ari Paparo for teaching us about Beeswax!

Hey! Who are you? What's your role at Beeswax?

I'm the CEO of Beeswax and the lead developer for our API. I have been working in ad tech for over 10 years.

Tell us a little about your company.

Beeswax offers the Bidder-as-a-Service. This is a platform for companies to build their own systems to buy digital advertising programmatically. For example, an advertiser can write their own algorithms to determine which ads to buy at which price.

Why did you decide to create these APIs?

Programmatic advertising is becoming increasingly complex, and buyers are demanding integrations of many internal and external systems. An API is a key part of that equation, and surprisingly most ad tech vendors (including leaders like Google) don't offer one.

What do Buzz and Stinger do?

Using the Beeswax "Buzz" API our customers have a RESTful system for managing their business objects, such as campaigns, budgets, creatives, and ad targeting. This is where most of the "work" takes place in the advertising workflow.

Our "Stinger" API is a real-time protobuf-over-HTTP interface that allows our customers to write their own algorithms for ad buying in whatever language they choose. We've had customers build Stinger integrations in Java, Scala, and even Redis.

What are some ways you see people using them?

We've got a theatrical movie company that uses our API to target mobile ads to users near movie theaters. Our flagship customer, Foursquare, uses our system to execute ad buys using their world-class graph or geographic locations. Cognitiv, a deep learning AI company, uses us to execute campaigns that learn results over time.

What was the most challenging part of developing your API?

The advertising world is very complex, so our API had to comply with overlapping and sometimes confusing business rules from multiple partners. For example, Google requires creatives running on their Ad Exchange to be pre-registered with them before serving, so our API needs to handle the registration, polling for results, and accounting for different responses. The goal is to eliminate that complexity for our end user.

What's up next for the Beeswax API(s)?

Our API is evolving regularly with customer needs. For example, we just added the ability to customize the fields in the response on a per-user basis, allowing you to build custom views of the data. We are also investing in more ways to get real-time data streamed out to our customers to Kinesis or another endpoint.

APIs are like food, good at connecting people. Any recommendations for a good place in NYC?

Don't get me started on food. A quick list in json form:

  "food": [{
    "ramen": "Momofuku"
  }, {
    "pizza": "Lombardis"
  }, {
    "hot_dog": "Papaya King"
  }, {
    "vegetarian": "B&H"

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