The genesis story behind Cloudize and our API Technologies

The genesis story behind Cloudize and our API Technologies


Back in 2018, I worked for a large multinational software company. In that role, I led a team of extraordinary engineers that designed, built and managed one of the company's foundational platform services.
It was an exhilarating time.
My role was essentially twofold. Firstly, as you'd expect, my primary responsibility was the team and the people within the team, and whilst I could talk for hours about my passion for good leadership, the genesis of this article is rooted in my secondary responsibility at the time, which was looking ahead, working with product management and planning the work that was likely to enter the team's workstream within the next 90 days.

The anchor

Typically, it would look like this; Product management would have a feature they wanted to develop for our customers. We'd spend time discussing the details of the feature and clarifying the requirements; on occasion, architects would join the discussions to offer solution options, and finally, once everyone was on the same page, we'd go back to the team to get their high-level guesstimates on the effort required to build the feature.
That's when I noticed some cracks starting to appear.
Time and time again, the sizing provided by the development team, which is essentially the delivery cost, exceeded what product management was willing to spend on the feature.
It was an awkward stalemate, and my BA and I often found ourselves trapped right in the middle. We clearly understood and could empathise with the frustration of the product management team. However, we also knew that our development team was providing accurate estimates, so we equally empathised with them, hence the awkward stalemate.
The undeniable net result was that our customers were not getting the features the product team had painstakingly designed and developed.
This scenario played out repeatedly, and it started to have an insidious effect on the organisation. It was like a huge anchor had been thrown overboard. It didn't jolt the ship to a screeching stop but created an enormous drag, ultimately slowing the colossal vessel.
When agile teams repeatedly create value that outstrips the cost of delivery, they accelerate. Conversely, when the cost of delivery constantly exceeds the value being created, innovation is stifled en masse.


Inefficiency was killing us.
  • I'm not talking about inefficiency rooted in a lack of skill. We had a team of incredible engineers and were part of a brilliant engineering culture.
  • I'm not talking about inefficiency rooted in a lack of effort. The team were working their tails off to deliver (so much so that burnout was a constant concern).
  • I'm not talking about inefficiency rooted in a lack of focus. The team was single-minded and was literally humming.
It suddenly dawned on me. We were looking at technical inefficiency. Everything was hard. The data model was hard to work with. Building world-class, secure and performant APIs was hard.
There had to be a better way.


I started to visualise a better world for my team and the wider engineering organisation we were part of. A world where everything would be easy and in which we had the tooling required to design and deliver incredible APIs to our consumers effortlessly. A world where 90% of our effort could be assigned to providing solutions to actual customer problems and not on building out the core table-stakes capabilities of modern APIs.
Ultimately, as I reflect back, this was the genesis moment behind Cloudize and our low-code API Technologies.
The company had several very real near-term pressure points, and focusing on them meant there was simply no capacity to look ahead and build an API platform library that would ultimately bring efficiencies to API development processes a year or two down the line.


It was clear that if I wanted the ideas and the future state I envisioned to become a reality, I would need to do so outside the organisation. After careful consideration, I resigned and founded Cloudize to deliver the technologies required to accelerate innovation for our customers.
The bulk of the Cloudize API Framework and its related built-as-you-design technologies were built in 2021. It was a wonderful time. The business had zero pressure points, and I could focus 100% of my effort on getting the foundations of the product right. That didn't happen immediately. It took several conceptual iterations before we saw the development efficiencies that we were pursuing.
We explored building a pro-code library that developers could consume as well as a no-code platform that customers could leverage. Ultimately, we landed on a hybrid of the two, a low-code technology that massively scaled innovation whilst delivering developers the capability to integrate custom logic.
After about nine months of research and development, we achieved a critical milestone. With our new build-as-you-design tooling and Cloudize API Framework, a single engineer could, within a week, build a service that previously took seven engineers five months to create. Subsequently, in 2022, additional significant steps were made in performance, security, scalability, flexibility, and design efficiency. With these new improvements, we made another substantive step towards our goals. What previously took an engineer a week to do could now be done in a day.
The critical outcome is that the time required to go from ideation to production-grade APIs has been all but eliminated. This has massive implications concerning the ability to innovate within organisations. When the cost of delivering an idea approaches zero, we create safe-to-fail environments. As the cost of failure approaches zero, our willingness to experiment increases. When experimentation costs less, we can afford to become more creative; as a result, we start to innovate at scale and accelerate.

If you have an idea that needs to go to the cloud, give us a call. We'd love to discuss it and how we can help.