Custom Trading API Interfacing - which is the richest market for services?

Discussion in 'Programming' started by comintel, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. Where are the best opportunities for an experienced independent software developer with his own small company in the API interfacing space?

    These could be new extensions of trading platforms that I would develop and market, or else possibly custom development services.

    For example, possibilities might include:

    -TradeStation extensions or strategies
    -Trading Technologies XTrader custom extensions
    -CTS T4 extensions and customization interfaces
    -QuantHouse custom implementations
    -CQG and others

    I am not looking for work developing for any of these API's right now, but rather looking to determine which API would be most useful for me to get intimately familiar with on my own over the coming months to a year, with a view to eventually developing and selling either products or (as second choice) services through my own small company.

    I have already developed some code for the CTS T4 and Interactive Brokers API's, as well as for TradeStation, but am wondering if XTrader and QuantHouse, for example, might be much richer markets to enter.

    Any comments are welcome.
  2. 2rosy


    its really the crowd you want to target and how much you value your time. Some people (most retail investors) are very cheap so custom work would not be worth it... but a generic newsletter with nice graphs and tables seem to work. Those using TT or CQG are only slightly less cheap but both those apis ( and xtapi) could use a simple add on that you could market for scale.
  3. Just to reiterate what 2rosy said: don't hawk your wares to individuals. Your time is worth $0/hour to them and there's a high risk of being screwed. I'd only approach an individual I knew in person and that would be for a business partnership, not as a code slave.

    I'd target funds, props, back offices. Go places where these people hang out and rub elbows with them. That's the best way to find what's hot and in demand.

    If you live in NYC, Chicago, London, Singapore, etc you shouldn't have to go far to find these people.
  4. Thanks 2rosy and stevegee58 for the ideas, which I like and agree with! I will proceed along those lines.
  5. search the web for all of the applications that you mentioned and see which features that users are requesting but that the application's vendor has been unable to provide..

    note: this strategy also works well with non-trading related apps...think iphone apps, android apps, facebook add-ons, etc, etc, etc
  6. tdrive


    I was able to write a full-blown robo-trader, backed with a database, live quotes, etc in under a week (Java).

    They charge 4.95 a trade, which, when you trade large blocks, beats anyone else out there, unless you go directly to the exchanges and get liquidity rebates and such, but I guess this is not your case.

    In addition, their authentication scheme is most convenient (OAuth).
    They don't require a local client, it's a direct API.

    I do this for my own account trading, not for sale. But then, your mileage might differ.