“It’s not the idea that is unique but the way you implement it”

In many ways the dream of every wannabe entrepreneur is the same. They all think that their idea is a million dollar one and will top the list of NASDAQ in a short span of time. But the question is how many really survive in this battle?

Let’s take Orkut for instance. Orkut started a few months before Facebook. Even though Google and Mark Zuckerberg had the same idea, how did Facebook excel in the game? Is it really the survival of the fittest theory or was it Mark’s strategy which made him a millionaire? The answer is, Facebook launched with very basic/core features and was able to promote better user adoption.

I recall the words of my mentor “It’s not the idea that is unique but the way you implement it”.For e.g. you’ve been working out at the gym for quite some time but haven’t been able to get the expected physique. Hmm!!! Now that’s a pain, isn’t it?…maybe you didn’t follow a proper diet plan or might have been cheating on your workouts. Anyways the end result is that you wasted your time, energy and money hoping for something which went wrong.

The fact is, people spend way lot of time and money on their product and the launch without getting proper guidance from experts. I mean, what’s the use of having a Ferrari, if you don’t know how to drive or create an impression? In my opinion following are the points which every startup should keep in mind:

1. Market Research

2. Identify your competitors

3. Who will be the end user?

4. Launch timings

5. What makes you different from your competitors?

6. Proper marketing

Eventually, everyone wants to be inspired by the success stories of entrepreneurs who have overcome the obstacles and built a successful business. Recently, I came across an article by Ben Fox Rubin on the Wall Street journal. He mentions the story of Dan Cheung, founder of Spork, who couldn’t match up with its rival app Foodspotting (acquired by Open Table Inc for $10 million). Now here’s an interesting aftermath by Ben Yoskovitz on his company Standout Jobs. He emphasizes on the value of Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Having a feature rich product takes much more time and money to build. However, MVP allows the idea to get into the market as rapidly as possible and maximize the value of finances.

After all every fortune 500 company was once a startup 😉

Xminds Infotech Pvt. Ltd. | www.xminds.com |Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin

Do you need a mobile application for your business to stay competitive?

Number of mobile applications in each stores Google Play, App store, Windows and Blackberry continues to rise with the front-runners being Google Play and App Store. Having a share in the market place, Blackberry and Windows have a lot of catching up to do and that is going to be very interesting the coming years.

Looking at the statistics Google Play Store has around 13,50,000 apps and Apples App Store has around 13,00,000 apps. As a business owner when you glance through the above statistics it can seem that each and everyone (even your competitors) has a mobile application except you.

That’s when you feel that you are left behind while your competitors are eating up major junk of the market share. As a business owner your main concerns would be

  1. Do I need a mobile application for my business?
  2. Building a mobile application is expensive.
  3. Building a mobile application is time consuming.

Users are now moving away from laptops and desktops and are relying more on their smart phone or tablets. From ticket booking, paying bills and buying grocery is just a click away, it is fast and very convenient. As more and more apps are downloaded from the stores, business enterprises are moving towards having their own mobile applications.

Ok! Now you are ready to join the apps bandwagon but then being an entrepreneur you would look into all possibilities and think…

“Cant users access the current website through their smartphone?”

A tricky question and it is important to know if the website is mobile friendly and has been built keeping in mind the compatibility factor with smartphones. If not be ready to face some challenges when the website is displayed in the smart phone.

Keeping these in mind you can build

  1. Mobile Optimized Website
  2. Stand alone App
  1. Mobile Optimized Website

This can be done with minimum fuzz if the current site has been developed using the mobile responsive design. One of the main advantages of mobile optimized website, it will work universally in all mobiles as the Internet browser opens a web page reliably in all the smartphones.

  1. Stand alone app

From a business perspective the stand alone app is much better than a mobile optimized website. The app is always there in the users smart phone and just a click away, no need to launch the web url in the browser which can be felt time consuming now a days. A study suggests that 82 percent of time spent with Mobile media happens with apps. If you are looking to engage customers with your product or service it is better to build a mobile app. You can be constant touch with them through notifications, be it a new product launch or a new service that you offer.

Choice is yours to decide :-)

Why We Love Software Outsourcing…. And You Should, Too!

What is Outsourcing? – Well it is a practice in which a certain company provides portions of its work or assignment to another company to reduce cost. Technology has been revolutionising the way companies work. Whether it is testing, application development, mobile development etc – outsourcing has been useful in solving business problems.

So, why do we love to outsource software development? Is it just to reduce cost? Here are some of the reasons on why to opt for software outsourcing. Let’s have a look.

1. Each company is specialised in its own vertical. Outsourcing allows the benefits of supplementing IT development with skilled developers in an effective way.

2. Lack of manpower or resources can be overcome by a remote IT team offshore. Companies get the option to choose from various vendors based on the reviews.

3. Outsourcing saves the training cost and time provided to new employees.

4. It saves cost as the companies only pay for the service utilised. In fact they can save 40% – 60% of the total expense required to complete the project.

5. Vendors tendency to update their knowledge according to the requirements makes outsourcing another great option to try.

6. Due to the time difference across various geographies the IT vendors have well equipped staff who work round the clock on various assignments, thus delivering the projects on time and maximising efficiency.

7. Traditional outsourcing of software development combined with consulting provides high level of collaboration by filling the minuscule gap in the companies.

The Indian software development industry has been maturing over the years and has evidenced in the rise of high level capabilities across broad range of talents. Every organisation has issues in keeping up to the current market trends, increase productivity, keeping up with their competitors etc. All these issues can be handled by seeking advice from experts who specialise in these areas. Keeping the above points in mind, we at Xminds thrive to help our customers by providing them with full transparency and control over the project development process. We ensure the development and on time delivery of the assignments while our customers focus on their core business activities. We provide them with a broad range of specialised resources and technical skills.

The extent of software outsourcing has been significant and the trend seems likely to continue in the future. We all know that the urge to create is equally strong in all organisations. However, lets not forget that it’s the quality that counts.

RISE 2015 – Hong Kong

RISE 2015

RISE 2015

The 2015 RISE event kick started on July 31st, 2015 in Hong Kong. The event was for two days and it was amazing to be around some cool startups and some great speakers too. Hats off to the CEO of RISE, Paddy & team for organising such a great event and it will be SURGE in Bangalore in India by early next year and more to follow from the awesome team. Check out some of the cool startups that exhibited in RISE 2015.

  1. Chatrify – A live chat software helps you to create meaningful, real time customer engagement that helps businesses increase conversions and provide effective customer support. Each visitor comes with a unique problem and Chatrify give you the opportunity to be there to address his or her concerns instantly in the most effective way.
  2. Player.me  –  is the social discovery platform for the gaming community. Discover, Share and Collaborate with other Players, Groups and Companies. Created by Players, for Players.
  3. Upbeatz –  Is an initiative which aims to give Indians the opportunity to break some rules and create new trends by giving them access to style from across the globe. Upbeatz gives Indian access to global brands at affordable prices with just a click of a button.
  4. Gone Adventurin – Connects corporate organisations with local communities and/or consumers to create social and/or environmental impact. Through an epic adventure or a meaningful immersion experience, we then execute the strategies and collaborations to create systemic impact on the ground.
  5. Wanderlust – The worlds biggest travel tribe. Welcome to a world where technology brings us together, even when kilometers might put us apart. Where the wanderers aren’t lost, but in constant search of the next great adventure. And great adventures begin with meeting great people.
  6. Makanluar –  A leading, reliable Free Online Restaurant Bookings service in Indonesia. Earn Points each time you book to get cash-back, write reviews to double up on those points! You will most likely get free dishes/drinks or discounts at the restaurant too ONLY when you book with MakanLuar.com. Snap & Share your food & restaurant photos to let others know how the restaurants are. Currently available for restaurants in Jakarta, Bali & Bandung.
Makanluar Team

Makanluar Team

Upbeatz

Upbeatz

 

Visual.ly makes everyone a designer – The infographic creation tool

Infographics are becoming popular each day because of their ability to make the readers get interested to read even the most boring statistics. Though the concept of infographics is around us for a long time, the idea was not widely used because of the main reason that creation of the infographics needed the work of a professional designer who is expert in image editing tools such as the photoshop or illustrator. If you are hiring a professional company or a professional designer to create the infographics, you would drain your wallet. Wouldn’t that be awesome if there was some tool that anyone can use to create cool infographics.

What would you say if such a tool came completely free? Now I can see the smile on your face and you think I am just joking! But I am pretty serious about this and the free tool is called Visual.ly . When I say there’s a free tool, don’t get your expectation high because Visual.ly has just started adding infographic templates that you can customize with your own data.

Visual.ly was actually an infographic based social network initially where you can share the infographics that you had created. The infographic creation page part was newly added to this social network. The creation part is a web based tool with a drag and drop interface. There are a few preloaded themes available, which you can load up in the application, fire up your creativity and customize it by dragging and dropping theme elements.

The most interesting part of this web app is that, you do not need any graphic design knowledge to create cool infographics. I tried the tool myself by customizing the “twitterize” theme available in their collection. I just entered credentials of my twitter profile and the app did rest of the job. It analyzed the profile and presented a well detailed infographic. You can also create twitter infographics where you compare yourselves with celebrities or anyone. Trust me, the infographic creation part is real fun and I can see that Visual.ly I working hard in adding new themes as well.

Though for now Visual.ly cannot help you create commercial infographics as “pictochart” does, work is in progress to make this web based application to become a full-fledged infographic creation tool. With the power of social awareness that Visual.ly has, when the tool is in place, this would be the talk of the Silicon Valley

Post Penguin SEO – Don’t hunt for links, instead plant and grow them naturally!

It has been a while since we are dealing with the Google panda and penguin update and the minor refresh after that. The Internet is abuzz with news that this is probably the end of SEO marketing. To all those doomsday predictors… this one’s for you!

I agree that Google hates unnatural link building to the same degree as it hates spammy links. But if you were to implement strategies that get natural links, I think you’re in safe zone. I know what you are thinking right now “everyone says natural links, but how to obtain them?” Here’s how to:

The days when you hunted for links are over! Now you have to plant them, water them and grow them “Naturally!”

Before the Google penguin update was made on 24th April,  SEO mainly focused on getting the maximum number oflinks as quick as possible to gain the love of the search engines. It didn’t matter where you get the links or how you get them. All it mattered was if the links were from anchor text keywords. After the penguin update, all these still matter but with on rule: The number of links should be increasing naturally and the nature of the links should not be overly anchor texts. Here are few tips to do that:

Planting the links in the right spots

In order to grow the links naturally, you have to plant them in the right spots. This is where diversification of content comes into play. Diversification of content helps in expanding the spots where you can obtain links. For example, if you are just producing quality articles and including links in them, your reach is limited to a bunch of article directories. On the other hand, produce well written articles, blogs, press releases, great infographics, video content etc and you have an opportunity to spread your links across various platforms. The main advantage of spreading links across various platforms is that your link profile would be organic. Your website would never get penalized for over optimization of anchor text links.

Just publishing different types of content in various spots doesn’t grow the number of links by itself. You need to provide a little support to these published contents to grow naturally. For example, social bookmarking is one popular SEO strategy that can be used to gain extra exposure to any type of published content. You could also share them in the social media sites such as facebook, twitter and Google plus to grab the attention of the social media crowd. Here is a short clip from a video QnA session by Matt Cutts (The distinguished Google Engineer) on this extra promotion Once the extra SEO done to these published content takes its effect, all you have to do is to sit back and watch the links grow naturally.

Natural growth of the links

Now you have great content which is presented to a huge audience. Depending on the quality and catchiness, the content would spread virally into the social media and gets syndicated naturally by other surfers. Each and every share or syndication of your content is equal to a natural link that is generated to your website.

So here is the key to grow links naturally:

Seed = Great, diversified content

Plantation spots = SEO spots where you publish different types of content

Watering the plants = SEO and social media marketing for the published content

Natural growth = Viral social shares and natural syndication

micro ISV

An attempt to identify the list of companies that were successfully run by single owners.

Some of the companies that are/were operated gotocert alone by the founder and that too profitably, later on they added more people to the team.  There could be more and it would be great if you could add them here.

1.Plenty of fish

Is an online dating service that is offered free and is only available in Canada, UK, Australia and United States. It is free to use but some of the services are charged like the message tracking services.

It is primarily available in Canada, UK, US, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, France, Italy and Germany. A person attempting to signup from any other country will receive an error message explaining this.

2.Twitpic

A website that allows users to easily post pictures and distribute in real time as an event is taking place.

3.Instapaper

Instapaper is solely owned by Marco Arment. He is the ex CTO of tumblr, the main idea behind was to read those web pages later on when he had time during his travel from office to home and vice versa. Since majority of his travel was underground where there was limited or no connectivity.  He says “It was pretty basic,” he insists, “Just a place to put everything you find when you can’t or don’t want to read right then.”

4.Balsamiq

Transforming ideas to reality can be is not that easy. This is where balsamiq steps in, a tool that helps the designers and developers to develop great software and http://balsamiq.com/products/mockups helps them to transform their ideas with more precision, clarity and with ease.

5.Bingocardcreator

Bingo Card Creator lets teachers and parents make custom printable bingo cards for instructional and entertainment purposes.

6.Duckduckgo

Another search engine similar to google, bing etc..  and claim to have more instant answers with less spam and more privacy. It is operated solely by Gabriel Weinberg and is a pretty successful business

7.Theoatmeal

Mathew Inman founded theoatmeal after he successfully sold the dating site Mingle2 that he developed in 66.5 hours. Theoatmeal is an entertainment site with full of comics, quizzes and plenty of fun things.

8.The Labnol

A one man blog is managed by Amit Agarwal and is one among the top 100 technology blogs in the world.

9.Read it later

Read it later is a competitor to instapaper is managed by Nate Weiner. The situation is the same as Marco Arment went, he did not have a lot of time neither did Nate, but Nate did not do a lot of underground travelling 😉

10.Instpundit

Instapundit is a United States political blog produced by Glenn Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee. The blog began in August 2001 as an experiment, and a part of Reynolds’ class on Internet law.