What Programming Language Should I Use to Build a Startup?

Often entrepreneurs ask me 'What technology should I build my startup on?' There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It's a decision every company makes for itself, depending on what it's trying to build and the skills of its cofounders. Nonetheless, there are a few rules that one should adhere to. We discuss them in this blog post.

Incident Response Policy

What happens in your company when a production incident occurs? Usually in a typical startup, you will see engineers running around frantically trying to resolve the problem. However, as soon as the incident is resolved, they forget about it and go back to their usual business. A good incident response policy can help bring order into chaos. We provide a sample template in this blog post.

Why Software Deadlines Never Make Sense

We discuss why software deadlines usually don't make sense.

Analyzing Front-End Performance With Just a Browser

We discuss a number of freely available online tools which can be used to analyze bottlenecks in your website.

Why Smaller Businesses Can't Ignore Security and How They Can Achieve It On a Budget

In this article, we show that security is both important and achievable for smaller companies without breaking a bank.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Balancing act

There is a great paragraph in a novel by John Patterson "Suzanne's diary for Nicholas":

Imagine life is a game where you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health and integrity. And you are keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls-family, health, friends, integrity-are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will e irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

UX Elements

ux-elements graphic

UX Design Elements (Jesse James Garett, 2000).

The UX Deisgn Elements book is a great starting point for everyone who is interested in UX design.
I highly recommend it for developers to read, because it will give them better appreciation of what designers think about before they hand them the requirements.

A good visual design always needs to start with understanding the site objectives and user needs. What do your users need? What is your site trying to achieve?

Then, functional specs need to be written summarizing what features the website should have. I like using MOSCOW approach for functional specifications. M = must, S = should, C = could, W = would. When you prioritize each feature, you can easily iterate and build only the Ms first.

The next layer is the Information Architecture layer where you define your site's goals and collect clients or coworkers' opinion about that.

Next is the design of navigation, wireframing, etc.

Finally, you wrap all of this up and produce a finished visual design.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

3 types of factors which startups seek to learn to establish product-market fit

A good table outlining important factors that evolve through learning for startups as they seek to establish product-market fit.   This is from an article by Mark Leslie and Charles Holloway "The enterprise sales learning curve".

Product Development

Features and Functions
Interface to Existing Ecosystem
Ease of Installation
Value to Customers
Ease of Use
Suitability for Environment

Competitive Analysis
Market Segmentation
Marketing Messages
Proof of Value Proposition (ROI)
Collateral Materials
Advertising, shows and PR
Customer Success Cases
Across Market Segments
Across Channels

Channels of Distribution
Number and Type
Channel Support and Training
Sales Force
Sales Model
Sales Pitch
Training and Development
Lead Generation
Technical Support
Sales Stage

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Testing our new Blogtalkradio offsite player

Listen to internet radio with Film Festival Radio on BlogTalkRadio