“This ones a little deep but think about it and fit it in your head. Small nimble teams can beat giants and move mountains. It’s not about the possibilities. It’s about how far you can take your imagination.
It is David killing Goliath. It is the power of determination.”—
“We win, only when we start believing we can. We build billion dollar businesses, only when we start believing we can. Today, let’s promise ourselves we’ll make this a billion dollar company, because we believe we can!”—
We’ve tried a lot of project management tools but I have to say, Trello.com has been working well for us.
It’s simple to get started so you don’t need to explain it to the team. It’s flexible so it suffices for all sorts of projects. They have mobile apps so it’s easy to know what’s happening with the product while on the go.
We’ve created 5 separate boards in Trello named Web, iOS, Android, Content and General.
Each of the boards have ‘To Do’, ‘Doing’, ‘Done’ lists along with a few other lists as deemed fit by the respective teams working on them.
I also try to use Trello for my own personal use though I’ve seen myself using Any.Do more often for my personal needs. I’m seriously considering moving my personal task management to Trello as well.
Start organising your product development. Start winning!
You are a fool if you aren't applying to Startup Chile
No offence but if you have an idea, want to startup or have already started up, need money, want to meet hundreds of like minded teams, want to be forced to learn a new language, want to know how good cheap wine can taste and you haven’t applied for Startup Chile then you better do it now!
Startup Chile in simple words:
1. US$ 40,000 equity free seed funding
2. Spend 6 months in Chile
3. 100 teams from all over the world
No kidding. This is the best incubator for an early stage startup especially if you are in the “product building” phase. I spent 6 months as part of the first batch of this program and if I could do it all over again, hell yeah, I’ll do it!
The money helps you focus on building your product. Even before that, it gives you an opportunity to leave that job you do not want to be in and take a plunge into entrepreneurship.
When your users ask for a refund just give it to them. There is no use reasoning or fighting with your customer over the refund. Just give it to them!
Only a small percentage of your users ask for a refund. I know you would have this whole “how can they get away with this. This is cheating!” thoughts in your head when someone asks for a refund. However, it’s a trivial thing. When you start arguing over the refund, you do not win, you just make their desire for a refund stronger.
Refund and move on. Chances are, they’ll come back. If not, then they’ll tell others about their good experience doing business with you. Either ways, YOU WIN!
Do yourself a favor and use self hosted Wordpress for your company blog. I’ve tried a lot of blogging platforms but the best blogging platform from a business point of view is wordpress.
Of course, you don’t need to do this when you are just starting out as you can get started quickly using wordpess.com or tumblr . But once you have a bit of traction for your product, move over to a self hosted wordpress blog.
We decided it was time to incorporate a private limited company as we’re growing, are a team of 3 full time employees, 1 full-time consultant and another part-time consultant. I had no clue incorporating would be this easy. I did not have to go anywhere, everything was done by the guys at NovoJuris. All I had to do was scan a few documents. The entire process took around 30 to 45 days (there was some delay in getting the company name approved but it’s expected when you’re dealing with the government).
From what I remember, these are the things you need to do while registering a company in India:
Documents needed for incorporation:
You need a PAN card
Proof of address (rented apartment works!)
Company address (rented apartment works!)
Passport size photos
You would then need to decide what the paid up capital and authorized capital would be (the guys at NovoJuris explained it to me and helped me choose what fit right for us).
Once you have the documents in place, it’s all about filling up a few forms, scanning and sending them across. It does not matter in which part of the country you are, or even if you aren’t in the country. If you have the necessary documents, everything can be done online.
Get a PAN for your company (you would need this for opening your company’s bank account)
Get a TAN for your company (needed for deducting and collecting tax)
Update 18/02/2012: Once you are done incorporating the company, get rubber stamps with your company name and letter head and I would also recommend getting business cards printed. I hate business cards but when people ask for it, it’s a little odd to tell them I don’t have one. Looking around for some minimal business card designs now.
Hi .. thanks for the helpful post on Chilean visa process. was super confused about the Police Clearance Certificate. You mention that you regretted buying a one way ticket, as opposed to a return ticket to Chile. Did the program pay for your ticket back? I would like to buy a one way ticket too because I don't want to deal with changing dates etc upon my return.
Yeah, they reimburse the ticket back home as well but we had exhausted our money to claim it. If you have money left then you can always claim it. But for a team of 2, $2k * 2 = $4k in one way tickets, you can always use that money on your startup. Changing dates is not a big deal in fact booking the ticket back is even more difficult… so book a return ticket
So, you have incorporated your company, printed business cards, got the swags made, decided what your title at your company would be, read articles that teach you how to name your company, read everything about how investors can con you, bought domain names, bought the “.org” “.net” and everything else, thought how you would venture into new verticals once this product is a success.
The problem with articles like “how we got our first 10,000 users” or “How we made our first $10,000” is that they only work for the ones who wrote the article. You are different and you would need to do something different to achieve that. Read such articles to understand the process, but do not copy it. Build your own “How we got…”
Start-Up Chile - things you need to know to obtain a visa to Chile
I’m part of the first batch of Start-Up Chile 2011. We are working on Buffr.com now working fulltime on JustUnfollow . The process to obtain a visa to Chile involves a few documents that you need to obtain in India and I thought it would be best to provide some info here.
If you’ve been selected into the Start-Up Chile program then the next step is to reach Chile. If you are in India these are the set of documents that you need before you get your visa to Chile.
This can be obtained from any general physician. All you need is a letter from the physician saying you are in good health.
HIV (AIDS) Test
Get your HIV (AIDS) test done at the local pathology lab, you should get the report within 2 days.
This is where most of the confusion arises. You can obtain the Police Certificate (I think it’s called PCC, not sure) from either the local police station or from the regional passport office. If you go to the police station it usually would take around 2 weeks. At the regional passport office they give it within a week and if you request a little they might even give it within a couple of days. So your best bet is to first go to the regional passport office and apply for the Police Certificate there. You would need to carry proof of residence.
If there are any more documents required please obtain the same, these are the important ones that I can remember and the Police Certificate is the one that is a pain in the ass. The rest of the documents are easy to obtain.
Start-Up Chile folks would send you a code that helps you schedule an interview with the Chilean embassy in New Delhi. We got our visa within a couple of days but I would suggest you keep a weeks time in your head after you have obtained all the documents.
Once you have obtained your visa, it would be time to book your tickets. There are no direct flights to Chile from India hence you would be going with stop overs (there will be a minimum of 2 stop overs in any route).
Please remember, you need to check if any of the countries that you would be stopping over at require a Transit Visa. If they do, the best thing to do is choose a different route, one that does not require a Transit Visa.
We initially booked
Mumbai -> London -> Sao Paulo -> Santiago(Chile)
But later realized that London requires Indians to obtain a Transit Visa. Obtaining a Transit visa is almost the same as obtaining a tourist visa and if you do not have enough time on your hands it’s best not to go through such routes.
We finally booked
Mumbai -> Qatar -> Sao Paulo -> Santiago
None of these require a transit visa. There are a couple of other routes that do not require a transite visa for indians :
India -> Netherlands -> Lima -> Santiago
India -> Turkey -> Sao Paulo -> Santiago
I think there’s another route through Johannesburg that does not require a transit visa but I’m not too sure about it.
While booking the tickets, you have 2 options, either a one way ticket or a return. I did a mistake and booked one way since I wasn’t sure when I would want to return from Chile. But that was a mistake. Not because I do not like it here, it’s a beautiful country with wonderful people. But the tickets back home now cost me several times more! To give you context, I was getting return tickets for around US$2000 But I booked one way for around $1600. And the tickets from Santiago to India costs around $2200. Which means had I booked return tickets it would have cost me $2k but because of one way I’ve ended up paying $3.8k
This seems like a long post! If you have any questions please let me know, I’ll be glad to help.
Update: You can check if a transit visa is required on this site.
It’s always good to have a screencast displaying the most important features of your website. I looked around to find websites or people who would make a screencast but nothing seemed to suit my budget. I realized getting a screencast can be expensive. Whenever I realize that, I do one of the two things. I either forget about the idea or I try to do it on my own. Since this was important for us I chose the latter.
This is how I went about creating a screencast of Buffr :
I used Jing (Pro) to capture a video of buffr displaying what I thought were important features that users would like
I then downloaded Camtasia and edited the video. Editing involved chopping off a few sections which I thought were not needed. I also zoomed in on features so that users did not need to go full screen to see the screencast
I needed music that was legal and royalty free so I bought one from PremiumBeat
It took me around half a day to get it right. This was my first attempt and I’m a little more confident that the next screencast that I try would be better than this. It’s a start.
This is the screencast.
Update: My second attempt after we revamped the Buffr UI
There’s an Indian fine dining restaurant near our place. We finally visited it today. I like the name - “Salaam Bombay”. It’s run by a guy from Madras and he said they serve only North Indian food.
So, in Chile we had North Indian food in a restaurant named Salaam Bombay being served by a South Indian!
The next time I go there I’m gonna take some pics and put them here! The food was expensive (there are very few Indian restaurants here in Chile and they are expensive, they ought to be because the ingredients needed are rare and expensive as well).
I loved “rogan josh”(mutton) and the “jeera rice” here.
Damage (in chilean peso) - 22000 + 2000(tip) divide by 3 people = 8000 peso each.
I was invited for a chilean lunch at a friend’s place. Chilean cuisine is usually bland (at least by Indian standards) but she was sweet enough to make some spicy salad for us. I’m not really a salad person but I just loved this one!
For the first time in my life, I actually ate an oyster, raw!!! All you do is squeeze lemon on top of it and eat it. I felt exactly the same as the author of this post did!
It’s been almost 2 months since I landed here in Chile. When I was leaving India, I thought I would blog everyday but I haven’t been able to, I failed in doing that.
It’s been a good 2 months here. The people here are extremely friendly. No one knows english hence it can be a bit overwhelming at the beginning. But over time you get adjusted to the new language and though you wouldn’t learn Spanish overnight, you gain enough confidence to get around the city.
I like the metro here as well as the cabs though the cabs are a bit too expensive but they are convenient if you are a group of 3 or 4. I’ve made some new friends here but haven’t had the time to interact much with them since buffr.com has been keeping me busy.
I get excited whenever a new idea enters my head. A day or two I’m all happy, thinking how smart I am to come up with something like that. And then, it all comes crashing down when I tell myself that this idea is too trivial, I’m never going to make a big “company” out of this little idea.
Stop thinking like that! Your core problem lies in not understanding that building a billion dollar company is just that, a one in a billion thing.
So what do you do?
Simple, do what is humanly possible. Plan and execute an idea such that you can start earning a few hundred dollars. Let the first money come in. Let people see what little things you are capable of. It does not matter how trivial what you have built is, what’s important is that it has the “made by me” tag.
Little $100 ideas will eventually give rise to a million dollar idea. Stop at the very first idea you have in your mind. Execute it. How difficult is that? Why haven’t you done it till now?
I will be reading this whenever I’m depressed that my idea does not seem to be a billion dollar idea. And I have to remind myself, if the idea of twitter had occurred to me first, I would have simply let it pass because it does not seem to be a billion dollar idea!
Things shouldn’t change once it’s apparent that you are going to quit a company. Your behavior towards work shouldn’t change and neither should your company’s behavior towards you change.
But, most of the time this isn’t the case. Employees tend to put on a lethargic attitude towards their work while employers start treating them as a step child. Then each starts blaming the other. It’s a vicious circle and my suggestion, whether you are an employer or an employee would be to not change your attitude towards the other.
All that you’ve put in, everything that you’ve built, all the credibility and all the love can suddenly disappear during the last few days in office. It’s so simple, why screw up all these years of hard work! Unfortunately, neither the employers nor the employees seem to get this thing.
It’s time you started doing something different from the rest. Employers be happy about someone quitting (now you get an opportunity to recruit some fresh blood into the company) and employees should hang on, keeping in mind not to screw up when your stint at a company is nearing an end.
I’m serving my notice period right now and I’m just glad things haven’t changed for me. I still love my workplace and I’m having fun at my last few days in office.
I’ve been working as a software developer(Java) from the last 3 years or so. I got a job through campus placement at college and after about 2 years at my first job I moved on to work at an Indian startup named burrp.com which helps people find and review the best restaurants, spas etc in their city.
I officially resigned from my job last week, 5th of Jan, 2011. I will need to serve the mandatory 2 months notice period at work and 4th March would be my last working day.
I haven’t really chalked out a plan for the rest of ‘11, but the vague idea is to add new features to the site that made quitting my job possible - JustUnfollow.com
Apart from that, I’m working on buffr and it’s pretty exciting. I cannot disclose more about it, not that I intend to keep it super secret or something, it’s just that buffr as an idea and concept is evolving everyday. We plan to launch an alpha version soon and I’ll probably blog about it when it’s ready.
Another resolution for this year is to build at least one Android app. I guess I’ll probably start work on an Android application for JustUnfollow.
I’ve been a blogger for more than 3 years now but I’ve never had a personal blog. I wish to document at least ‘11, see what happens, where life as a jobless guy takes me.
The first blog I started was TechTamasha.com which is a technical blog. I stopped updating it but I wish to write a few good posts this year. My second blog, the one which gave me my first real online $$ (just a few dollars, nothing significant) was iSimplyBlog.com. I started off writing “how to” articles and then moved on to celebrity bitching, yeah, that works, search engines love such articles!
After that, I was hooked on to twitter. Twitter had just gone big with it’s API and a lot of new apps were being developed. I figured there was no good blog that reviewed the apps being built for twitter and hence started Twi5.com.
Twi5 did relatively well (it still gets around 1.5-2k page views per day) but I eventually was getting bored reviewing apps. Around the time when I had started losing interest in Twi5, Google launched it’s cloud offering the Appengine for Java. My joy knew no bounds. In front of me was a highly scalable hosting solution for Java backed by a company I love and respect. I decided to build a small twitter application so that I understand how the Google Appengine works. That’s when I built JustUnfollow.
When I used JustUnfollow for the first time, I kinda liked it. Out of no intentions of this being picked up, I just sent a tip about my application to TechCrunch. Within a few minutes I got an email from Michael Arrington with a screenshot of my application and he reported a bug in my app! I forgot all about the bug, the only thing I could see was the fact that Michael Arrington had personally tried it and took the pain to email me feedback! I guess my happiness would be comparable to that entrepreneur who would get his first seed funding, I was elated!
I replied back with a thank you(actually I was much more vocal, profusely thanked Arrington and wrote what I felt, how I respect him for building something like TechCrunch etc). The next email had a link to the post about JustUnfollow on TechCrunch, Michael Arrington just reviewed my app! My life changed, it fucking did!
JustUnfollow is now nearing 200,000 registered users. Around half a million unique users visit the site every month and on a regular day about 350,000 users get unfollowed through the application.
Though it all seems good now, I want you to know success doesn’t come easy. You got to work hard for it, everyone does. It’s just that the successful ones make you believe that they had it easy. I have yet to find success(I’ll start wearing a wrist watch the day I can call my efforts a success) but from what I’ve seen in these years, it’s easy to give up, lose focus and blame everything around you when things don’t work out.
Don’t give up, that’s your first step to succeeding. Do what you like, that’s the second step. The third step is to find a co-founder. I’ll let you know the fourth step when I take it.