running on a wood bridge
Chrome, JavaScript, webdev

Protect Your Website With HTTPS

TL;DR

  1. Create (for free) an SSL certificate.
    One resource for that is letsencrypt.org
  2. Install it on your website’s server: letsencrypt.org/docs/client-options/ – You just quickly choose the client that will match your server environment or do everything in your browser.
  3. Change all your website’s links from HTTP to HTTPS so that search engines are notified and users will get the HTTPS version.
  4. Go have a drink.

Why?

You should always protect all of your websites with HTTPS, even if they don’t handle sensitive communications. HTTPS helps prevent intruders from tampering with the communications between your websites and your users’ browsers. It might be a malicious attacker or legitimate (but intrusive) companies, such as ISPs or hotels that inject ads into pages. Your users will think that your site is ugly or worst because they can’t tell who is doing what to the pages.
If you care about your users, always protect them and serve them with HTTPS. It will also prevents intruders from being able to passively listen in on the communications between your website and your users. Another benefit we gain from HTTPS is the ability to work with new powerful web platform features: Continue reading

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 5.23.45 PM
Business, Chrome

How To Kanban?

Kan-what?

That is the first thing you hear when someone is hearing about this for the first time. In my last two startups,  I used it and it works quite good for us. Like in Agile / Scrum and all the other methodologies, you need to try and take what works for you. The magic in Kanban is the ability to keep most of the ‘things that works’ and gain productivity. If you like to do daily stand-ups meeting – keep them. If you push new version to production every week – keep it and the list goes on. The power of Kanban is in the ability to improve the communication and to put everyone on the same page, or a board in this case.

The Kanban technique emerged in the late 1940s in Toyota. It was their effort to invent a new approach to manufacturing and engineering. Line-workers displayed colored kanbans (=cards) to notify their downstream co-workers that demand existed for parts and assembly work. The system’s highly visual nature allowed teams to communicate more easily on what work needed to be done and when. It also standardized cues and refined processes, which helped to reduce waste and maximize value.

How to use it in your startup?

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The startup bridge
Business

Super Bosses Playbook

Any company got super bosses, but do we know who they are?
How can we find them?

Think on SNL and their amazing process to share talent and collaborate while each team member needs to push her parts so they will be aired.

I enjoyed this book by Sydney Finkelstein (Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business at Dart­mouth College). In this book, he analyzes the qualities that are shared by rockstar leaders who’ve transformed entire industries. They share a common approach to finding, nurturing, leading, and even letting go of great people. He used few interesting examples from different fields like football coach Bill Walsh, restaurateur Alice Waters, technol­ogy CEO Larry Ellison and fashion guru Ralph Lauren.

What super bosses are doing? Continue reading

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buleberrys
Business, webdev

How To Rapid Prototyping?

One of the strength points that startups got over big companies is the ability to run fast and try new things. That’s why it’s important to improve your prototyping abilities.

Rapid prototyping composed from quick iterations of these three steps:

  1. Prototype – Draw, sketch or code something that can be reviewed.
    Convert the description of the solution into mock ups that everyone can see and review. You should take into considerations what is the story that will drive the user interaction. What will be the best experience?
  2. Review – Share the prototype with stakeholders (=users, developers and designers) and evaluate whether it meets their needs and expectations. If you can, let them try it and watch what they are doing. Try to mimic the real world as much as you can. For example, if it’s a mobile web app, let users try it with 3G networks (or even 2G) and see what is working and what is not.
  3. Refine – Based on feedback and data that you collected, identify areas that need to be refined or further defined it in the prototype. Now jump to step #2 and see if the result improved or, like in some cases, they did not.

The key to a successful rapid prototyping is revising quickly based on feedback. You should say ‘no’ to a lot of suggestions and let the data leads you. This approach helps teams experiment with multiple approaches and ideas on their way to a new product. It also reduces the risk by putting everyone on the same page (or in this case, the same image).

What to Prototype?

Use the 20/80 rule.

As a starting point, you can impress your colleagues when you suggesting it… But more importantly, it’s helpful – For real.

Focus on the 20% of the key functionality that will be used 80% of the time. You wish to showcase how your product will work and later how it will look like. So ignore all the ‘little’ features that are not part of these core functions.

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kayaks in a clear lake
Business

Is Working For This Startup Is The Right Move?

Coming to evaluate if a specific startup is a good option for you?

You should check it from several different angles as the risk/reward is very different from a mature company. The critical aspects that I will look for are:

  • Do you like the people?
    Culture fit is the critical because you need to work with your team mates every day and spend a LOT of time with them, especially if the startup is early stage. If you aren’t having fun with them… will it be worth the time?
    How do you figure this out: Try to go out for a drink or lunch. When you hang out you could learn a lot by talking on life and see how they treat others.

    Screenshot 2015-05-13 18.03.41

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The Tree
Android, Business

How To Make Money From Your App?

What are the action items that will increase the odds in that battle to improve your monetization?

This is one of the most challenging aspect for every startups. After you build your application (or service) you need to measure all the actions that the users take. This is a learning mechanism that will let you iterate (hopefully quickly) and improve your product. Once you feel that you have a good product market fit and you are out of the alpha (or beta) modes it’s time to put efforts in the ‘Grow’ and ‘Earn’ parts.

Let’s see what are some of the tools that we can use.

develop, grow and earn! Continue reading

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blue in the dessert
Chrome

How To Build A Progressive Web App That Works Everywhere?

Progressive web apps are a huge opportunity for businesses. They are all about an amazing experience and make the user productive from the first visit. We wish them to be fast and reachable everywhere. I wrote in the past on ‘How to build a PWA‘ – But in this post, I will address the issues we face with the gaps in browsers. After all, this is the web and not all browsers are equal in terms of spec (ServiceWorker API) implementation. I see you smiling after the last sentence… That’s good.

There are 3 main parts that we wish to implement:

  1. Offline capabilities.
  2. Push notification.
  3. Installation.

Let’s see what can be done in each part.

Offline

This is the main feature that let us ‘feel’ more like a native app. The user can be productive everywhere, with or without a network connection.

The good news is that Chrome, Firefox, Opera and UC browser are all supporting service worker. This is the API that enables us to give our users the magic of offline capabilities. We even know that Edge will support it soon.

The (big) elephant in the room is 
What can you do about it?
Treat network as a feature, and use Web Storage API to cache content. Your web app will require network connection to load, but then treat the network as a feature. You can use AppCache. It’s a deprecated offline spec, but you can use it to buy time and give your iOS users an offline experience. Make sure you are using it only on a single page app as it got lots of ‘douchebag parts’.
Here is an example of a web app that works with app cache. I’ve created it during 2013, so please take it easy.

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