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… You can start by saying something like: “Let’s work with Pareto distribution“. At this point of the meeting, everyone will look at you with admiration.

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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Business

How To Start? The Execution

Build something people loveThis is the last part from four presentations I did to a course for young entrepreneurs. In the last three lessons: Idea, Product and Team I did my best to focus on the things that will move the needle for you at the early stages. This fourth lesson is all about execution and it might be the most critical part. Continue reading

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Business

How to Start? The Team

Build something people love

This is the third part of four presentations I did to a course for young entrepreneurs. The slides are as brief as possible because they meant to give just the framework. The real content is pass verbally.
However, the main points to pay attention are:

  • In many aspects, finding a great co-founder is like finding a partner for life. You should do your best to seek for someone you can trust and spend time with during circumstances that will be very challenging. The ‘honeymoon’ will pass quickly, so make sure it’s someone you want to have with you on a deserted island, because this is what ‘startup life’ will look like after few days. It’s important that your skills will complement each other. So if you are the technical person, you should find a partner that is strong in business, marketing, sales etc’.
  • You should pick the initial team members by their resourcefulness and passion (or determination) to the mission of what you are trying to accomplish. A good way to look on the ‘founding team’ is for people that could have been co-founders if the timing was right. Another great way to look on these first hires as people that you would have feel comfortable to report to.
  • Hire only when you desperate – So do everything first and only hire when there is no other option.
  • Hire true experts. The difference between an ‘OK’ developer and a true expert is unbelievable. At the early stages, it’s critical to build an ‘A Team’ because these type of teams create ‘A companies’.

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Business

How to Start? The Product

Build something people loveThis is the second part of four presentations I did to a course for young entrepreneurs. The slides are as brief as possible because they meant to give just the framework. The real content is pass verbally.
However, the main points to pay attention are:

  • Get users manually at the beginning. It won’t ‘scale’ but that is more than fine. You need at the start to get users (in every way possible as long as you aren’t breaking any laws) and not to expect them to come to you. The notion of ‘if we will build it they will come’ is not working in most cases.
  • Listen to outside users – This is very important in order for you to build something that users love. A lot of users will give you noise, but your role is to extract the signals and shape the product base on that feedback. You should build an engine: Users -> Feedback -> Product improvement

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Business

Find A Great Co-Founder

Startup thoughts on changeIn the past, I wrote about hiring for startups and raising money. It’s one of these things that you must do right. Hopefully, on the first try. It’s also, easy to say and really hard to do. There are a lot of things to consider and in most cases, it’s during a time that you are extremely busy with building your product and finding answers to daily fires.

If your core team is not a great one, your chance to build a great business is low. It’s important at the start, when you wish to find a co-founder that will be a good match. This post is aimed to founders and investors. It contains the aspects that I would look for. Continue reading

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Chrome

Use House Ads To Improve Your Revenue

Ads at work on the beach

As developers and entrepreneurs, we have mountains of data.
Data that could change your business and move it forward. However, there is s
o much data that it’s overwhelming in some cases. Life force you, in some cases, to ignore it. But that’s the wrong path to follow! You wish data that is actionable and moving your revenue forward.

The freemium model was one of the reasons to a huge disruption in the data world. We see it clearly in the gaming market. For game developers, the need to understand users through data is particularly acute. In the past 2 years, we learn that everyone is a gamer: there were 1.78B gamers worldwide as of August [Source] and the number keep moving up. Since we are talking here on free installation, we do need to make money after the users installed our game. It will be good 

Now, because users act differently the foundation of any monetization strategy should be your analytics.
There will be segments in your userbase that will:

  • Pay for In-App Purchases
  • Click on ads
  • Engage with certain types of ads (e.g. full-screen video)

A custom monetization strategy for each user means you are maximizing your revenue. There are few (new) tools in AdMob to help you to do this. It’s call ‘audience aware’ because it will tailored the right solution to the right user at the right time. Continue reading

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