GWT architecture best-practices

Its an excellent video that lists down many interesting things: A must watch for UI archs.

Just to summarize few of the architecture points discussed in this (and my comments)
1. MVP pattern usage in GWT. (using gwt-presenter library probably) http://martinfowler.com/eaaDev/uiArchs.html
2. Dependency injection on client side (Google-gin (client-side) and Google-Guice(server side))
3. Event Bus (following event collaboration by martin fowler http://martinfowler.com/eaaDev/EventCollaboration.html)
4. Command Pattern (probably using gwt-dispatch)

Hope it helps.. Please share your understandings as well.

Never kill a lead..

Sales is always complex, No matter what age you live in. There are always rules that tell you how to go about it. Well.. ask any successful marketer (or ) salesperson, they’ll say that they had their own rulebook. Something that worked for others may not work for you. So though, one needs to keep away from obvious mistakes, they’ve got to find their own way to success.. Let us share some of our own learnings..

Apart from other departments, sales struggles mainly in the department of pipeline management. So here are few tips that help manage the leads better:

1. Never kill a lead..

Even if a prospect says ‘no’ initially, don’t kill the record. Keep persisting with occassional reminders, mails and occassional friendly phone calls. You’ll be surprised how many percentage of such people would eventually say ‘yes’ to your offering and also thank you for keeping in touch. This is the essence of a salesperson, i believe.

2. More is not necessarily good..

Keep your lead pipeline very precise.. Do not just keep consuming business cards and flooding your pipeline. The percentage of useful leads directly affects the effectiveness of your sales activity. And psychologically too, its better to talk to people who are encouraging rather than talking to random people.

3. Let Customers market your product..

Treat every customer as your sales channel. On a successful sale, just drop in a email saying ‘Its a pleasure working with people like you. Can you please refer more people who’d be interested in our offering’. You’ll be surprised how many customers would lead you to many more customers.

4. Score your leads..

When you’ve got a long pipeline of leads in front of you, its very easy to go through the cycle and start calling everybody one by one. This would generally consume long time and the percentage of misses would be too high. Lead Scoring would help you in prioritizing the list and making sure that every call you make has the highest probability of converting to sale.

These are some of the tips that can come in handy.. Happy selling.

– Satya Narayan

Lead Simplified – Lead Management Simplified

Startup City Experience

In the last month, I’ve had the privilege to present my product at two startup conferences. One in Bangalore and other in Singapore. There were few similarities between the two, but overall they were both very different from each other.

Let me Start with our Indian environment..

Startup City is an annual event organized by Silicon India in Bangalore. There have been 2 events so far. Both witnessing a massive response from the startup world. No surprise, since Bangalore is one of the best startup ecosystems around in India.

The event was a success with around 100 startups and 3000 visitors. There were some awards distributed.. Check it out here

It was well managed, with a professional outlook. Nice stalls were provided for the startups. Every startup got an opportunity to pitch their respective companies in front of a decent size audience. (It was my first real pitch in front of a large audience. The experience was wonderful.)

Our Singaporean counterpart was a little different..

Unconference ’09 was the first of its kind which invited startups from across Asia to come and present at an international audience. It is organized by e27 an event management organization based in Singapore.

It had around 30 startups from across South East Asia and some from Japan and HongKong as well.. The crowd was fairly decent sized as well with around 1200+ visitors. Check out their details here

It was a very young crowd and the feel was also very similar. Certainly more colourful of the two. Lots of gaming and fun softwares displayed. Not many softwares on the business space though. It was pretty hectic over there, being the only person available to give the demo from our side.

Some very obvious differences were..

1. The nature of the applications

The Singapore event was full of games and fun applications and mostly online. Some of notable ones being frenzoo.com, socialwok.com and few others. Where as our Indian version comprised of more serious softwares (if that is what Enterprise software means) and mostly catering to the Indian segment. Some of the notable ones being leadsimplified.com, in4velocity.com and adoroi.com.

2. The nature of startup founders

The startup founders at Singapore event were full of young kids some still in their colleges.. It was a total youth affair and I was very surprised (pleasantly) and impressed with their involvement. While at Startup City Bangalore, we had some really senior people, and it was a completely formal affair.

3. The size of booths..

Well, this matters a lot and you can see the two version. On the right is the booth in Singapore, which was basically a stand-up dinner table. and of the left is Bangalore, which is a full-blown space to showcase one’s product and offering. Both demanded creativity. We were better at Bangalore, as we were around 4-5 people there.

Singapore Event
Startup City, Bangalore

Made some good associations at both the places.. With the rise in the number of startups, these events would also increase and give us a greater chance at stardom.

Great, looking forward to many such appearances. Probably move into the larger corporate sector as well..

Online tools for a startup

As with any other bootstrapping startup, we’re constantly looking at different tools which can help us maximize our productivity at the same time keeping the expense in mind.

Being a product development company, the needs are more technical in nature.. Apart from that, there are other operational needs as well.

Let me summarize some of the best tools that we use:

1. Bug Tracking / Wiki / Project management : FogBugz (www.fogbugz.com)

Fogbugz has been generous enough to offer a free plan for startups. We use the online version to manage our issues.

Its one of the best Project Management tool available. Some of the features are absolutely top of the world. We use it for Wiki and task distribution as well.

Inspite all this, we only utilize 50 – 60% of the features.

2. Leave Management : www.whosoff.com

A great tool to manage all your employees leave and organization holidays. Online tool, hence giving the flexibility of location.

3. Sales/Marketing Automation : Lead Simplified (www.leadsimplified.com)

One of the better lead management systems around for SMEs and Enterprises alike. Online tool enables marketing/sales team to access the data from anywhere. Great flexibility to have for a growing organization specially.

Some of the features like Dashboard, Lead Routing, Checklist, Enquiry Process History, Lead Scoring add the required sophistication into our whole sales and marketing system.

(PS : we’re the creators of this application, hence no cost)

4. Web Demos / Desktop sharing : Team Viewer (www.teamviewer.com)

Very easy tool for sharing desktops and conducting web demos.

5. Presentations : http://www.slideshare.net

Slideshare is a great community which has literally redefined the usage of powerpoint to drive a presentation.

6. Demo Videos : http://www.youtube.com

Its a no-brainer.

7. Customer Feedback : http://www.uservoice.com

We literally started at the same time as this startup. The tool is excellent as well.

8. Video Messages : http://www.openacircle.com

Look at their Beta release to get some information. Cool tool.

9. Development tools:

Eclipse, SVN, Firefox, Firebug, SQLYog, WinSCP, Putty, fireftp.

Still looking for::

1. Online Code sharing tool. (looking at few options)
2. Online team collaboration tool. (something like twitter locally, looking at few options)
3. Online invoicing/billing system.
4. Online Client Subscription management system.
5. Online client testimonial system.

Shall continue review of some tools later…