Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Startup - The Truth - 2

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Its been almost three years since we started GAViSTA TECH and every moment has been an experience! I've learnt a great deal and thought I should share some of my experiences of how its been so far and what I've learnt,

Mistakes - As a start-up you are bound to make mistakes! The real question is how fast you realize that you have made a mistake and correct it?

Pricing - You have got to be more flexible in pricing your product or service. You might have great expectations of what you've built and you wouldn't want to sell it for lesser than what its worth, but considering that the start-up is still growing and there are quite a few people who neither know about you or your product, you have to give in sometimes.

Salary - As a founder/co-founder or the heart and soul of your start-up, If you don't fix a salary for yourself, you will never get paid and you will never make the amount of money needed to run the company!.

People - Less number of brains = more work. Hire a few people and hire those who can contribute effectively. The more you hire, the more you lose money! They need not be brilliant, but if they are passionate,eager to learn and dedicated, they are more valuable than geniuses who wont take ownership of their tasks. The amount of work is never-ending and there are not enough resources to conduct a full fledged training, so your best bet is to hire those who are self-driven and passionate about learning new things and trying new ideas. You cant afford to hire those who are just looking for a way to make easy money.

Marketing - This is the toughest! Your customers seriously care about TRUST more than anything else. You might have an awesome product with some of the best features but word of mouth can only take you that far. Out of sight is truly out of mind, and until you build a brand, customers will be least concerned or interested in what you have to offer. Like I said earlier, being flexible in pricing will help gain the first few users who will potentially help you by spreading information about the product if they found it useful and efficient. Good products and good branding - both are equally essential for a start-up to sustain and be successful.

Ego - You need to let it go. Unless you learn to suppress your ego, learn to build a good network, learn from your mistakes and make decisions in favour of the growth of your start-up, you will only continue to struggle.

Push - There are three pushes required to succeed, First push is to start the company, second is scaling up (launching new versions, more money) and the third is expanding the market, expanding the product/service line and going public.

Its been an eventful journey so far, and its a continuous learning process...

Read Startup - The Truth - 1

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

LegalCrystal Corporate - India's Most Powerful Legal Search Engine. It's here.

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"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works" - Steve Jobs

In 2010, we revolutionized the way advocates access Indian Law. Our clientele increased rapidly and we received a lot of feedback, ideas and suggestions from existing users of LegalCrystal (www.legalcrystal.com).  As mentioned in my earlier posts, there are three segments to this Market -  High Court Advocates, Law Firms, Companies. LegalCrystal was focused mainly towards High Court and Supreme Court advocates.

LegalCrystal Corporate (http://corporate.legalcrystal.com) which was launched on January 26th, 2012, has an improvised user interface, search functionality and includes tribunals, commission and will very soon cover international case laws. The primary focus has been User Experience which has been completely revamped in this version. There are tons of features which are of primary importance to Advocates such as Tabbed Browsing, Search Filters, Sort Results, View Head-note, Analytics, Adding Note, Saving Judgments on the cloud...
To know more about LegalCrystal Corporate see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i3uH-KlILA

We have two other parallel products related to law in the pipeline.!  Watch this space for further details! :)

I would like to personally thank the team which worked on LegalCrystal Corporate :
GAViSTA Team 2011  - Akarsh E.S, Pratik Mehta, Pavan Sudheendra and Pavan SB,

Thank You Guys, Without you,  Corporate Version wouldn't have been launched successfully.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

EiNSTASOFT to GAViSTA TECH

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GAViSTA - In Sanskrit means " One who takes a dip in the Ocean of infinite knowledge and rises "

I was inspired by a company named "Payoda - rain bearing cloud(in Sanskrit)", its a start-up which provides cloud services. So I thought, why not do some research and come up with a good name for our start-up. We spoke to a few Sanskrit scholars and finally made a list of names in Sanskrit which has some relevance to the kind of work we do! Here are the list of names we shortlisted - Gavista, Gabhasti, Gambharam, Gadhita, Gambheera...
I personally liked GAViSTA, which is short, crisp and has a beautiful meaning!

WHY GAViSTA TECH?

  • I've been told by quite a few people that its difficult to pronounce EiNSTASOFT, some even went to the extent of asking me if it was a tongue twister!! 
  • There have been plans of late to register as a Private Ltd. Company and we heard from several people that its hard to get the name you want. 
  • Being an Indian Start-up, and Sanskrit being a integral part of our nation's cultural and spiritual heritage, we considered using a unique sanskrit name. 

To those who asked if something was wrong with the company or the team, well, whats with the pessimism guys? :D Thank you for the concern but things are going good and the change in name is just another step forward for us!

The start of yet another phase for our start-up - hope this change brings us good luck and fortune!!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

iMiss you Steve

1 comment:
 Every software company and every software employee survives because of Steve Jobs and wozniak's vision of building a home computer! if it wasn't for Steve, we would have lived in Stone age!
Steve jobs is the reason why I was able to get motivated and start a company on my own without anyones moral support!
Running a startup isn't a joke, if there were no folks like Steve, it would be highly difficult to get inspiration and inner drive to Think Different. The world has lost a brilliant thinker.
 I still remember when I was in college, where things around me were not so motivating to start a startup, Steve Jobs quotes taught me everything.It taught me how to start think different, How to develop a innovative product, How to sell/market it. That too in India where academic results matter a lot more than your LIFE ;), its hard to go against a system to start something on your own.                                                                                                              
“what really gets you is the way he talks — there's something about the rhythm of his speech and the incredible enthusiasm he conveys for whatever it is he's talking about that is just infectious.” - Alan (Journalist)
The biggest lesson is Steve's RDF - Reality Distortion Field. Jobs has mastered RDF.  I am still trying to get a pinch of RDF! I badly wanted to see Steve on stage in one of the Apple Dev Conferences, that was my dream! I even had saved money to goto USA just for Steve Jobs Keynote. As soon as I got up today, saw notifications on my iPhone! For a moment my brain was blank!
Well I can go on and on talking about Steve! He is and will be my SuperHero!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

iOS enrollment woes

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We all know how Apple is hellbent on perfection in all aspects. Recently I wanted to register for iOS developer enrollment which costs $99 a year. I followed the instructions in http://developer.apple.com and at the end of my enrollment, immediately I saw a screen which said, "Please download the purchase form, fill necessary details and fax it to Apple" WTF! I thought this was highly ridiculous..why couldnt they have any provision for online payment? Frustrated and reluctant to fax my bank account details, I  thought I would ask my friend in USA to register using his credit card. He was able to register and paid the amount using his US credit card and Apple even debited $102 with tax from his credit account.

I was relieved that it was finally done..Suddenly that night I recieved a mail from Apple saying "There is some problem with your identity, we are unable to match the credit card details with your iOS enrollment details so please FAX us identity verification form with Notary's Seal and Signature on it"
Aargh! I wanted to get the registration done at any cost, so I filled all the details in the identity verfication form, went to a notary , got it signed and sealed and even faxed it immediately.

Again that night, I received a mail from Apple saying, you will have to mail us photo identification (photocopy of your passport or Driver's license)! Without further ado, I dialed 1800-MY-APPLE from Skype. After a series of questions I was put on call to someone named Latisha from Apple Customer Support! I told her whatever had happened until then. She said it was against Apple policy to activate iOS Developer Program if the details of the credit card holder and iOS enrollment details dint match.

She also said, Please mail us your enrollment ID with Refund as subject  and our customer support will get back to you!

 A lesson learnt, I never bothered to see this before I registered for the program  -http://developer.apple.com/support/ios/purchase-and-next-steps.html .  I just googled and found that in a few forums they mentioned that it was possible using someone else's credit card and was misguided!

So finally, I created a new Apple ID, filled in details which matched my billing and credit card details. I downloaded the purchase form and faxed it to Apple.
They mailed me with iOS activation code and a link within 4 days. Finally, I have access to iOS Developer Resources!
Phew!