4 ways to prepare before reaching out to developer !!

 

The time before starting your own company or launching your product is the most exciting time. Here you spend hours doing research, you keep reading about the competitors, have a lot of new ideas, there is motivational content all around you, and you feel all ready to start building your website or mobile application. You want to get your idea developed, become the next Steve Jobs and build a brand like Apple. And you very well shall become that if you plan it properly and avoid the cliche mistakes.

 

One such mistake is made by the founders while they are getting their application made. It is being unprepared and keeping the scope of assumption on what you want to get build. What may be an assumption for you may not be such an obvious assumption for your technical partner. Hence things can get nasty. At Graffersid, we spend initial 14 days only researching and documenting the client’s market’s tech domain and finalizing the features.

 

Don’t wear sneakers for a morning walk; Difference between Development Preparation and Business Preparations

 

Your market research, competitor analysis, business model planning and your launch planning are the preparation on how you would run your startup. But your product preparations are different, the same amount of effort goes into finalizing how your needs to be built. Although, it is your tech partners role to guide you, however, companies in today’s highly competitive market may not dedicate so much time. Therefore, it is better to spend some extra days making a written document of everything that you desire.

 

And NO, I don’t mean you become a geek or a coder, all you need to do is make a detailed document on how things will work on your website or mobile application, a couple of documents mentioning the list of features with the URLs, and a list of competitors. Now let’s discuss this in detail to understand how it can be useful and what things should you take care of while creating it. Below I will also explain how is your competitor analysis different than your Technical Competitor analysis.

 

 

When you prepare for a WAR, it is better to know your enemy

 

This list will be the foundation of your preparation and will act as the backbone for your other documents. Let’s say you are making a grocery application for Indian Market, try to find out other competitors in this domain. In this case, the Competitors could include Groffers, BigBasket, Nature’s Basket, all these are your Indian competitors in the e-commerce segment. While creating a market competitor analysis you might also include, Kirana Stores, Walmart, etc. which are your offline competitors, however, they may not be required for the Technical Competitor analysis.

 

Break your competitors in 3 to 4 segments:

 

  • Local competitors:
  • Local competitors are the other startups in your city or state but haven’t expanded much in other parts of the country. For example: OnDoors (Bhopal based e-store), O2Onow (Hyderabad based e-store), ShopKirana (Indore based e-store).

     

  • Across country competitors,
  • There are the famous startups that you know of like Groffers, BigBasket, Beelivery, etc.

  • International competitors,
  • International competitors could be startups who are operating in multiple countries or could simply be successful starts in any specific country. Example: InstaCart, Shipt

  • Unspecific Competitors
  • There competitors are the once who are more diversified. They operate in multiple domains including your domain. Example: Amazon, UberEats, Flipkart.

     

 

This particular document will come in handy for gathering new ideas in which mobile app could be used to generate additional business and attract more customers. If technology is used properly it could save you 30% of the marketing cost. Let’s see what all information can get out of a list of competitors that we have just created.

 

 

Finalizing feature is like a girl in a mall to buy 1 dress (Sounds easy ?) :

Features are the most important part of the application, it could be the deciding factor on how users would use your product. Even if you make the most beautiful product in the world but the user does not have the required functionality to reach to his end result, it is very likely that he won’t use your product twice. Moreover, it is better to discover all the required features before-hand because adding a new feature in development phase or after the product is built could take significant efforts and delay the release of your product.

 

Make a list of all the features:

 

The most common features are the most likely ones to be missed out. It could prove to be disastrous in the later stages of the development. Hence, list down everything you see in any of the competitor’s application. Things even as small as login button, cart option on the left top corner, etc. There are 2 reasons for doing such a tedious work.

 

  1. Discovery and Finalisation of Features:
  2. When you have a detailed list of all the features that currently exist in the particular domain, it becomes easier to discover new features which could help your end users. You can find interesting combinations of features which could dramatically improve the UX. 

     

  3. Ease of explaining:
  4. When you share this document with your IT partner, it would be easier for them to understand your idea in depth. Moreover, it would also reduce the chances of confusion and assumptions.  This would help you in reducing the time for getting the work started. And, ensuring that the development goes smoothly without any surprises.

 

Your product is like your health and your documents are like the gym:

If you don’t go to the gym you won’t die, at least not immediately, but if you do go to the gym you surely live more healthy and longer. Once your list of features is ready, you can now start to analyze which are the absolutely necessary and which features are just and overheads. As a new product in the market, you don’t want to be too bulky or tough to understand. So try to keep the UI very simple and self-explanatory. Have only those features which are necessary and highlight your USP maximum.

 Create a flow diagram for all types of users, as the last step, create a separate excel sheet document with all the types of user roles written on top and all the final features on the left. While noting the feature make sure you write them down in the flow they occur. Like,

 

  1. Signup 
  2. Login
  3. OTP
  4. Profile
  5. Product Discovery
  6. Categories
  7. Search, etc.

 

The reason to write it in a flow is so that you don’t miss any point and the reader of the document can understand your mindset towards the application.

 

Beneath each user role writes in detail about the information required and the next possible actions he could take from his current stance. Mention it in as detail as possible, to a level that you never have to use “ETC.” in the complete document. Moreover, try to also depict how an action of one user role affects the other user roles. For ex: if the delivery boy is out for delivery then all the other users will receive a notification about the same.

Conclusion

 

Do this and you would reduce the chances of entering into dispute by 80%. For all future reference, you can refer to this document as the agreed deliverables. It does take some time and lot of efforts but then again the startup is your dream it is completely worth every second invested. Wish you all the best, hope you have a great experience and build some beautiful products. Achieve all the success you deserve.

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Full Stack Software Engineer to a Business Developer

You will not know what you are good at unless you try it. Stop Thinking, Start Acting!!

In my first management role, I helped the company register a 3x growth with 41% hike in revenue, by monetizing the existing data and resources, and introduced them in 2 new verticals. Not big numbers? Well, these are 1-year start when I freshly switched my profile from a Full Stack Developer to a Business Developer.

The perk of being in a Start-up is that you get to try out multiple roles, for me, it has ranged from Project Manager to Business Developer, to Business Strategist and from hearing peers’ poor jokes to planning their personal growth.

Success is the result of HUNGER!!

As a software developer I got recruited in a top IT MNC, 3 months went by pretty smooth. Everything happened in proper sequence; Got JAVA, no bench, worked for one of the biggest clients, great project and amazing peers.

Not long before I realized that technology updates are like Prince Robert’s wife, there is gonna be a new one around the corner every couple of month.

I proactively learning new languages starting with Ext JS and went on to learn Angular JS, Ember JS, Node JS and Mongo DB (of course JAVA that was my core) to a point where I took training sessions within the company.

Oh did I forget to mention that I also developed a POC (proof of concept) project with a 4 member team, to 6 months later give a presentation to a UK client who later awarded us and funded the project. I made official contribution to the Internal Knowledge Repository, which was appreciated by peers globally, which helped me become a consultant developer for 3 internal Ember JS projects.

But probably there was more to life. The growth was slow, I needed more exposure, more power, more opportunity.

No Deal is bigger than your inner feeling !!

With 1.8 years of experience, I got my first opportunity to switch with a hike of 250% (yes, yes Indian developers are cheap) at full stack developer profile in Johannesburg (SA) and with a lucrative opportunity of travel US for understanding clients needs.

Somewhere it didn’t feel right, I loved coding but I was also fairly good at leading teams, gathering requirement, management and understanding the audience.

I respectfully declined the offer to understand what I really wanted to do, with a world full of opportunities.

Reality hitting Hard!

Here I stood for the first time in my life with nothing in hand. I had already quit the job in one of the biggest IT company, I declined the offer letter of a dream job (for me) and I made a blunder in the exam for which I spent 5 months preparing.

The most disturbing part was to not realize the what I really wanted to do, what is my interest. Meanwhile, I was already helping Tech-based companies acquire clients and generate revenues. It did make me feel good to see the companies follow right ethics and grow by providing value to their clients.

After wasting 2 months I decided to change the strategy from thinking to taking action.

Realizing how fast the world is moving!!

I got the exposure of billion-dollar startups making a global impact like Wittyfeed, Appointy, Paytm, Flipkart, and Ola. It became blatantly clear to me that my next target is to work in global market.

The realization led me to an Interview at a 2-year-old startup for Business Developer position with a contract of 1 year, the role was to acquire global clients and grow the company. 3 rounds, 3 hours and the position was mine . “Yes, the game was ON”.

Grabbing it by the balls!!

I worked rigorously, in 3 months I was also handling Project Management, in next 3 months Business Strategy was added, in next 2 months, I was overlooking support, sales, and marketing as well.

You must be thinking that I took it way too fast and should have given it more time to absorb the role, so did my parents. But ask the founder who enjoyed 3x growth at 41% revenue growth, he might have a different story to say. I was tireless, highly motivated, wanted to try too many things and a startup was just the right platform.

The grapes do taste sweet !!

What a ride it was, in the 1 year I was generated 116 global leads, converted 78, and delivered 28 projects successfully. More importantly, in a survey, my Client Happiness Index stands at 75% and my Team Happiness Index was astonishingly high at 98% . I knew I have found my domain.

But I think my true achievement stands neither at 67% conversion rate nor at 75% happiness index, rather it is the fact that I was able to help set right processes, grow the company in 2 new verticals, find ways of monetizing the existing data and resources, and help the team stay motivated towards the goal.

The Journey Began!!

I started giving consultancy to multiple companies majorly across 5 countries. Interacting with the people and traveling to places across the globe definitely opened my horizon.

Every morning I would wake up to read about the success story of my clients and their messages thanking me for the services.

YES I have found my domain but the HUNGER is not yet satisfied.
I ain’t tired and I ain’t stopping !!

6 Learnings of my journey!!

  1. If you are looking for starting a new venture and consulting friends for it, only 5% of all the people you meet would be serious about doing something. So don’t waste your time start already.
  2. Experiment while you can. If you haven’t found your strength, just try new challenges and say YES to everything that comes your way.
  3. Leadership is about making new leaders.
  4. Be the king of one rather than Jack of all.
  5. To be successful you need to be pro-active and keep learning.
  6. Always have big dream but break it into small actions.
  7. Never be satisfied.
The world is too big, the problems are too many, opportunities are endless. Focus on solving real problems do something truly great.
Everything is Possible !!

justify

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