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SamayLa: 'Samay' = Time; 'La' = Get

For moments, people, experiences, things.

Delayed Reactions

2012-08-16-Delayed-Reaction.png

Ref: http://monster-comic.com/?comic=delayed-reaction

Like the delayed reaction above, we are delayed. And some of this stuff keeps us going while we strive to put our best foot forward first.

The question, which almost everyone deals with at some point of time or the other, is when do you launch? Do wait to get the perfect product out or do you go to market with what you have?

On one side is the point of getting a better product out as it helps in referrals while the flip side is that you could go on forever and perfection is an endless quest.

On the second side, if you go to market sooner, you get feedback which can be further incorporated while the flip side is that that your product is unusable.

For us, the product is usable and we have people using it. But we are not happy with some UI things and basics like the tutorial section. While this was on, we decided to do a couple of features as well but we can sense the team is getting lazy and needs some market traction to show for their work. SOON. :))

Thank you for the patience, it’s not long before we come out with the public beta!

Till then…

fountain.png

Source: http://xkcd.com/1038/

Everyone likes their own baby!

A question, which I am asked multiple times, is which product out of the many existing is better. Its like asking the father, is your baby fitter / more beautiful etc. etc. than the thousands of babies that are born everyday! It’s a stupid question. On top of that, they ask, why do you think it is better? It is like a baby.

BABIES.JPG

Point is, a software product or any business is like a baby but is not a baby. Of course I’m attached and will defend the product which we have built but at the same time, I need to be open to feedback and be ready to open it up to people.

baby.jpegFATHER BABY

A thing which we did was hold a case study competition across the top B Schools of India where we got the teams to focus on the competitive analysis – where is our product better than competition or vice versa.

Share Poster 2.png

There were two points which came up which were around ‘security’ and ‘user experience’. Since then, we have completely changed the user experience to make it simpler and intuitive which will be reflected in the next release which is expected at the end of this week. For security, we will be moving to AWS and getting the https tag along with a phone verification process immediately after this release.

There were a number of things highlighted where we were termed as better than our competition which includes established players but we will leave that discussion for a later stage.

 

 

Managing Two Things – A startup & a day Job

Jan 28th, 2016

TWO BOATS

About 8 months ago, I was asked if I would be interested in managing Logistics for a growing E-Commerce company in India. Logistics was something new and a little extra money didn’t harm & I said Yes.

Since I joined, the team size has more than doubled, the average time of delivery of products has around halved and new IT initiatives are in place or under implementation, the number of logistic partners have around doubled and new innovative models like aggregators, fulfilment centre’s are currently running. A slew of new initiatives is under-way to further improve efficiencies. The Logistic team is great.

The empowerment has worked wonders and overall, things are moving in the right direction.

At the same time, Samayla, has moved to the next phase and we should be going for a grand launch soon. Working on Samayla helped my day job. How? As many people sayyou can and should only do one thing at a time. For me, since Samayla was there, I couldn’t have slacked on my day job as questions would be raised. I ensured & learnt to make whatever time I spent, where ever I was spending it, more efficient. I was less concerned with the office politics, not that I noticed, but more concerned with doing what I was hired to do. And do it quickly and well.

The help, and the only help, Samayla got was the focus I brought in everytime I walked into a room.

Of course, this time was my personal time and the last year or eight months have been filled with numerous getaway’s to ensure burnout doesn’t happen. This includes the occasional game of golf, weekend trips and the occasional long trip like this one.

Not being free might have helped in a way that I didn’t get in the middle of my Samayla team. Similarly, I didn’t get in the middle of my day job team of around 50 people. Everyone benefited and the persistence paid off.

PERSISTENCE

I am hoping something good will happen with Samayla in the next few weeks. I have a feeling this double thing isn’t going to last very long.

CAN NOT WAIT!

PS – Since I wrote this post, I have parted ways with my day job and am now focussing full time on getting Samayla to you. Just For You! 🙂

White sand, green clear water and business pivots

Jan 28, 2016

pic bo

As I sit on a beach (yes, that is a pic from the exact spot I was at!), there is some stuff that remains to go to market. The iOS app needs to get completed & tested, the android app needs some more testing, the organisation sign up process and the payment module remains and of course, the icing on the cake, the secret feature needs to be implemented across platforms. There is little time left, but hopefully we should be ready soon. To add value to your life, and to save time,,,which as I go on in life, I am understanidng is the most precious commodity.

I saw an article in a leading economic daily newspaper. Actually, it was more than an article; it was a whole page dedicated to the Enterprise Communication Market. And there are so many players, yet what is the secret ingredient that keeps us going? I wonder.

I am writing this on a vacation which co-incides, in a planned way, with my wedding anniversary. But more than anything, even though I have a long list to to-do’s before I started, the break is doing me good. I go back to a day job and have Samayla as well. We haven’t picked up any funding as such, but we have two angels investing their time and money to bring this to completion. At least one is investing both, our CTO and the other is only investing money in terms of providing a resource from his already existing organisation.

There is a stop over in Hong Kong, where I will try and meet few investors. BUt I wonder if Samayla in the form we envisage, could have helped us in this trip. We believe it could have and will…..soon!

hk

And there might be things which will happen which will change a lot of things which we have planned. But that’s the fun of it. We have discovered something, which will soon be live, which could add a lot more value in the short to medium term. But then, there is no point talking in riddles. We will be live soon….on iOS, Android & the web and will come out with more announcements in the coming few weeks.

CAN NOT WAIT!

Long Description for App on ‘Google Play Store’

Samayla = ‘Samay’ + ‘La’. Samay is the Hindi word for ‘Time’ and ‘La’ in Hindi means ‘Get’. In Chinese, ‘La’ refers to the life force which moves around a human body. So, SamayLa means ‘Get Time’. And we like the Chinese connotation.

life force

Samayla is a TASK LIST MANAGER which allows teams to work together by aligning the members by tasks. As a COLLABORATION TOOL, it serves as one communication channel replacing emails, project management systems and instant messaging tools. It also acts as a FILE SHARING SYSTEM, allowing you to organise your google drive and dropbox files by work streams. Apart from this, it is synced across various platforms and is hosted on the cloud thus, eliminating the need for multiple communication channels and thus, reducing noise. It saves time in organizing your mind space and thus, allowing you to focus on the immediate tasks at hand.

analytics
The analytics engine built in automatically highlights the tasks which are nearing completion dates and the notifications ensure no deadlines go missing. Apart from this, the activity feed ensures you have a track of all that is happening in your organisation. It is a CEO’s tool which allows one to micromanage or not manage at all. It is also a boon for entrepreneurs dabbling in various ideas and is essentially a tool to GET THINGS DONE – QUICKLY!

mind space

The archive function ensures that nothing goes missing and one doesn’t have to re-invent the wheel, for lack of records, while re-doing a project which was done 1 year ago! It can also be used as a personal planner or a group planner, e.g., while organising a trip with friends to France, or your next skiing holiday with family!

simplicity
Simplicity being the USP, we have consciously not compromised on UI for features. The steps are as simple as 1,2,3.

1. Create parent level tasks (categories).

2. Assign them to team members responsible (& pin them to the task!)

3. Create sub tasks & assign due dates.

We hope to save you a lot of time and that’s why the name, SamayLa!

Cheers,

The Founders

Short Description for the app for ‘Google Play Store’

NO EMAILS

,Microsoft Word - Document1

SIMPLE LIFE;

simple life

FOLLOW TASKS;

follow tasks

FROM ANYWHERE!

Productive-Anywhere

Opening: PHP, HTML & CSS Champs Only!

Are you this guy?

coder

Are you one of them?

girl

Seriously, all of them are magicians with HTML 5, CSS 3, have worked on responsive websites, PHP core, MVC frameworks and have managed web-hosting. They have total ownership and can spring up things in days when any stud coder would take weeks. They not only think about the technical aspects but also about the business implications and take initiative.

If you think you are anywhere close and you think you can do what has never been done before, then you are invited to talk to us!

Hashtags for current qualifications in the team include (not limited to):
#IIT Delhi Computer Science  #Yale #IIT (BHU), Varanasi #IIM Calcutta #Acclaimed Designer #7 Startups between founders #Proven apple team with 7 successful products

Location: No bar.

Thanks,

easy@samayla.com

Photo Shoot

So our designer is really picky. She didn’t like the photo’s available on all of the internet. The website was designed, everything was done and well, she didn’t like it. Had to push back the launch dates by a few weeks.

So here we are on a Sunday afternoon, the Marketing head, me and our UI stud, sitting in this coffee shop in Green Park. Thinking what to do. I got an idea – my brother has a SLR and an interest in photography – yes, both those things are different. I had seen some awesome picks of the monsoon which he had uploaded on FB a couple of days before. I picked up the phone, asked him if he was available for a quick shoot, picked up a few props and rushed. He only had 1 hour and we wanted this done on the very same day.

Outcome: the shoot extended by about 2 hours and we got about 250+ clicks. Here is one which we are not using for now:

6406cf8a-ebe5-4c00-87aa-72cfaa5cf675-medium

Just kidding: here is the actual one

pic 2

Kidding again. To see the images, you can visit http://www.samayla.com next week!

Cheers

CASE STUDY 1: What should ‘this’ business owner do?

Sales
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Should an organisation invest in having a sales force?

Let’s begin with a scenario. There are 200 organisations selling the same product. Each one believes that their’s is the best product, just like you.

So which one is the best product?

To go to the root of this question, let’s look at the root word, ‘best’. How does one define best? There are a few options:
1. One which sells the most.
2. One which has the highest aspirational value.
3. One which is fitted to the needs of the consumer.


One which sells the most will have the least resistance, as people don’t like to be wrong. It also has the highest revenues, and therefore, the muscle to protect it’s image. The one with the highest aspirational value – maybe like a rolls royce, does not even want to get into the mass market as it would lead to a reduction in the aspirational value.

Now, this aspirational value function, in terms of a software tool, like whtsapp or facebook, does not exist. So that leaves us with one which sells the most and one which is fitted to the needs of the consumer.

Now, the reasons why the second product is not selling the most could be many, vis-a-vis:

1. People don’t know it exists.
2. People don’t like to try new things as they are using the current tools for a purpose and as long as that purpose is getting fulfilled, they are okay. Something like, if you put a frog in boiling water, it will jump out, but if you slowly raise the temperature, you may have frog legs for dinner. I must put a disclaimer here, no frogs were harmed in writing of this article!
3. The adoption curve would involve learning and because of the law of inertia, it never seems to move.
4. The people don’t know or don’t perceive the benefits of it.

Here is where an old classmate who had studied with me at some point in my life comes into the story; he doesn’t believe that it makes sense to have a product which fits the needs and not have the maximum sales. Another person who I had met during one gathering comes in saying, that given all things being the same, you would want more money. Now, you can’t deny this outrightly. It is the condition of the world and there is no denying this. Unless you are a spiritual seeker, and given everything stays the same – you would want more money for the same thing you are doing.

Given the above assumptions, and yes, they are assumptions – which I will prove conclusively later, comes the question of sales and marketing. Or should I say sales vs marketing. From the perspective of employees, marketing helps sales. A blended organisation where both functions are present and they move in tandem to give you the best result. But as an owner, it is a much deeper question. You believe in your product and are excited about it. Now, you will talk about it endlessly. Or dream and think about it all the time. It will consume you whole. And the sheer passion, will be transmuted to everyone around you. A goal, a purpose in life. That’s one side of the story. Your side. Your partner, your friends, your clients – everyone will be tired of hearing you talk about this. They are not the one’s trying to make your dream come true, they have their own dreams and rightly so. They are just going about their dreams. And nothing wrong with that. But then comes the critical part of the question. If each person has a different dream, and people do get tired of hearing you, would having a sales force help? Will they not do the same thing? And do you want people who only want to talk about your company or purpose around you and you cant tolerate those who have other dreams? And would you like it if others did the same to you? I am guessing you have started to catch on now.


So, if this is the scenario, what would be the best way to go about the problem. One way, get on the loudspeaker, get the sales going and then sit back and reap the benefits. But the strangest thing in that is that very soon, you will have a competitor who will beat you with just the strategy you used to climb up the ladder. So then what, how does one go about promoting one’s product.

There are strategies one can apply to make one’s dream come true – market strategically, play games and tactics with friends or people who could potentially be friends but turn out to be clients or business associates. More like an army, we are walking the path – together. And our aims are common and which is what unites us. Usually, what you are told is agree or see your dream die. But do you want to lead a life where people run away from you – like you do from anyone passionate about a cause or thing you don’t care about? But it is said, that in this passion is where things are created. They have costs associated but the happiness derived from such causes, if it satisfies your soul, is enough. If you make a mistake in identification of what satisfies your soul, then boy-o-boy, you are in trouble. You have already paid a lot for something you don’t really care about. This might be a leading cause for depression. Not a topic of discussion for now but to arise is what makes all the difference, and search again!

So now, if you know that this might be a cause of a lot of pain in the future, then the only way is to find another way. Even though they say, its either that or your dream dies. It isn’t fare to hire a sales force and ask them to become your loudspeakers while you recognise this problem and conciously agree with it. So if there is no sales force, then the marketing force is what remains! And if that means that you have decided to not take that route, even at the cost of what you think is your dream – please understand, I am not asking you to give up your dreams, then which other paths remain open to walk to your dream? All I am asking is for you to give up the monetary angle associated with it. Remember, it’s from the context of a business owner. But the initial question, of how does one then build traction? One way is, go to lots of people and talk about it. Second way is, market well and take it easy about the “active” sales. Work only with in-bound inquiries? The challenge remains – how does one, where everyone is shouting their name, on tv channels, and in gatherings, through phones / skype / email etc. and so on; and how, if you choose, to not do active sales, will you tell your consumers about it? But you must struggle towards your dreams.

Another important aspect is a large percentage of the people employed form a part of the sales force. What about their jobs? You should never be in sales if you are not passionate about the cause of the founder. So basically, don’t sell what you don’t agree with. But now coming back as an employee, in this current scenario, money is an essential part. So here is where the ethics, morality and ‘applying means which agree with you’ come in. What does one do for money? No sales people were fired / killed as there are none to begin with.

One option is, do sales for sometime, and then relax. Second option, continue doing it because you think, live and talk it or you feel it is important or you believe it is important for the society. Third option, find a way, which in this loud cacophonous market will differentiate you and at the same time, which will add to the lives of everyone around you. But beyond a point, they will not listen and it’s not effective also. Given these circumstances, and the looney owner, what is the strategy?

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