5 questions startups ask us most often as their technology consultant

Over the past month of our operation at Adeptus, we have been approached by an overwhelming number of startups from all over the world. To lend credence to our founding belief, all discussions did tend towards the future of the product that the startups are heralding into. Yes, we are in the right place at the right time as we see markets explode as well as implode. All the innovative disruption in business models, technology enabled market places, user oriented product development and the excitement of customers lapping it all up, makes us realize the various ways Adeptus sits at the cross roads of all this activity, be it cloud or mobile or analytics focused businesses. 


The ideas that the startups’ founders developed into a product are a great reflection on the brilliance of what today’s technology enables so quickly at such rapid development plans. The open source frameworks work well within the bounds of a MVP and provide users the experience of disruptive change in a market. We discussed some really exciting products and continue to see the innovation almost on an everyday basis. 


All the discussions, around 15 minutes in, brought forth some serious questions from these entrepreneurs:


1. Can you help us with a product development road map? How can some serious development effort be put “now”? 


2. Can you advise on how we go about our development plans as they emerge,  change and our product/market plans adapt? 


3. Can you advise on scalability? Our platform currently can handle X users over a Y parameter, which is going to change quickly as we expand and release the product to more users. 


4. We have a large investor on board and they want to see the architecture in a manner that would work as we commercialize. Can you help? 


5. Can you validate and recommend on our current technology strategy? We see issues arising soon from interface, security, integration, code refactoring, performance, standards compliance etc. 


You tell us if these are questions, as a startup, you face too? 


Add to this list so the community can benefit. This helps discussions and solution definition. 


And, if a discussion would help, connect with us on Twitter @Adeptus_Tech or on email connect@adeptus.in


7 gaps in developing a new software product and how we handle those

Customers (whether they know what they want or not) drive new product visions. When we founded Adeptus, it was to address some of the clear gaps that startups and enterprises face in developing these new products. Startups and enterprises alike develop new products either as a ground up disruptive market force or as a constructive tool to effectively utilize an enterprises’  resources. Sometimes they aim to develop radically differentiated products and often times the need is to cater to the customer by enabling digital strategies like mobile, social, analytics and cloud.

Both challenge the status quo and take steps to go through with their vision. Both need a Minimum Viable Product (or whatever they call their initial prototype and way of approaching the base product with minimal yet essential features) and then funding / budgets, as the case may be, to be able to go attract the potential users.
There is a world of difference in the way software products are developed at a startup and at an enterprise. But it is the same eureka moment, that drives the individuals at both places, born of a felt technology or market need.

In either case and in our experience, the identifiable gaps were in:
  1. Validating their hypothesis with use cases
  2. Creating a architecture that the product would grow with in its infancy and then as it grows
  3. Conforming to the standards and practices of the specific technology or market
  4. Getting advise on a basic initial product roadmap, mockups, wireframes, Agile, Lean, etc.
  5. Making early stage decisions on how data would be generated, stored, analyzed and presented
  6. Using existing frameworks, existing solutions, interoperability, integration, interface development, etc
  7. Real world implications of these technology decisions in short, mid and long term

All this while when we worked with clients that were startups from accelerator / incubator program as well as Enterprises – we provided the most value in assisting with challenges towards:

  1. Selecting / validating a technology platform vis-à-vis the product roadmap
  2. Evaluating / recommending on what it would take to get to the respective product stage
  3. Creating / helping create a product development plan in line with expectations from their customers, investors and product owners
  4. Helping address the Mobile, Analytics and Cloud vision for the product

We understood the wish to keep IP in-house and the wish to keep engineering closer at home. Yet, the gap we help address continues to bring in broader as well as niche focus on how product development can be done in convenient ways that are unique & effective to each client, market and product.

What has been your experience? Any learnings? Any breakthroughs you care to share? Did it work out for you with outside expertise? Did getting outside assistance help see the product / development stages differently? …

connect (at) adeptus (dot) in

6 reasons professionals should connect to build a real Business Network #startup #entrepreneur #business #network

6 reasons professionals should connect to build a real Business Network

In numerous discussions with friends in the business community, I find that we feel increasingly lonelier while getting on more and more social platforms. So much of today’s business networking platforms are more and more becoming silos. Somehow, being in those networks for so many years, I feel like one is just helping oneself get an identity. Its not creating connections in a networked manner that would facilitate business. It is more a database with some connection “stuff” but its not truly engaging users amongst themselves.
There should be no commitment to discuss a business requirement, the network should be a rich source of such interactions.
While talking to a startup or a young entrepreneur, one might realize that there is a unique need for scaling the platform, there should be someone in your network for that. While talking to a enterprise, I might realize there is a need for a specialist Peoplesoft implementation and I should be able to recommend a network member for that.
For that matter, the network should be run by the network to facilitate an ecosystem of unified productivity. A new business needn’t hunt for anything; the network could be where they need to make a connection and options would be available via recommendations, trust and pure wish to make a business happen.
I have been thinking about this for a while now and thought of putting this down to share. Probably its my insane need to verify if there “is” such a thing as a collaborative networked business place. 
Professionals should connect for:
  1. Bring Down the costs of finding solution enablers and building a business
  2. Access to minds and resources
  3. Enabling “trust” for new engagement by making the network work for them
  4. Encourage “skin in the game” by investing faith and confidence, money will follow
  5. Have various specialists complement each other
  6. Increase effectiveness overall
These might seem like random thoughts but networking would go a long way if we just recognized the value each of our network partners brings to the table. We could all work together to bring the costs of building a business down by adding that special flavor of “Lets Help Each Other Grow”.
Thoughts anyone??? If this sounds like a product idea, go ahead and create it, I will be your first user. I will even help develop it in a manner that will be a fresh experience for any startup and entrepreneur.

3 things Startups and Entrepreneurs should be able to talk to the tech community about

Many startup founders work themselves towards creating the software platform their business is based on.

You soon realize that

  • that what you have developed needs to be handed over to a team as your business grows and gets funding to expand.
  • that documentations, comments, APIs, scalability, extensibility and UI/UX might not have been the drivers while getting the product off the ground.

It is at such time that you as an entrepreneur want to get a view of what is needed to enable the growth, adoption, scale, integration, and appeal of your product.

When you start to think of a product road map situation that needs to be resolved, when you are ready to spend that time looking for a solution, why is it so difficult to find value for your time when there are a plethora of services companies out there waiting on you.

No it should not be difficult and there is a method to deriving that benefit. Start with connecting with “thinkers”.

It should be about gaining from the discussions that ensue. It has got to be a discussion to reach out and bring in ideas.

The only valuable interaction is to have a freeflow discussion about:

1. Technology in general on how you see the implementation for your product

2. Technology implementation on scenarios that have been on your mind in terms of future growth, user experience, ease and simplicity etc.

3. Likely problems and likely solution scenarios in terms of changing technology landscape for the Holy trio of Mobile, Cloud and Analytics. These are going to affect any business sooner than they think

Yes there is no commitment from either party but this interaction can build a long term trust based relationship. We are a consulting startup and just like a product startup, customer acquisition is topmost in our wishlist too.

Just like a product startup, a services business has the same need for validation, proving the team’s worth and then to showcase capability to meet and hopefully exceed expectations. The only difference is that we actually live and breathe technology in scenarios that are even more complicated and demanding than a specialist developers job profile. An important reason is because we have to work with moving targets with sometimes completely different set of requirements. We enjoy the challenge. We also like to talk a lot.


5 questions to ask when developing a new product #entrepreneur # software # development

Thoughts from Adeptus: Its true that a lot of work that goes into a successful software product is actually the bare hands that build it and that at the very beginning, dreamt it up. Its often noted that many software products that succeed in building a viable market leadership start out as just a POC or a free trial or a subsidized and cost efficient solution for initial users, etc. In the present time business thinking is about getting a buyer first with a MVP and then build the product from almost the ground up specifically engineered for those buyers.

In the above synopsis though, there is a whole team of just quarterbacks who are constantly working with keeping the ball in hand and passing it for a definite touch down. That team is your software development guys. There is a lot of work that goes into building a product that will continuously feed the business guys and the customer development folks who are sweating it out and pitching really hard out there. This work is done by your software development teams.

When you first had the idea:

  • Did you give a lot of thought to future proofing your technology stack?
  • Did you think about having the most effective performance metrics written down and adhered to as the product usage grew?
  • Did you wonder about the best possible way for a prospective customer to start using your product with minimal hassles towards signing up or actually using it without worrying about anything on a scalable, secure and robust cloud server?
  • Did you evaluate all options while choosing technology stacks in terms of ease of coding, maintainability, support, scalability, IP, etc?
  • Did you think of going digital/mobile first?

May be you did think of it all or maybe you had an important team member do it. Regardless of who, the “what” and “how” are most important. The experience that comes with having worked for a number of such launches does tell us a thing or two about what to go for in product development scenarios. Keep watching this space as we try to put together interesting and useful info together for you to refer too.

Also please do share your comments and make this space really “happen”

Have fun in your business and as the Jedi Master said “May the Force be with you”

Adeptus Technology Consulting