Understanding “BETA”

First thing to get out of the way… your users “don’t” understand BETA. This means that when they visit your business, if it doesn’t solve their problem they won’t come back. They don’t care if its Beta or Gamma. That is why BETA must not be approached as a way to get some feedback while work is in progress, but as a way of having a controlled situation where your objective is to learn as much as possible about the not-so-obvious motivations of your clients.

We have been “in Beta” since May and now we approach BETA in a different way. Mainly dividing it in two phases. This is what we’ve learned:

Use BETA wisely

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Managing Your Attention Span

I have relatively short attention span. Let me explain myself… I love solving problems, in fact, I always say that I haven’t found a challenge that I couldn’t solve (and I mean daily challenges not age long mathematical problems). If I find a challenge I will focus on it like a mad man and learn about it, turn it apart and become an expert as quick as possible. I think there is a medical name for that, OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder… or something.

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Tips on building your tech company for non-tech guys

First of all, as I have said many times, I haven’t got a technical profile… I’ve majored in Business Administration and have always worked in Business Development and Product Management during my “short” working life.

One common advice to all of us non-technical profiles that decide to start a new internet business is to “learn to program”… So that is what I did… And after some days of Python and Ruby-on-Rails I can tell you one thing: I am sorry to say but if you take into consideration all the implications and the time needed, that advice is… nonsense.

After attending some developer meetup and telling my story almost every advice I got was in fact the contrary… “Want to learn to program? don’t even try. Go find a CTO co-founder”. And that is what I did, and after a month doing that, I had a big breakthrough. That advice is, also… nonsense.

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Changing your source of motivation

When working at a big company there is always a focus on daily tasks. You have got a full inbox, 3 or 4 meetings and a trickling stream of people approaching your table to discuss this and that. The little time you have got left is focused in getting something done of that project with a dangerously close deadline. Day after day. Not much time for creative work then…

Then you decide to start your own business and suddenly your “daily” world turns upside down.

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Starting Entrepreneurs: How to keep your momentum going

Usually, ideas, if not nourished, end up crippling and dying. Even the most interesting and visionary. Without momentum, ideas that once had grown and developed in our head into the “next Google” end up loosing their vivid color and fall into oblivion. For startups, momentum lives and breathes in Silicon Valley, but for many of us, California is a bit out of hand… So you have to look for “momentum” in other places…

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