Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Has your Startup registered on these 7 Websites ?

Jason Calacanis - the famous American internet entrepreneur and investor, hosts a very popular video show called "This week in Startups". 
Its an amazing show where not only he interviews a famous and successful entrepreneur but also very smartly demonstrates the product of the show’s sponsors like Cloudfront, Mailchimp etc.
He says as the show begins “BE AMAZING ! BE EVERYWHERE ! BE REAL”.
Every startup should live by this code especially as networking and connections are the best way to find your prospect customers, investors & future hires.
As a start-up, your first hindrance is getting online visibility. This becomes important if you want to drive traffic to your landing page. Doing marketing, PR, SEO, Outbound as well some Inbound etc all help in various capacities but this all comes with a cost of time, effort or money.
The savvy Entrepreneurs hustle up by reaching to places where they get eyeballs and traction, & that too FREE.
I will today list about 7 interesting websites startups should register in order to enhance visibility & reach.

1. AngelList

Nivi & Naval have revolutionized the way entrepreneurs meets investors and prospect early hires with their forum AngelList. Its a haven for entrepreneurs in the valley and across the globe.
AngelList is a platform where startups can meet potential investors. With an office in India as well, AngelList allows smaller investors to invest $1,000 or more in a startup on the same terms as other large investors. As an entrepreneur, this website will help you raise money for equity & debt investments. AngelList has helped companies get over $12 million + over the last few month, isn’t that something?

Why Register ?

1. When you set up your profile on this site, it becomes a means for you to get noticed, by the public/potential leads and investors alike.
2. When investors get to know each other through this site and talk of their business investments, your business/name gets promoted.

2. CrunchBase:

CrunhBase is a free and editable database website where you can find all about technology companies, people and investors. CrunchBase is being managed by an online publication called TechCrunch.                                            

Why Register ?

1. By submitting your business profile on CrunchBase, you allow important people/companies in the industry view you, your business & your products. It’s a great way to promote your business.
2. Here, you can add your company name, URL, blog, logo, overview, tags, competitors, products and various other details.
3. Once your entry has been approved, you can also add videos and milestones to enhance your profile.

3. Google Places:

This local listing from Google will help you go places, literally! When someone makes a search using Google, Google Places ranks much higher in the search, than the rest. This is beneficial for local businesses. A small map locates the search according to the keywords users have punched in.

Why Register ?

1. Once you have registered yourself on Google Places using your Google id, you will have to confirm your business for authenticity over phone. This might take a few weeks, but it’s worth the wait. As soon as your profile/business is activated, people will be able to search for you.
2. You can add comprehensive details about your company – website links, opening hours, product photos etc. When a person searches, these details, placed right next to the search add highlight to it.


YourStory is an online platform which provides comprehensive details about various startups in India. It enhances your business’ visibility on the web, social networking and investor connections.

Why Register ?

1. Users/customers know of your new launches, products/services.
2. If the editorial team at YourStory likes your stuff, they may even highlight your story. This is a great way to enhance your popularity.
3. When you create/send your profile on and share your details, interested customers can get in touch with you directly.

5. StumbleUpon:

Stumbleupon is another very valuable for entrepreneurs.
These are community based web platforms that let users/businesses create pages in their respective disciplines – marketing, finance, business & management etc. These websites highlight a business’s point of view and areas of expertise.

Why Register ?

1. When you share your business/story on the web, others can see what you are doing.
2. These websites allow you to create personal/business portfolios. 
3. On StumbleUpon, you can post photos, videos and webpages to enhance your web prominence.
4. These websites are a great platform to get relevant backlinks back to your webpage.
5. They also allow your website to rank higher on Google search thereby increasing traffic.

6.’s – help marketers, pros & entrepreneurs surge their visibility online. Scoop helps you reach an audience who has similar interests as yours by letting you curate content on a given topic. This website is relevant for companies all across the globe and not necessarily for startups alone. What is content curation? The curation process lets you collect and pass information, out of the World Wide Web, which is most useful to you and your network.

Why Register ?

1. When you post your content on, users who are searching for a particular topic don’t have to plough through the internet to find the content. You have already made their work really easy!
2. Curating content also establishes your name/business as a brand. People will trust you for the information you put online.
3. How do you become a good content curator?
Pick up a unique topic: When you want people to see you as ‘THE’ source, you have to   be diverse.  Pick a topic you are really passionate about. When people see you as a trustworthy source of information, they will automatically be driven to your business/profile.
Keep it close to your business: Keep the topic related to your business. Remember you are the master of your business and no one has more information than you do.

7. NextBigWhat:

This website interacts with entrepreneurs in India and around the world. You can get in touch with other entrepreneurs and share your business/opinions.

Why Register ?

1. As a startup, send them details about your company and they will get back to you with a review of your startup.
2. You can also create an account for your business and engage with other entrepreneurs and share your stories on their forum.
So get your presence felt on these Websites and help drive traffic and eyeballs to your website. Did you find this article useful? Are there any more other websites you feel a fledgling startup should register and benefit ?
Let us know ?Be Real, Be Amazing, Be Everywhere !!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Product Management - Tools in the life of a Product Manager

Courtesy :

In a startup you wear multiple hats.Cross functional skills are highly bvaluable and sought after in a startup ecosystem.
But, most of the times an entrepreneur especially in a product startup would be doing one seminal thing. Performing the role of a PRODUCT MANAGER.

“Helping their Team Ship the Right Product to the Customers”

This is literally the work of a Product Manager according to my observation. Product Management has lately become a very sought after skills in successful & startup product companies.

There’s even an institute in India called Product Leadership – which offers PG programs for professionals on Product Management. Worth checking out if you are interested in the science and art of Product Management.

But, with this task of Product Mnaagembet there are tools which have become indespnable in the day of a Product Mnagaer.

I thought I’d share my favorite tools for helping me accomplish my day-to-day responsibilities as a product manager. These tools fall into three categories: 

  • Team & Collaboration 
  • Customer & End-User feedback
  • Actionable Metrics

Team & Collaboration 

Many of the responsibilities of a product manager involve collaborating, communicating, and coordinating efforts across a team of engineers, designers, product managers, and more. These are the tools I use to most effectively collaborate with the entire team.

Asana is an easy-to-use yet powerful project management tool that lets you track all tasks across the entire team, whether it’s feature suggestions, engineering tasks, bugs, and more. It’s lighter weight compared to more traditional tools like Basecamp, and others. But still supports the collaboration needs of assigning and organizing tasks compared to more simple to do list apps.

Google Docs
I predominantly use Google Docs for all of my documents and spreadsheets since it’s seamless to share and collaborate with others on your team.

I use Evernote mostly to capture and share screenshots of competitors apps, interesting web designs, press mentions, and more.

For the PDFs and Microsoft Office documents that I still can’t get by without in certain scenarios, I love Dropbox for sharing traditional files with the rest of the team.

I find myself constantly sharing screenshots of our product to point out bugs and Cloudapp is the simplest way to take a screenshot and have it instantly uploaded with a shareable url.

Customer & User Feedback 

Equally critical to the product role is having a strong understanding of what user’s love, hate, and want to see in your product. I use the following tools to capture such feedback.

UserVoice is my tool of choice for adding a Feedback tab on every page of your site. It then makes it extremely easy for users to send in feedback, vote up existing feedback, and more.

SnapEngage makes it easy to add a chat window to your app so your users at any time can chat with you to get help with issues, provide feedback, and more. It’s a great way to start a conversation with a user when they are looking for technical support. No better way to understand your users than chatting with them directly.

Wufoo is a great survey tool for asking your users about their experience using your application. I’ve typically automatically sent out such a survey to all users 14 days after signing up to get a constant stream of feedback on user’s initial experience with your product.

Twitter has become a common place for users to express their excitement or frustration for whatever new products they are trying. I have a saved keyword search for our product that I check daily to hear what’s resonating most with members, what frustrates them, as well as what new features they’d like us to add to the product.

Actionable Metrics  

In addition to a qualitative understanding of user feedback, it’s critical to understand usage patterns of users by diving into product analytics.


Mixpanel is the most advanced analytics platform ever for mobile & the web. It help and facilitates customers track product usage, measure conversion rates, and analyze user retention.
It is powerful, beautiful, more or less FREE and easy to use.

Google Analytics
Google Analytics is my default & primary analytics tool of choice. It’s the first thing I set up on every site I’ve built. It provides an API to do even more detailed analysis than the product offers itself. I typically have augmented Google Analytics with home grown tools, but typically have those tools still integrate with Google Analytics.

These are the few tools that I have found handy to handle and manage role of a Product Manager at my startup. Do you use the same set of tools ? Does any other important tool needs worth mentioning ?
Share your insights ?

The author thanks Sachin Rekhi - and his seminal blogs on the art of Product Management. .

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