Let the world know about your software product

LaunchPad

You’ve spent months and days and hours conceptualizing your product and then taking it to market. You’ve won the first few customers who are now stable and you’re thinking about what next…if you’ve achieved this, it’s time to show your product to the world.

The NASSCOM Product Conclave LaunchPAD is the place you should be to demonstrate your product and recount your journey from CONCEPT to REALITY. We’re inviting a select community to hear about you and your product. Won’t you come?

A day before NASSCOM Product Conclave kicks-off in Bangalore (November 6, 2012), we are pleased to host an exclusive interactive session with the media, blogger and analyst community where you have the opportunity to launch your new product and enjoy your moment in the spotlight. Last year we had some of the crème-de-la-crème of press attending the event and reporting it in the print and online media.

Who is eligible?
If you are an Indian software product company that has a software product in the market for at least six months and has at least one revenue generating (not beta!) customer, then you are eligible to participate. Apply for the Product LaunchPAD here before October 25, 2012.

What happens next?
NASSCOM shortlists eligible companies and informs them by October 30, 2012 Present your software product to the media at an exclusive event.

Publish a booklet containing information about your company and software product which will be circulated to the media and available online on the NASSCOM Product Conclave website. Opportunity to interact with a focused group of professionals and hear their feedback on your product.

Some of the folks who will help us short-list some great Products are:

Amit Somani, Arun Katiyar, Suresh Sambandam

Need further help?
If you need advice on how to structure your launch pitch or presentation, then please do let us know. Also we have many curated sessions at product conclave to help you take your software product initiatives even further. If you haven’t registered, then do so NOW!

See you at the NASSCOM Product Conclave – the place to connect with Indian Products Ecosystem.

 

NH7 Launches Festival Guide Mobile App – Festivapp At #NAMA

NH7.in, the music streaming and discovery platform focused on independent music, has launched a mobile festival guide app called ‘Festivapp‘. The app was showcased at #Alpha, the product and startup showcase at #NAMA conference.

Festivapp is currently available as a free download on the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store and allows one to discover festivals/events in India and attend them. The company states that these festivals can either be cultural, literary, music or a film festivals.

Registration: We tried the app on a Galaxy Nexus and noticed that the app currently allows one to login either through Facebook or Twitter account credentials, following which they are redirected to the app homepage, which features all the upcoming festivals in the country. One can choose a festival of their preference to browse through more information about it, including information like venue, genre, pricing and festival dates.

Festival Wall: In each of the festival listings, there is something called a ‘festival wall’ which offers a stream of updates being posted from that specific event. These updates include organizer announcements, updates from their friends, and event related updates syndicated from social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram. The wall also features a pull-to-refresh feature and has a countdown clock that counts down to the start of the festival in days, hours and minutes.

 

The app also allows one to post updates directly to the festival wall. We also noticed that one can either choose to make their updates public or private to their friends. It also offers an option to auto-share their updates on Facebook or Twitter.

Photobooth: The festival wall also allows users to upload pictures from the event. What’s interesting though is that users can add photo effects and virtual items to these photographs. The company saysthat these effects will be themed around the Festival.

 

Besides this, the app also features a slider menu which allows one to head over to any specific section of the event like announcements, schedule, artists, and travel information among others.

At the time of writing this article, we noticed that the app featured more options for NH7′s own events like NH7 Weekender, including the ability to buy festival tickets from within the app, check out nearby places including restaurants and bars, and find accommodation near to the venue. It also offered guides on things to do at the festival and around the venue. We hope that the company rolls out these features to other festival listings as well, in the future.

Original Post –

Product/Market Fit and Why Startups Should Care

Most successful products go through two distinct phases 1) product/market fit 2) growth/scale. There are a large number of startups that fails before achieving product/market fit and therefore, it is important to understand what is it and why it matters.

What is product/market fit?

Product/market fit is a phase where you try to establish that you are in a good market and have the right product to satisfy the market. Generally it involves developing a deep understanding of customers, running several experiments and iterating product several times to create the right fit between customer needs and your product.

It’s amazing how imporatnt the concept of product/market fit for startups is and how often it is ignored. Focusing on growth before achieving product/market fit can be counter productive for startups. Therefore, it is critical to know when you have achieved it and when to start focusing on scale.

How do you determine product/market fit?

So how do you know that you have achieved product/market fit? Which metric or target you focus on?

Sean Ellis’s definition is perhaps most objective definition for determining product/market fit. Sean devised below survey:

How would you feel if you could no longer use [product]?

1.     Very disappointed

2.     Somewhat disappointed

3.     Not disappointed (it isn’t really that useful)

4.     N/A – I no longer use [product]

As per Sean if more than 40% of your customers respond that they will be “Very disappointed” without your product then you have product/market fit. You can find more about Sean’s definition in this post.

Famous VC Mark Andreessen describes a more subtle method. As per Andreessen, you can always feel when product/market fit is happening. Your product usage would be great, customers would be happy, key metrics would grow consistently so on and so forth. More about it here.

Product/market fit is essentially having an engaging product that users find valuable. This can be measured by metrics that are critical for consumer engagement. Take social networking products for example. Key indicator of engagement is what percent of registered users use the product every day and every month. A good standard for engaging social networking product is that at least 30% of registered users are MAUs and at least 10% registered users are DAUs. So it is safe to assume product/market fit when you hit those metrics. Exact metric differs based on nature of product but the essence remains same that how engaging and valuable product is for consumers.

How to achieve product market fit?

1) Focus on engagement features

Typically features fall into one of the below quadrants:

Prioritize features that improve engagement and retention and de-prioritize every thing else till you achieve product/market fit.

2) Experiment and iterate fast

Iterate quickly through features using build-measure-learn model that Eric Ries describes in The Lean Startup.

The core idea behind build-measure-learn feedback loop is to consider product development as an iterative process of learning while minimizing the time through the loop. Many startups fail because they build product on assumption that they know what customer wants. Build-measure-learn model requires you to constantly test your assumptions by quickly building features while constantly measuring to determine how those features are resulting in real progress.

Finding product/market fit is an iterative process but bottom line is to establish key metrics that define product engagement and focus on those metrics relentlessly. Anything that doesn’t contribute to moving those metrics upward is not important before product/market fit.

Original Post By Rajat Garg, BubbleMotion and can be accessed here.

Autodesk Acquires Qontext Social Collaboration Platform.

Acquisition to Expand Social Capabilities of Autodesk 360 Cloud Services.

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 4, 2012 — Autodesk Inc., (NASDAQ: ADSK) has completed the acquisition of Qontext,enterprise social collaboration software, from India-based Pramati Technologies. The acquisition of the Qontext technology and development team will accelerate Autodesk’s ongoing move to the cloud and expansion of social capabilities in the Autodesk 360 cloud-based service. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Autodesk’s acquisition of the Qontext technology is a testament to the Pramati strategy,” said Vijay Pullur, Pramati president. “This transaction is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to incubate and build companies that address the rapidly changing needs of business through highly innovative technologies.”

Autodesk intends to use the Qontext technology to add new social capabilities to Autodesk 360, a cloud-based platform that offers users the ability to store, search, and view critical design data improving the way they design, visualize, simulate and share work with others at anytime and from anywhere.

Read the complete story here

Observations on India

I’ve spent a decent amount of time in India over the past few months. Most recently, I spent a little over two weeks of August meeting with founders and investors in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Goa. A couple of observations in no particular order:

  • Indian founders don’t have clear role models… at least not within the Indian startup ecosystem. That being said, that will likely change over the next 3-5 years as the founders of companies such as SnapDeal, FlipKart, Naukri, MakeMyTrip, Inmobi, Directi (along with many other fantastic companies) continue to grow.
  • The communication style of Indian founders is quite different than other places. It seems like a cultural thing: founders (and perhaps most people) seem to think that they are establishing authority by giving longer answers to specific questions. I’d like to see founders improve their communication styles: be direct, be crisp and be passionate. By doing that, they’ll be able to better communicate with cofounders, potential team hires, press and investors (both foreign and domestic). More tips here: Your Solution Is Not My Problem. (On a side note: There’s huge opportunity for a speaking coach to make a metric shit-ton of money in India.)
  • Pound for pound, the Indian technical founder has far more raw horsepower than I’ve seen anywhere else. I suppose that’s why nearly every pitch I’ve heard from Indian founders has been heavy on the technology powering the solution. Unless you’re building a startup that *is* technology, your pitch shouldn’t contain any mention of the technology you’re using.
  • I’d like to see more Indian founders try to solve problems for the Indian market. Until now, it seems that most focused on building online products that could be sold to the West and that made sense: the Western internet user was way more likely to buy online. Internet penetration is rapidly increasing in India, that’s no surprise — Indian founders should start to focus on the Indian internet user because more of them are coming online daily, their comfort with purchasing on the web is growing and, frankly, becauseoutsiders are less likely to understand the cultural nuances of the Indian customer.
  • No surprise: most of the Indian investor community isn’t founder friendly. They can be very slow, deal terms can be onerous and the overall experience for founders is rough. For investors, there’s a lot of opportunity in this — just be more founder friendly and I suspect your dealflow will rise considerably.
  • Investors seem to inherently distrust founders. Investors should only take referrals from trusted sources and initial check sizes should be smaller while the relationship is still new. Founders should take it upon themselves to present themselves in the most truthful way. Regardless, I think you’ll begin to see investors prosecuting founders publicly in an effort to make a statement to the market.
  • As a first generation Indian-American, I find it interesting that many founders and investors born and raised in India seem to be more pessimistic about India’s prospects than I (and, by extension, other outsiders) am. As Sasha Mirchandani has said in the past, my hope for India is that it changes from a pessimistic society to an optimistic one.

I’m certainly not the first one to say this but, even with all the challenges that exist, India has no where to go but up — the question isn’t *if* but *when* it will happen. We’ve made a handful of investments in Indian startups over the past year and we’re planning to aggressively ramp that up immediately. Watch out India, the 500 train’s coming!

Fullerton India – Revolutionizing India

At a time when “Cloud” was still a buzz word and “Platform as a Service” as a category didn’t exist, Fullerton India was looking  for the next generation computing technology to help them build business applications faster, cheaper, better.  Fullerton India stumbled across OrangeScape Platform (formerly known as DimensionN). They realized that the conventional approach to build a whole host of of application in the “White Space” area will be heavily time consuming taking anywhere between 30 to 90 days for an application.

And, added to that complexity, these applications change every other week and change management becomes a huge challenge. OrangeScape helped Fulllerton to fill this gap by providing a platform approach not only to build these new applications, workflows as per their business process but also to frequently upgrade them as the business need changes. Listen to Pramod!

Mr. Pramod Krishnamurthy who as EVP – Technology (2005 – 2010) at Fullerton India Credit Corporation Ltd. (FIC) talks about his discovery of OrangeScape and how he adopted our platform which ultimately resulted in their IT team building business apps faster than they would have done in the traditional mode.

Pramod shares more on this success story over a video here and ends with a message to his peers on cloud adoption and working along with emerging companies. Pramod is currently CTO at Birla Sun Life Insurance.

Watch the Video on the Organgescape blog

Introducing #alpha: Showcase For Your Product Or Startup At The #NAMA Conference

We’re pleased to announce #alpha, a product and startup showcase at our flagship conference #NAMA, being held on October 10th 2012, at The Westin in Gurgaon.

While #NAMA is largely going to be about in depth conversations about the digital industry in India and the road ahead, in a 20 minute Q&A format (and 10 minutes for an audience Q&A), we also want some fresh (and great) products and fresh business ideasto be showcased.

Why #alpha

With #alpha, we want to achieve two things – try and dispel the notion that India is not a market with great products or one for innovation, and that innovation happens only in startups.

It needs to be unique, fresh and interesting – the alpha product or alpha startup (and alpha as in top-of-the-gene-pool, not half-done-readying-for-beta). Brownie points if you choose #alpha as the platform to announce/launch your product or announce you business.

So whether you’re a startup or a large company, if you’ve build a great product that you think will wow #NAMA attendees and MediaNama readers, we’ll give you the opportunity to showcase the product. If you’re a startup with a fresh and interesting business idea and and you want to announce your launch, we’ll give you the platform.

You can fill out the form for #alpha at http://nama.cc/alphaform.

The last date for submission is 19th of September 2012.

Please be as detailed as possible and sincere about what are the features of the product. We’ll need to see the product (see a demo, see screenshots) and speak with you before taking a decision on featuring the product at #alpha. If you’re selected – and the decision is very subjective – we will need to be involved to curate your short talk as well.

Sanjay Parthasarathy’s Mantra for Product Entrepreneurs: “If You Can’t Think Big, You Can’t Really Scale”

Even top-notch corporate executives get bored with their work and that’s what happened to Sanjay Parthasarathy. Maybe in such cases the corporation is no longer seductive enough to feed the creativity or a stray thought emerges to create something on one’s own instead of creating newbies at corporations. Sanjay spent a little more than two decades at Microsoft, at the forefront of many new initiatives including the Startup Accelerator Program, which he headed, before he exited to become a startup entrepreneur and investor. The geeky executive headed home after a long stint in the US, to Chennai and started Indix, which is into data analytics and products that impact people’s lives. It would be of relevance to indicate that Sanjay directed Bill Gates’s first visit to India in 1997 and that led to a spurt in Microsoft’s India activities and also had high and positive impact on the software industry in India. Besides being an entrepreneur at Indix, he also plays angel investor and mentors startups in the US and in India. In conversation with YourStory, Sanjay spelt out his philosophy and his point of view.

You were in the US for 23 years; you graduated from MIT, worked at Microsoft for 19 years, what triggered you to come back to India?

I think I was a little bored, and the opportunity here was quite ripe, so it is really a combination of these two things.

If you have to look back at your corporate journey heading various divisions at Microsoft, what were some of your biggest take-aways?

Probably, creating things from scratch. I was with the Internet Explorer, then with .Net, and I helped set up the startup business accelerator. So, I always started things from scratch at Microsoft, so that was the biggest learning to do the startup kind of thing.

Starting stuff in bigger organizations vs. starting up as nobody, what are the differences?

Philosophically, they are the same things. You still have to argue for money, though the funding comes from the company in one case, you still have to put your idea out in the market, you still have to recruit a team, as they don’t give all of that to you, you have to take it. In a way, you have to do the same things.

Read the complete Interview by Raghu Mohan for YourStory.in

TechSparks 2012 Unveils the Top 30 Tech Product Startups from India

TechSparks, the flagship event of Yourstory.in, the biggest tech product startup showcase in India, is now in its 3rd edition. The Grand Finale of TechSparks 2012 was held in Bangalore on September 8th, after the 5 roundtables which were conducted in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Hyderabad over a period of 4 months. Techsparks 2012 was presented by Intel in association with Amazon Web Services, Qualcomm, Sequoia Capital, CNBC TV 18 Young Turks and VentureBeat.

Registering more than 800 applications to become a TechSpark, the response was overwhelming and the jury comprising of investors, successful entrepreneurs, industry experts and the Yourstory team had a tough time shortlisting the top 30. Applications were received from all over the country and the diversity was immense. From education to healthcare to cleantech, there were companies in every sector with a common motive – leveraging technology to build great businesses.

The Techsparks 2012 Grand Finale had the theme “The Smartest Way to Scale Up” and the entire day was organized around that. Starting with an introduction from Shradha Sharma, founder of Yourstory.in, the high-on-adrenaline event was given a huge pump by RJ Sriram and DJ Dhruva maintaining the tempo. Shradha’s introduction was followed by an in-depth keynote by Shailendra Singh, MD of Sequoia Capital, who outlined some of the most important factors for ‘Building a Business’. The ensuing Panel Discussion was a highly engaging one with audience actively participating in the discussion. The Panel consisted of Narendra Bhandari (Director, Intel Software and Services Group – Developer Relations (Asia-Pacific)); Shailendra Singh (MD, Sequoia Capital); Gautam Gandhi (Head – New Business Development Emerging Markets, Google); Joe Ziegler (AWS Evangelist for Australia and New Zealand); M. Maheshwar Rao, IAS (Commissioner for Industrial Development and Director of Industries and Commerce, Govt. of Karnataka); Dr. Wido Menhardt (Vice President, Head, Philips Innovation Campus) and was moderated by Ravi Gururaj (Vice President, Cloud Platforms Group, Citrix).

Read the complete story at YourStory.in

Be There or You Will regret it – Product Conclave 2012

NASSCOM Product Conclave (NPC) 2012 is an exclusive forum for product entrepreneurs looking to get actionable takeaways and learn from experts, peers and practitioners on their Go-to-market strategy. NPC 2012 promises to motivate, inspire and educate. An all star cast of product entrepreneurs, including Ram Shriram (Sherpalo Ventures), Sajiv Sidhu (i2 technologies) will share their proven techniques for product success. Over 60+ hours of goal oriented track sessions in the areas of product management, marketing, sales and business development will help you learn from people who have previously built, are currently building or are looking to build global product organizations.

4 Secrets to Pitching Your Product

Your products are finally off the production line and ready to sell to retailers.  But where do you begin? Or maybe your brand is successful in regional retailers but you can’t seem to get your foot into big box retailers. The truth is, it’s not enough to have an amazing product. You also need to have a solid business plan to present to retail buyers.

Based on our experience from both the buying and selling sides of the retail table, and now sharing advice to help entrepreneurs get into national retail locations, here are four pitch strategies we’ve found hit the sweet spot of retail buyers across America.

1. Answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” A common mistake is to focus on what the retailer can do for your product. Expand your thinking! A key to capturing a buyer’s interest is showing them how your product meets her financial needs and strategic vision. Financial needs are usually related to revenue or profit margin. Strategic vision can be corporate goals or growth strategies.

For example, let’s say your company, Friendly Tools, sells manual hand tools that are easy to use, compact for storage and designed with the novice user in mind. Think about the strategies important to the home improvement retailer you are targeting. If their goal is to attract more novice home improvement do-it-yourself-ers (DIYers), the following demonstrates how Friendly Tools’ can rework their retail pitch to align with this retailer’s needs:

  • The Friendly Tools brand of manual tools can help drive traffic and sales among your target shopper: the novice home improvement DIYer.
  • Friendly Tools can help to increase your top-line revenues with our unique brand positioning of “Made by DIYers for DIYers.” No other competitive brand competes in this space, therefore, our product line won’t cannibalize sales of your current products. Rather, we can help you bring in additional revenue.

Original post can be accessed at Open Forum. Posted by Romy Taormina and Vanessa Ting

Techcircle SaaS Forum 2012 announces top 10 SaaS startups in India

If there is one area within the new-age technology that is red hot right now, it is software-as-a-service or SaaS – both in terms of startup activity and as a tool for entrepreneurs to build a low-cost business from scratch. Techcircle.in has come up with a listing of India’s top 10 emerging SaaS companies who have shown significant market traction, created unique products or services that can disrupt existing markets and most importantly, have a very high potential to make it big in the coming years. The listing has been compiled by a distinguished jury comprising Shailendra Singh, MD, Sequoia Capital; Manik Arora, MD, IDG Ventures and Mukund Mohan, an active angel investor. These 10 companies have also showcased their products during Techcircle Runway at Techcircle SaaS Forum 2012, in Bangalore on Aug 31. Here are brief notes on the 10 startups (note: this not a ranking, the companies are arranged in alphabetical order).

Read the complete post at TechCircle.in