Learning from teaching…

Ever since getting off the evangelism/corp dev circuit I don’t get the chance to speak very much. Slight double edge sword in that many times all I did was speak which meant that I was not building or making anything but yet other times the speaking would help me to think about what I was doing since I would need to explain it to others. In that explaining I usually find myself learning and thinking about more of what I am trying to do. This can even help me to rethink something or even question a tactic or two. All in all the exercise of teaching generally helps me learn.

Friday I had the chance to guest speak at http://www.insead.edu/ for the second time. It is a modern media class taught by Stephen Mezias at the Singapore campus. I usually bring some slides explaining about Spuul, things we are doing, things we have learned and possible topics worth discussing. My goal is to invite some discussion versus just speaking.

Fortunately after a few slides the class starting asking stuff and some healthy discussion arose out of topics around analytics, tracking, viral mechanics and so on. I can’t obviously talk about everything Spuul does but I noticed that most people are unaware of all the tools and platforms out there. Usually a startup will try to use something off the shelf versus write code. Saves money, enables faster time to market and helps the coders stay focused on real value added projects.

What I noticed from the biz folks is they have a lot of questions about the various tools or services companies like Spuul might be using. For the techies or startup folks out there a lot of this info might be totally useless but I am sure there are others out there who might find it useful.

Starting from the top…

AWS :: http://aws.amazon.com/.
Hard to imagine any startup not using AWS to run their biz. Yes there are other options but for us we need global readiness, bleeding edge cloud stuff and reliable support. We also have found them to be very constructive at working with us in Singapore to stay up to date and to solve interesting problems.

Snapengage :: http://snapengage.com/. Lots of options in this space but so far we have found them to work well for our web support and to make it easy for users to reach us. Integrates nicely with Skype as well. As we grow we might need something more cross platform and to helps us manage the support requests but for now it has been fine.

Mailchimp :: http://mailchimp.com/. Also lots of options in the mail marketing and list management space but mailchimp works well, can be integrated with code and deals with big lists. Also free to try for small projects.

New Relic :: http://newrelic.com/. This is for the techies but when it comes to monitoring your apps, Apis and code sometimes you need something more than the basics. This stuff is insanely good and their new mobile stuff is really amazing.

Google Analytics :: http://www.google.com.sg/analytics/. When it comes to free and easy to setup and use analytics – hard to beat google. There are alternatives but most cost money. This also makes it easy to track any google or admob advertising campaigns.

Flurry :: http://www.flurry.com/flurry-analytics.html. When it comes to basic mobile or native app analytics this is another free to use product and is very useful for the basics.

Mixpanel :: https://mixpanel.com/. When it comes to trying to track user events, marketing campaigns and things such as landing pages there are a lot of ways to do this but one handy tool is mixpanel. Allows your coders to instrument things or events and then the marketing people can track them and see them visually.

Jolicharts :: https://jolicharts.com/. Data. You will probably finding yourself collecting lots of data and then getting frustrated with how to chart it, display it, or manipulate it. Jolicharts is one option when it comes to displaying data – in general this space doesn’t have a lot of really useful, affordable tools.

So this is just scraping the surface when it comes to tools or software as a service products that might be useful for startups or even big businesses trying to do cool things. I am sure folks out their have many more to add to this.


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