Archive for Startup

Naming Your Startup

// August 6th, 2017 // Comments // Startup

Starting Up?

Naming your startup is as difficult as naming a baby or even more than that. Today, tech entrepreneurs seem to better understand the power of branding, choosing names like Housing, Ola, Grofers, Little — you know, actual words.

Some of the key points to keep in mind while naming:

  • Shorter the better
  • Should be easy to remember
  • Try avoiding spelling variations
  • Avoid hard to spell names

Some good to have factors for naming:

  • Name should convey some meaning
  • Name should be usable for broad nature of business as you may expand in future.
  • Try avoiding spelling variations
  • Avoid hard to spell names

Many articles out there seemingly stress on having a .com domain name available. I disagree. Having a good name matters more than having a .com. If you are successful you can always buy .com name at a premium price.

Take a look at all these successful startups which either had a temporary domain name, or which still have a different domain name to their name,” before offering this list:

  • YourStory was YourStory.in
  • Swiggy was Swiggy.in
  • Square was squareup.com
  • DropBox was getdropbox.com
  • Facebook was thefacebook.com
  • Instagram was instagr.am
  • Twitter was twttr.com
  • Foursquare was playfoursquare.com

If you are planning to have a mobile app, keep the name as short as possible. Long names get truncated while displaying on the phone and you don’t want that to happen. Domain names almost doesn’t matter if you are app only. People will recognise your startup by the app name, not the domain name.

Moreover .com is not the only tld anymore. New tlds like .design, .news, .me, .app, .io are being adopted very fast. it is also cool factor to domain name with these tlds. The tlds would not have much impact on SEO(other than country specific tlds). I have been using .me since 2009 and happy with it 🙂

I hope this article helps you to decide on your startup name. Do share your startup name through a comment.

Grow your startup with help from biggies!

// May 30th, 2015 // Comments // Startup

The number of startups in India and globally are growing at a pace never before. While startups are creating innovative products, bigger corporations have gone for platform play. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter – everyone wants you to be on their platform. Anyways you will be using one of them instead of re-inventing the wheel. Most of them have lucrative offers for startups and using them will help you keep your costs low in the early days. Every rupee saved is a rupee earned and you can probably put it for some other use to grow your startup.

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If you part of a startup here are some programs you should considering enrolling:

Microsoft BizSpark
The Microsoft BizSpark program provides technology, support, visibility, and community to promising startups and entrepreneurs at no charge.  Your startup qualifies if it is less than 5 years old, is privately held, and earns less than $1M annually.

The best benefit from BizSpark is that you get up to $750 per month of FREE Azure cloud services for 3 years; that’s $150 per month each for up to 5 developers. Additionally if you are using Windows than you get free Windows OS Licenses; tools such as Visual Studio and Office.

Also for people who are unaware – Azure is equally good as other cloud providers and runs linux instances also. And no other provider is giving you free instances for 3 years! The best part is most of the applications are accepted if you provide proper details. Use my reference “SANDEEPHEGDE” while signing up.

FbStart
FbStart is a new program from Facebook designed to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their apps. The best part is that facebook has tied up with several 3rd party companies which can really add value to startups.

If you have a mobile app this program will help you get more installs with upto $2500 in facebook ad credits. If you are planning to build a mobile app you can use Parse with $20,000 mobile app platform credit. You also get 10 UserTesting.com credits for remote usability and UX testing. One free .co domain and free privateSSL from NameCheap. Mailchimp Email marketing support for unlimited subscribers and 25 million CPM send credits. While signing up please use referral code “SANDEEPHEGDE”

Google Launchpad
Launchpad provides you with the technology, events, online resources, expertise and community to launch and scale your app.

You will get Google Cloud Platform credits take your idea off the ground. AdWords promotional offers let you test monetization and positioning strategies. UserTesting trial offers to get UI feedback from real users. Invitations to local events connect you with developers, VCs and accelerators near you. Participants at this stage are considered for Launchpad Week – a weeklong training bootcamp in select cities.

The best part of Google is its community approach with Google Experts. The experts are non-Google employees working with other companies/startups. This brings a different prospective and reach to right mentors you need for your startup.

AWS Activate
AWS Activate is a program designed to provide startups with the resources needed to get started on AWS.  You get AWS Free Usage Tier, 1 month AWS Support at Business level, AWS Technical Essentials Web-Based Training ($600 value), AWS Business Essentials Web-Based Training ($600 value), 80 credits for Self-paced labs ($80 value), 1:1 Office Hours with AWS Solutions Architects.

On a personal note, Google/Microsoft’s FREE offerings are much lucrative than that of AWS FREE Tier unless you are incubated at one of their partner accelerator/incubator.

Twitter Digits
This is not exactly a startup program but a free offering very much value add to startups building mobile apps. Twitter Digits is the only program(let me know if there are any other) offering signups through mobile number with FREE SMS verifications. Twitter Digits phone verification works in 216 countries and has built-in support for 32 languages.

In just a few lines of code, you can solve all your on-boarding and authentication needs and focus on building amazing experiences for your users. Digits gives you the power to easily customize the colours and fonts of your on-boarding flow — so it feels completely native to your app. Phone-based on-boarding has been limited to large companies who can afford the time to build the infrastructure to deliver SMS — until now. With Digits, you gain the same level of security and SMS capabilities by simply plugging into Twitter’s own trusted, global infrastructure.


The list can continue with free trials from many more companies, but I have kept it short. Best part is all of these programs are free, but the real question how much value add can those be to your startup? Especially in the cloud infrastructure space there are so many offerings which one are you going to choose?

I would advise you to signup for FbStart simply because of free ad credits which will help you in marketing your product/service. AWS has been marketing from a while but its free tier offering is not in par with Google/Azure. Google Cloud Platform is really good but they are not able create awareness and sell it to developers. Also Google Cloud Platform credits have an expiry of one year while Microsoft Azure will you $750 per month for 3 years.

Also most of the offering of this programs has been evolving with time and I will keep this post updated. Do let us know your views on these programs or just tell us which program you like the most in comments.

Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught In Classrooms

// March 3rd, 2013 // Comments // Startup

I was part of a panel discussion hosted at MindTree during Osmosis 2011 on the topic “Can Entrepreneurship Be Taught In Classrooms“. Others in the panel included:

• Parthasarathy NS, CEO, Testing Business MindTree 
• Bal Krishan Birla, CTO, AskLaila.com
• Subramanyam Kasibhat, Founder, Get2Galaxy.com
• Narayan Raman, CEO, Tyto Software

Moderator: Kalyan Kumar Banerjee, SVP – MindTree

Take time and watch all the 4 parts of the video…

An article on the same was posted on Wall Street Journal. Read it at http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2011/04/06/chief-mentor-who-shouldn’t-be-an-entrepreneur/

Blogging Goals for 2010

// January 3rd, 2010 // Comments // Old, Startup

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I have been into blogging almost since a year. This site sandeephegde.me is the take two of my blogging episode. With these days of blogging, it has almost become my passion. With this new starting I have decided to set some goals for this site for the year 2010. Here they go :

  • Increasing posting frequency 2-3 posts a week
  • Keep readers updated with regular tweets
  • Increase the average comments per post to 10
  • Average 2,000 daily page views (Currently at 500)
  • Reach 5000 RSS Subscribers (Currently 900+)
  • Enter the Alexa Top 1,00,000
  • Achieve Google Pagerank above 4
  • To be a widely cited  blog in the blogosphere
  • Generate atleast $100 in monthly revenues
  • To develop a strong and vibrant community around

Highlighting the goals for 2010, gives me extra motivation to work and help this site grow. A big thanks to all readers and supporters of this blog. If you guys have any ideas, or suggestions as to what you want me to write about in 2010, please let me know in the comment section.

Well, thanks to Karthik from DailyApps for inspiring me to list out my goals for 2010