As a founder, I have been writing this blog in my head for a while. Previous generations of creators, whether entrepreneurs, or 15th century explorers, never had it as easy as we do.
Building a business today is much like playing with Lego. You open the box, start thinking of a great project to build that people would actually want to use/play with, then find the right pieces for your project and start putting them together. It’s almost that simple.
Here’s a list of all the tools (lego pieces) we are using to build Yink
Adobe Illustrator / Keynote / Adobe Photoshop
Illustrator doesn’t need an introduction, and is a great tool to convert your ideas and whiteboard drawings into wireframes, designs, mock-ups etc. We were lucky to have Jenil in our team who is great with this stuff, but if you are not well versed with illustrator, use uxpin, axure (paid), balsamiq (paid). And for Mac users — Keynote comes as a handy tool.
At some point, you will start layering your frames with visuals, colors, etc. comes Photoshop with detailing each element down to pixel.
Cloud9IDE / Webstorm/ Eclipse / Bitbucket
As a developer these are great tools to leverage to work across a team, creating dev environments (online & offline), do version controls and
Eclipse was used for android front end coding.
These are free services but we use the enterprise version of Webstorm.
MongoDB / Node.js
MongoDB is an open source document oriented database which was apt for Yink because of the complexity of our data. We have tons of different task types with each linked to several different response formats, creating a bunch of different data types to store. MongoDB gave us that flexibility.
We compared Apache, nginx and node.js and for us node.js came on top for us. You will have to figure which framework works best for you.
AWS EC2 for servers and AWS S3 for storing data. This is almost an industry standard now and AWS provides the best service.
application performance monitoring and tracking. This is a paid service and can cost from $100 upwards and is absolutely worth every dime you spend on that. It can trace errors to the line no. of the code, measures average response time per transctions/queries, throughput/min and a bunch of other cool insights you don’t want to be working without.
Tool to map which screen on android is consuming how much memory. Pretty damn useful.
Brilliant tool for automated API testing. We got an extended trial on their product ☺
This is a brilliant and probably the only India (Pune) based tool on the list — which allows one to integrate a seamless user feedback module into the app.
Data! Data! Data! Measure! Measure! Measure! Measure! Measure!
Online businesses are all about this — and mixpanel is a great tool. Track as many events in your app as you like, track funnels, cohorts, each users journey in the app and tons of more stuff.
Mixpanel is only the beginning and I am sure we will be integrating other tools to measure, do A/B testing and stuff as we go along. Will update this blog post accordingly.
Emails are critically important to retain users and bring them back to platforms. Also very important, in early days of an app where you might face operational issues, bugs and other user related annoyances which you might want to convery swiftly to your users.
Yes, one can use Amazon SES and save money but with so many products integrating into Mailchimp/mandrill, the ease of use, all the cool tools and templates and their better delivery performance — we think the price difference is worth it.
You have a lot of problems to solve when you build a product, mailers are not the one you should be spending extra time on just to save a few bucks.
You can make a server for FREE.
We used to deploy test containers for internal testing.
A start-up we love. We all know how uber, paypall, and a lot of apps grow by offering referal based incentives, rewards, discounts to both the referrer and referree. Branch gives you SDKs to build all of such use cases including persoanlized invites for FREE.
Plus, we love that the referred link is deep linked — which means the new users lands not on the same home page as everyone else but to the page within the app their friend referred them from.
We used them for multiple things.
If you have users, you need to care about their privacy. Especially if you want your app to be global — you better have good privacy policies in place.
You will need a website where people can read about what you are doing etc. As a mobile app — website isn’t your first priority. Comes in squarespace for $8 a month, you can host really classy looking websites ( www.yinkapp.com) with no coding, absolutely reponsive across all devices and as easy to update as presentation.
We love it, and think everyone should use it.
If you have an app, you will probably need landing pages. Instapage does exactly what it says — gives you one in an instant. Again, responsive across devices ☺
If you are building on android and want to test your app with lots of early users as beta testers without launching on play store — you need a G+ group. Brilliant feature. Must use. We used it extensively for a month to launch an almost bug free MVP ☺
Google mail for business (paid)
Yes, what was free up to 50 users is now a paid service and that sucks, as a support to start-ups they should still offer 30–50 users, but google mail is far superior and very well integrated with a lot of apps that we were okay paying the price.
Saving small bucks to use free but not as good products will add to already a long list of existing problems to solve — plus this problem isn’t your core. Don’t solve it, use best products our there. It helps.
We are using a CRM for the first time to drive, manage, track our sales efforts for Yink. We want to standardize the process, integrate with mailchimp, give transparency, manage our database, knowledge better and we decided to spend on it.
Early days and team is still getting used to it, so lets see how effective this is. But we loved the promptness and awesomeness of their support staff. Oh! and they integrate well into gmail for business which really really helps.
If you are a start-up, you need a video to tell you story. Here is ours: https://vimeo.com/123175856
The free version really works, gives you professional quality and awesome tutorial and forums to learn how to use it. Our awesome marketing maverick Jenny learnt it in 2 days and made this awesome video ☺
You can obviously set-up blog on various platforms for your start-up, but if you love good fonts, good design and a great product — then there isn’t anything better than Medium. We use it, we love it, and you are reading on it.
As a start-up, do run a blog!!
@Yink’s MVP was born on March 8th, and in first 2 weeks we saw 4000 sign ups, 2000 engaged users and more than 4000 tasks completed till date. We thank Adidas, Chatterbox and Purplle.com to trust and be our first few paid clients.
Yink is platforms for brands to build communities that actually perform and are truly engaged.
Google Playstore link | Twitter ID: @Yink_app