Image for post
Image for post

Git Repository

Context & Inspiration

I was inspired last month by RStudio::conf (2019) to start publishing some of the fun R work I have been doing. About a year ago a good friend of mine, Brett Kubold, turned me on to Jeff Allen’s plumber package. This package allows you to easily turn your R scripts into deployable APIs. Given my extensive use of RShiny, I struggled to find good use-cases for this until recently when we decided to build an internal chatbot for my startup Retina.

The goal of our bot `/tina` was to enable employees at the company query for random stuff like: status of current Facebook campaigns, a snapshot of our Trello board, plot data using a menu built in Slack, look up company holidays and getting notified about birthdays. …


My cofounders and I raised $2.5M for our seed round funding last year. We have collectively given numerous presentations on this topic and also acknowledge that this process is continuously evolving. As entrepreneurs, we are very opinionated and these are my personal beliefs about Do’s and Don’ts of fundraising.

The 50 Do’s and Dont’s of Fundraising: The Founder’s Perspective

Happy to have a discussion around this, use the comments section below for Q&A.

Image for post
Image for post
Image Source: Study Breaks Magazine (Image belongs to original owner)

My cofounders and I raised $2.5M for our seed round funding last year. We have collectively given numerous presentations on this topic and also acknowledge that this process is continuously evolving. As entrepreneurs, we are very opinionated and these are my personal beliefs about Do’s and Don’ts of fundraising.

The 50 Do’s and Dont’s of Fundraising: The Founder’s Perspective

(use spacebar to move through the story)


Image for post
Image for post

TL;DR

While reviewing last year’s activities, I built this tool to look at how much time I spent in meetings vs. working. It surfaced interesting insights on who I met and how often.

Link to Tool: http://xpertly.co/Calendar

After building it, I also wanted to make it available for others to use as well. Would love feedback in three forms (a) what was insightful about your data? (b) bugs and © feature requests. Use the comments section below to share your thoughts. Alternately, you can also email me at emad [at] xpertly.co

Disclaimer: This only connects to Google Calendars. This tool does on-demand analysis and does not store any data on the server or the device. Since this a fun side project, I cannot provide ongoing support to maintain this tool.


Image for post
Image for post

It was six months ago that I posted about my first day as a startup founder. A lot has changed since then: the idea we picked has evolved, the original team has changed and the city I call home is now Santa Monica.

The good news is we have a beta version of a product, we have addicted users, a team and a plan. I’d like to share with you the journey that my company — Xpertly — and I have been on, and where we are headed next.

Quick Recap of the Last Six Months

Startups are a series of ruthless experiments. When someone asked me what we were working on, I hesitated. I knew that whatever came out of my mouth would be different from what we would eventually be. …


Image for post
Image for post

I apologize in advance that this post might be slightly technical.

As organizations grow, executives start relying on data from several sources to make decisions. Organizations with a growing gap between desired and actual results can use control system theory to better manage and predict results using their existing data sources. This is not so different from autopilot systems for satellites, rockets and aircraft. …


Image for post
Image for post

The smallest of launches, weekly founder chats and lots of learning

Smallest of launches

One week and three days after leaving my day job, our team has finally launched a very very small beta product to test out our idea. We have launched it to no more than 60 people at this time, mostly our close friends and family, to iron out the kinks of the operations. So grateful to the small team that packs a punch who made this happen.

So how did we pull off a launch so fast? It’s simple, by not really building a product. We built the bare-bones needed to make it feel like a website that might eventually be the product. After we arrived at hypothesis and a problem that we saw in the world, next thing that we did was to find some competitors. There is always competition and it’s always good to study what they are doing well and what not so well. Next we worked out a product workflow and figured out how our product might work. …


Image for post
Image for post

Over the last few months me and my co-founders have been spending a lot of time finding and validating ideas. Truth is there is no easy way to find good ideas, and it is likely that this will continue to be an ambiguous problem. Since I and my team love to structure things here is how we have approached the problem of determining what kind of ideas we should be working on.

We have found that there are no secrets to idea generation but your network is a tremendous resource that can help you navigate the waters. In his recent book Reid Hoffman talks about the three things you need for a start up to succeed. The first is your assets, which include both intellectual and liquid assets. The second are your passions and aspirations that keep you motivated. The third is the big wave, or the market. …


11 years after graduating from my undergrad I have finally decided to take the path less taken. Yesterday was the last day of my dream job at Facebook. The last day felt pretty sad because I have made so many great friends and knowing that I was no longer going to see them on a daily basis to solve some really challenging problems fell pretty hard. In the almost 2 years I worked at Facebook I learned a lot, traveled around the world, worked with some of the smartest people but most importantly tried a lot of things that I would have done at my start up. The time at Facebook turned out to be an amazing and very forgiving learning ground. …


Consider the following questions:

BAD: How many customers churned (went dormant) last month?

GOOD: What percentage of our customers are expected to churn in the next few months and why?

BETTER: What short term impact can we have on our business by reducing customer churn and what options do we have to do that?

Needless to say, bad questions get bad answers. As business leaders we often approach our data science and analytic teams with very specific questions. In most cases asking specific questions gets us very specific answers, which alone is useless. …

About

Emad Hasan

I love to build things | Startup | ex-Facebook | ex-PayPal | More @ about.ehasan.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store