PHP Development – It is the first instalment in a series focused on going through the stages of transforming an excellent business concept into a real startup. If you are an idea person and curious about the entrepreneurial process, this series is for you.
I’m going to show you my experience as a serial entrepreneur. I started my Microsoft career launching new small team products: the first, a school flop, Microsoft Fax at Work (seriously, check out the video), and the second, the more successful MSNBC.com.
Also Read: 7 New Age Marketing Qualities
Table of Contents
Over the year, I grew interested in simplifying the meeting scheduling process. In my opinion, proprietary calendar systems like Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Microsoft Outlook have failed to make consultation scheduling as easy as possible. My big complaint is the number of emails back and forth typically required to schedule an average meeting. I had an idea for a scheduling app to make the process hassle-free.
Although, I love the creative process and like sharing my knowledge with others. I thought it would be valuable to establish the internal process that I use as I formulate a new product idea, clarify the business concept, and move through the implementation stages.
Following stories from the entrepreneurial path is always interesting, and there are a couple of recent entries that can complement this series.
The Product Concept
Solving a Problem
Have you tried to set up a date with someone, but it developed in response to a long thread sends that you were already upset with the person before you were ever together?
Planning meetings is still very difficult. With all the platforms, data, and tools at our disposal, this process should be more straightforward than it is. It shouldn’t take seven emails back and forth to schedule a meeting between two people, but it often does. I can make this easier.
What is my innovation? I intend to create a unique web page for each meeting that allows people to interact more efficiently — to get scheduled quickly without the hassle of repetitive messages.
Several data sources and technologies can also help improve the experience: HTML5 geolocation, the Google Places API, calendar availability times, and email APIs like Mailgun.
The Business Case
There are a few ideas for the products I build for myself, and ultimately I’m not worried if they’re financially viable; Simplify Email was one of the products. I was tired of struggling with ways to unsubscribe, filter emails, and spam emails, so I built my solution.
If you have an idea that intrigues you — whether or not a business model supports it, I encourage you to pursue it. This tutorial series will probably be helpful to you.
Suppose you want to start a viable and sustainable business with your idea that can support you and your family. In that case, you must analyze the economic value of solving the problem you are looking for. In further words, can you find a way to get people to pay for the service you’re providing?
For example, I’m a big fan of Dropbox, but I’ve never paid them anything. As an individual user, I am not your revenue target audience. But I have probably invited many users who now pay them. I, too, am a long-time user of Google Analytics and have never paid anything for the service. Still, Google has found other ways to integrate the data I provide to generate revenue, i.e. offering a higher-quality search engine.
Assessing the Competition
Since Competition for Meeting Planners is the status quo. Such as Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Email, text messages, phone and face-to-face interactions. Although, while these services have improved a lot in recent years, working with someone outside your own company can be time-consuming and aggravating and can involve None of these apps has focused on removing these pain points.
For example, I often see this problem with Google Calendar events: It happens when someone sends an invitation to a different email address than the one I use for Google services:
Choosing a Brand
When choosing a brand for a small business, I often look for available domain names. Finding available domains cannot be easy, but the growth of new extensions (gTLDs) has proven useful. I usually use Domainr to help me search. I’m also focused on available Twitter handles.
Geogram.com is the only domain I have purchased for my startup ideas; I generally try to use what is freely available.
MeetingPlanner.com was already taken over, but luckily MeetingPlanner.io was available. Learn more about buying and registering domains here.
I don’t bother with Facebook Pages anymore because the platform has eroded free reach capacity; it is beneficial only as a paid advertising vehicle.
I have several tools ready to use these days for my web development.
The Yii Framework for PHP. I find Yii incredibly fast and efficient in writing and reusing code and arriving at a minimum viable product. I also know that I can scale Yii as needed.
GitHub user. With each tutorial, we’ll make the Meeting Planner code available to you in the Tuts + Git repository.
In the past year, I switched AWS services from Amazon to Digital Ocean. Although, My primary motivation for this was the increased speed of Digital Ocean’s SSDs and the lower costs. Therefore, Amazon can match Digital Ocean’s pace and has some fancy features, but it’s more expensive. Digital Ocean also received high marks for its customer support and performance in the recent WPShout hosting review.
The Initial Approach
My goal is to build a minimum viable product as quickly as possible. How quickly can I learn the lessons that Meeting Planner has? What will work and what won’t? What is the primary potential of the idea, and what are its weaknesses? Then, What will be the level of interest among my target audience, and what opinions will they have for me? I hope you are intrigued by the series and looking forward to following the development of Meeting Planner.
PHP Development – You can feel free to add your questions and comments below; entrepreneurs will likely have many valuable ideas to add. I am especially interested in alternative approaches and viewpoints. There is no correct way to do this; there are probably many right ways. There are also a lot of traps.
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