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Month: January 2013

It’s all about the survival of the founding team

All startups start with an idea. Usually, the idea comes from one individual, who has a problem that existing products cannot solve efficiently. In some cases, the “efficiency” is linked to “how you feel about” the existing solutions, e.g. higher price, cumbersome usability, outdated design, limited functionality, etc. What ever the reason, you decide to do something about it. You speak to few close friends and their friends, and eventually find few who might want to join you to build a product and create a tech startup in the process. Unless you have founded a company before, or have worked…

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Refining Intercom – the automated user messaging

Just been playing with Intercom once again and thought of sharing the latest refinements. At edocr, when you sign up, you get a free quota of 5 documents. As you upload documents one by one, we have the opportunity to display an automated message through Intercom. This is our latest configuration: After sign up, a message to determine the type of user and their primary usage After first document is uploaded, point to edocr Buffer app After second document is uploaded, point to support channels After third document is uploaded, point to edocr Apps After fourth document is uploaded, suggest…

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Building thought leadership via Quora

We saw over the last few years how Mark Suster and Fred Wilson became investor celebrities by blogging consistently on startup topics. They have both build a large follower base, and industry wide respect due to openly sharing the knowledge they have. There is nothing more important than consistency of sticking to one core subject and blogging at regular intervals (one or few times a week) more important than anything else. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to know something about the subject matter. However, you do not need to be an authority when you start, but you will surely…

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How or where can I learn more about how lead generation works?

Answer by Manoj Ranaweera: Happy to explain how lead generation works with our product/service. We allow companies of all sizes to publish documents on edocr | edocr. In 2012, we grew by 250% adding over 50,000 user accounts to the 20,000 we had at the beginning of the year. Our process: 1. Upload all your document inventory.2. These will then be displayed fully categorised on company pages, e.g. http://www.edocr.com/organisatio…3. Before uploading, activate Buffer Buffer your documents for increased productivity for automatic posting to Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook4. Your prospects and customers will discover you through your documents via search engines,…

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What are the latest lead generation startups worldwide?

Answer by Manoj Ranaweera: Not sure we qualify for the latest, as the company was founded in 2007. After many years of founder and software development issues, we regrouped in mid 2011, which resulted in 250% growth in 2012. We generate leads from documents, and allow easy way to export leads in real-time automatically to CRM, email marketing and marketing automation web apps, for lead nurturing. View Answer on Quora

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How does Sri Lanka compares with Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam when it comes to SEO and social…

Assume Sri Lanka is ranking better on BPO than above categories. Sri Lanka is currently no 35 in terms of traffic on edocr | edocr. India is 2 having overtaken UK, and might even overtake USA, given that most companies in the USA now outsource SEO and Social media to Indian companies, especially those who have sales offices in the USA. Philippines always had a strong BPO presence, but we are seen increasing activity from there. View Question on Quora

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What are the best papers posted for the PDF tribute for Aaron Swartz?

Answer by Manoj Ranaweera: I did not know Aaron but have spent significant time reading about him, his contribution to the Internet and technology and how others are feeling about his departure. And then I started to wonder, is there anything I could do to help. Then I discovered this post. I am the founder of edocr | edocr, a leading web application where thousands of professionals and businesses share pdfs. Unlike some of our competitors, we have no intention of ever charging anyone to access public documents on edocr. However, we do not encourage uploading of any copyrighted material…

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What is the best CRM for companies experiencing growth?

  Answer by Manoj Ranaweera: If you have two salesmen, I would suggest opting for a simple solution rather than Salesforce, which is quite an over kill for a small company (It’s great for larger salesforce). After paying for Salesforce, we switched to Capsule CRM, which is a simple CRM, which can be configured to manage leads through the nurturing process. It also has a decent integration with Mailchimp, mobile apps and the ability to detect social profiles (not to the same extent as Nimble though but faster than Nimble). We liked it so much, we ended integrating with it…

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Are partnerships a good way to scale a SaaS business?

Answer by Manoj Ranaweera: In Q4 2011, we made a strategic decision to take a partner lead approach, as we struggled to connect our product/service with existing business processes. We went live with Buffer (Buffer your documents for increased productivity) in Dec 2011 followed by Zendesk (Enrich Zendesk customer service with centralised documents) in March 2012 and ended 2012 with 14 product integrations, some of which were build by vendors and others by third parties such as Cloud services and software from Cazoomi In most cases, selection of SaaS apps for integrations were based on our use of the complementary…

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What happens in the background when a user signs up for a SaaS product?

Answer by Manoj Ranaweera: You might see some services create a subdomain and others will not. But in most cases, everything runs from a single database which may or may not be distributed. We run our service from a single database with x hourly backups. Services which are considered mission critical might have much more stringent criteria both in terms of provisioning and backups. As far as I understand our own infrastructure, we create a number of database entries when a new user sign ups, and start to consume functionality. We also track every action, and provide analytics based on…

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