Categories
Business How To Guides

Ideas on how to promote a startup on a budget

Successful startups have some things in common and top notch marketing is one of them. You might have come up with the greatest idea in the world or built the coolest application, but if other people don’t know about it, your idea or product isn’t worth much. Many young entrepreneurs get so sucked into the creation of the product, that they treat marketing as an afterthought. But as I said before, if users don’t know about a product they won’t be using it.

The immense popularity of the internet has leveled the playing fields, so someone with a small budget working from a garage can compete with big companies as long as they have a cool idea. In fact they might have a better chance in some niches because people have started to distrust companies. Below are few ways you can promote your startup – specifically tech startups.

Social Media

The starting point is creating a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Both are free to start and you have the potential to tap into millions of users. You can get the ball rolling by asking your friends to like and share the page.Business Networking in the 21st Century

Social networks are a good place to share your ideas and plans and get some feedback on them. Every little things count to successfully promote your product. If you have a product that is catering to a specific niche, then try joining a similar niche social network as well.

Contacting Leading Blogs and Getting Press Coverage

Once you come up with a working solution you can contact leading industry blogs to cover your product. Most major technology blogs like TechCrunch and Mashable have separate application forms for startups, so if you are confident about your product you can submit to them.

EDITOR NOTE: I must have misread, I couldn’t see Technology Bloggers among those ‘major technology blogs’! 😉 One day… – note by Christopher

Not only will you get massive exposure you will be able to get funding as well. Even if you don’t get published in major publications there are many other websites that promote startups and you can find many of them by doing a simple Google search.

Attending Conferences

Attending conferences and your local tech gatherings is another great way to spread the word about your product. Attending major conferences helps you network with people and pitch your product to industry leaders.

Local gathering are important because in most of these you will be able to present your product to an audience using a projector, which is far more effective than reading an article about your product. You will also get instant feedback on how you can improve your product as well.

Search Engine Optimization

Another promotion stream that is ignored by most startups is search engine optimization. Although most people in the technology field know about SEO, few actually try to leverage its power. This is especially useful if you are a global product catering to a non tech crowd. They won’t be reading Mashable and attending tech conferences, so the most probable way they will find your product is via search engines.

Even if you are catering to a tech crowd search engine optimization is a must. The long term benefits of SEO are immense. Although it is advisable to outsource your SEO work, if you have lots of content produced through your blog and website, it is better to hire your own SEO engineer. Be careful though, as black-hat SEO can be very damaging to a site, so if you do outsource, make sure it is to someone trustworthy.

Mentioned above are some major things you can do to promote your tech startup. Always remember that more people know about your product the better. The bigger your customer base, the likelihood is, the more money you will make/people you will help!

Categories
Computers Technology

Does Security Have to be Technical?

I had been a software engineer for at least 3 years specializing in digital security. A month ago, I attended a small workshop which talked about IT Security for corporate and the speaker said this somewhere in the middle of the workshop:

“Security is a process. It does not have to be really technical and the most important part is the process.”

I stunned for a while and suddenly my mind wondered away from the workshop deeply thinking, what is the speaker trying to deliver? I started this serious thinking simply because it is not said by some non-technical or sales person. Instead, the person speaking in front of me is a Certified Ethical Hacker.

A padlock key on a keyboardAt the end of the workshop, I begin to understand what he is trying to deliver. After 3 years of writing programs for the benefit of security, I turned out saying that security is a process. Why would I say that? Look around us. All the tech that you need to protect yourself from cyber crime is there. Anti-virus, firewall, anti keylogger, parental control, password manager and many more are all available in the software market. There is no reason for us to say in terms of technology, we are not good enough in security.

What makes so many of us a victim of computer or internet threat is the lack of proper process in computer and internet security. Security is not a short process where you only apply if you need it. For instance, you don’t only apply security when you had just downloaded a file from an unknown site which required a security scan.

Security is an end to end process. This means that the moment your computer boots up, security should be applied until the time your computer shuts down. People usually failed to stay secure simply because they don’t apply security from the very start. Agree?

So what’s your view? Do you still think that security has to be something technical?

Categories
Fun Technology

Top Christmas tech 2011

What is your favourite bit of tech from 2011 that will be making its way onto your Christmas list? That is if you don’t already have it!

This year has been a really busy one for the tech industry, it would seem that every year, the technology industry gains more pace and steams on ahead. For a great example of this look at cloud computing, this is an industry that has been around and major for less than 5 years, yet it is also an industry that has exploded.

Out of this industry, new firms like SugarSync and Rackspace have emerged, proving to be very profitable. In addition to this, existing firms like Google and Amazon have widened their inventory with the likes of the Chromebook and Amazon’s Web Services.

So, back to the topic in hand…

This year has seen the launch of the iPhone 4 and later the iPhone 4S, LG’s and Panasonic’s new HD and 3D TV sets, the iPad 2, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Chromebooks, Nintendo’s 3DS, the 6th generation of the iPod Nano, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the HTC Sensation 4G, and many many more bits of cool tech.

Google Chromebook, Amazon Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Apple iPhone 4, Nintendo 3DSThe thing is which is the best? Which tops your Christmas list?

Given the chance I would love to at least try all of the above, but that’s not going to happen for one simple reason: money. The value of all the new bits of tech released this year mentioned above, is probably around the £5,000 mark, meaning that the average Joe is not going to be able to afford them all. This leads me onto another question, which is best value for money?

I have heard a lot of praise for the Kindle, as being very good value for money, whilst a lot of bad PR surrounding the 3D TV’s mentioned.

So, the questions. What’s your favourite, and why? Which do you think best value for money and do you want any for Christmas?

Hopefully next year with a bit of growth, we will be able to have a competition to win some/all of the above! Stick with it 😉

Categories
Business News

What happens in Japan stays in Japan?

Some say that despite Japan being the third largest economy in the world, what happens in Japan, usually stays in Japan. After the recent Tsunami, this seemed to be the case, initially.

However now that most of the countries industry has shut down, the effects are really being felt around the world. Why? Well, Japan is a major exporter of electrical and motorised goods – after all companies like Honda and Sony are based there.

A Busy Japanese Street - Representative of the Japanese EconomyOften the Japanese factories make some of the parts and then the final goods are assembled closer to where they are going to be sold. This is great as it increases capacity due to specialisation, but it does have it’s problems too.

Due to the Japanese parts of such businesses currently being shut down, the entire supply chain for such goods has ground to a halt, as nobody can get the parts they need out of Japan.


Around the world Japanese firms are shutting down their plants, due to a lack of parts. Toyota are actually now withdrawing their UK operations due to the Tsunami – among other things.

Japanese Car Logos
The logos of well known Japanese cars

Sony are in a similar situation, as their firm is considering a complete shut down for 2 weeks due to power shortages. No doubt other firms like Panasonic, Nissan and Fujitsu wont be far behind too.

It looks like the shifting of a few tectonic plates might have caused a lot more than a devastating earthquake and tsunami, but also a slowdown in the global tech industry – leading to a large loss of jobs worldwide 🙁

What are your views on this, will the world really struggle without Japan?