Building a Software Company From Scratch

At APconnections, our flagship product, NetEqualizer, is a traffic management and WAN optimization tool. Rather than using compression and caching techniques, NetEqualizer analyzes connections and then doles out bandwidth to them based on preset rules. We look at every connection on the network and compare it to the overall trunk size to determine how to eliminate congestion on the links. NetEqualizer also prevents peer-to-peer traffic from slowing down higher-priority application traffic without shutting down those connections.

When we started the company, we had lots of time, very little cash, some software development skills, and a technology idea. This article covers a couple of bootstrapping pearls that we learned to implement by doing.

Don’t be Afraid to Use Open Source

Using open source technology to develop and commercialize new application software can be an invaluable bootstrapping tool for startup entrepreneurs. It has allowed us to validate new technology with a willing set of early adopters who, in turn, provided us with references and debugging.

We used this huge number of early adopters, who love to try open source applications, to legitimize our application. Further, this large set of commercial “installs” helped us ring out many of the bugs by users who have no grounds to demand perfection.

In addition, we jump-started our products without incurring large development expense. We used open source by starting with technology already in place and extending it, rather than building (or licensing) every piece from scratch.

Using open source code makes at least a portion of our technology publicly available. We use bundling, documentation, and proprietary extensions to make it difficult for larger players to steal our thunder. These will account for over half of development work but can be protected by copyright.

Afraid of copycats? In many cases, nothing could be better than to have a large player copy you. Big players value time to market. If one player clones your work, another may acquire your company to catch up in the market.

The transition from open source users to paying customers is a big jump, requiring traditional sales and marketing. Don’t expect your loyal base of open source beta users to start paying for your product. We use testimonials from this critical mass of users to market to paying customers who are reluctant to be early adopters (see below).

Channels? Use Direct Selling and the Web

Our innovation is a bit of a stretch from existing products and, like most innovations, requires some education of the user. Much of the early advice we received related to picking a sales channel. Just signup reps, resellers, and distributors and revenues will grow.

We found the exact opposite to be true. Priming channels is expensive. And, after we pointed the sales channel at customers, closing the sale and supporting the customer fell back on us anyway. Direct selling is not the path to rapid growth. But as a bootstrapping tool direct selling has rewarded us with loyal customers, better margins, and many fewer returns.

We use the Internet to generate hot leads, but we don’t worry about our Google ranking. They key for us is to get every satisfied customer to post somethig about our product. It probably hasn’t improved our Google ratings but customer comments have surely improved our credibility.

Honest postings to blogs and user groups have significant influence on potential customers. We explain to each customer how important their posting is to our company. We often provide them with a link to a user group or appropriate blog. And, as you know, these blogs stay around forever. Then, when we encounter new potential customers, we suggest that they Google our “brand name” and blog, which always generates a slew of believable testimonials. (Check out our Web site to see some of the ways they use testimonials.)

Using open source code and direct sales are surely out-of-step with popular ideas for growing technology companies, especially those funded by equity investors. But they worked very well for us as we grew our company with limited resources to positive cash flow and beyond.

Steps To Follow When Setting Up A Secure Marketing Business Online

Because of the recession the country is experiencing nowadays, many people are also strapped for cash and find ways and means to lift them from their financial burden. As such, they turn their minds on home marketing business, an online business which they find the easiest to do judging from the situation they are in. But they will find out later after trying to put up an online business of their own, that they are left hanging as they are unsure of their next step after the commencement. It is because, many programs on the Net that promises good things are only aggressive to entertain customers at the beginning but are not helpful in following them up at all. Here are some reminders to be wary of such programs and learn the proper steps in putting up your own Internet business online.

  1. Research and find out whether or not the businesses offered online are reputable. These are easily tracked because of the positive reviews they are receiving from customers posted in their pages. If you are unsure of the reviews, get feedback from past customers who are more reliable sources than the reviews read online.
  2. Evaluate whether or not the payment systems that they are using are also reliable. Sometimes, sending money through sites like PayPal lets you think they are already safe and secure. Bear in mind that PayPal only acts as a middleman who can investigate protests but it does not mean the payment method the Internet business company uses is legitimate.
  3. Assess if the company is also offering money-back guarantee and discloses it through the Net when you are unsure of the program you are using. This way, you will get a full refund of your money should you discover that the program is not meant for you. This compensation and privacy policies should be properly posted for tracking otherwise they are not to be relied upon.

These are healthy reminders to follow when trying to find a legitimate business online that can help you put up your own secure marketing business in no time.

Making Money Online – Several Biz Ideas To Focus On

There are many ways to make money online, but the following three are some of the best. You need to find something you like in order to be successful.

Online money making is an area where a lot of secrets are hidden. If you want to make money quickly you should learn some of the secrets others already know. Get ready to find payment for your work by taking the information below and turning it into an advantage for you.

Benefits of online money making are that you can do it from home, at your convenience, and you do not have to invest in an idea. You can work with contracts in order to gain money for the work you turn in. The work can be part time too!

The following 3 key points will help you find online money making positions:

Information or Knowledge Sales:

Selling products online can be profitable, but what if you would rather not spend money buying the products you hope to sell? You can sell information and knowledge about other products that are online by contracting with that company to create their content. You can also work with affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is the most sought after job where products are sold and you use information to do so. You will need to have marketing skills for affiliate marketing in order to get a commission from the sales of products and information.

Blogging:

People like to share information on any number of topics. The key is to get paid for it. You might wonder how a blogger can actually earn money. If you do then you are in the right place. Through affiliate marketing or Google AdSense you can post ads on your blog site and start reaping the rewards. You get paid for ads on your site when a visitor clicks through to the link that ad offers. The more visitors you have the better ads you usually get.

Freelance Writing:

Writing might be a passion for you. If it is now is the time to start making money from this hobby. Content writing is required for numerous online websites. People that work as freelance writers may create over 30,000 words in one month. All you have to do is have the skills, time management, and work within the deadlines given.

Market the skills you have in order to earn money. It is far better to use what you already know to earn money online or at least what you can easily pick up.

Overview on Some of the Healthiest Eating Lifestyles Around the World

There is a universal wisdom to live a healthy life, but this is not possible unless we all follow a healthy eating lifestyle. If we particularly look at the current scenario, the majority of Americans are constantly battling with food and looking for alternatives in the world to loss their weight. Though many cities in the United States are crowded with numerous health and fitness clubs and local grocery stores are bombarded with low-fat, sugar-free or salt-free products, still the majority of people are overweight. In fact, in other words, we can say that the major population of the United States is unhealthy.

The American diet that generally consists largely of fried food, candy or soda ranks high in fat and processed ingredients and small in nutrients. In addition to this, many youths are taking processed foods that primarily contain upper levels of sugar, salt and saturated fat than unprocessed foods. However, if we look at the certain cultures around the world and have insights on their traditional diets or eating lifestyles, we can easily see that they are not just healthy, but also protect bodies against scourges like depression, cancer and heart disease. Many researchers consider that pursuing such diets can help you live with excellent health. So, before you make that transition in your eating lifestyle, here is some of the healthiest eating lifestyle around the world that you must know-

Japanese Eating Lifestyle

It is really hard to find an overweight person in Japan. Contrasting to most Western cultures that mostly use the term “food” with pleasure, Japanese too relates eating with healing, but in relation to eating habits, they eat what can keep their bodies healthy, both from outside and inside as well. Basically, the Japanese diet consists of soy products, fresh fish, vegetables, green tea. Their daily meal mostly includes cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower, cabbage, watercress, kale, parsnips, and turnips. Adding to this, seaweed is the primary component of the Japanese diet for centuries. It is often seen wrapped around bites of sushi. Though at times, it can be seen in salads or soups.

Chinese Eating Lifestyle

Very similar to the Japanese, Chinese people also consider seafood as an important part of their meal that affects overall health. It is not consumed just for the sake of the taste, but for the benefits that it generally provides to the body, mind and spirit. Usually the Chinese diet is abundant with vegetables, soybeans, with very little amounts of sugar and dairy products. Their diet is mostly based on clean and fresh ingredients. The most interesting point to note in Chinese eating lifestyle is they always try to maintain a balance in life through food and diet. They follow a yin/yang approach that basically involves eating foods to heal the body. They give great consideration to what they eat and frequently pursue specific diets to make sure that they preserve this important balance. Their diet is relatively simple, yet it provides many health benefits.

French Eating Lifestyle

In terms of overall disease rates and obesity statistics, one cannot deny the reality that the French population is considered as one of the healthiest populations in the world. If you talk about the eating style of French then it mostly includes butter, bread, wine, read meat, full-fat cheese, and of course, dessert. The French population is major food lovers and regularly indulges on pommes frites. Apart from all this, the French diet also includes a range of heart-healthy ingredients and vegetables or fruits are used liberally in meals. Unlike the Americans who generally prefer the quick way of eating, French on another hand hardly ever eats anything dehydrated or hydrogenated.

Mediterranean Eating Lifestyle

The Mediterranean region is basically comprised of several countries situated in the Northern Africa, Southern Europe and the Middle East that surrounds the Mediterranean Sea. If we talk about the eating lifestyle of the Mediterranean region, it consists of seasonally fresh fruits, nuts, fish and bean. Moreover, their diet also includes loads of green leafy vegetables, which are rich in beta-carotene and healthy antioxidants. The Mediterranean diet is generally motivated by fishermen and is mostly based on seasonal ingredients. People living in this region mostly prefer to eat fresh food items at different times throughout the year.

Today it is no hidden secret that people who pursue traditional eating styles are healthier. Cultures that have always enjoyed eating styles or diets, which are based on whole grains, fish, and natural foods, still maintain to reap the health rewards. As a result, it will better to take the best of what each traditional diet eating lifestyle has to offer. It’s time to make a transition in your eating lifestyle with a meal that features the best traditional and healthiest cuisines from around the world.