Startups that sell online, can you describe the process that goes from receiving the order to giving the package to the delivery company?

Hi all, I'm a European business student, me and my team are doing a report about what happens during this phase of the delivery process. The ideal would be that you go into as much detail as possible about all the steps (like printing the bar-code or the packaging).

Thanks for helping us!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

What is the best way to reach someone in a manager position in a big company?

tl;dr: How do you professionally reach specific people within a very large company when they're your best chance of actually selling your services?

While it took us a while, my co-founder and I are starting to have a really clear picture of who our target market is: big corporations with a web dev department. It's a bit more precise, but I want to stay vague enough that this post is useful for other people.

We believe that in order to sell our service, we would need to be able to speak with the manager of that specific team, but it's often difficult to find their information. Without insider knowledge, how do I even know the name of the person I'm looking for? I figure this information is possible to be found with a little digging, but this brings me to the main second, and primary, point of this question: which one is the more professional one?

It's possible my own personal bias influences my opinion, I hate being cold called by someone trying to sell something to me. It would be even more troublesome for me if the person told me she basically stalked my information in some way, but maybe I'm the oddball on this?

How do you guys reach out to these hard to reach people in a professional way?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Ride-hailing was hit hard by COVID-19. Grab’s Russell Cohen on how the company adapted.

A contactless delivery performed by a Grab delivery driver

A contactless Grab delivery

Ride-hailing services around the world have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Grab was no exception. The company is one of the most highly-valued tech startups in Southeast Asia, where it operates in eight countries. Its transport business suffered a sharp decline in March and April, as movement restriction orders were implemented.

But the company had the advantage of already operating several on-demand logistics services. During Disrupt, Russell Cohen, Grab’s group managing director of operations, talked about how the company adapted its technology for an unprecedented crisis (the video is embedded below).

“We sat down as a leadership group at the start of the crisis and we could see, particularly in Southeast Asia, that the scale of the challenge was so immense,” said Cohen.

Grab’s driver app already allowed them to toggle between ride-hailing and on-demand delivery requests. As a result of COVID-19, over 149,000 drivers began performing on-demand deliveries for the first time, with Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand seeing the most conversions. That number included tens of thousands of new drivers who joined the platform to make up for lost earnings during the pandemic.

The challenge was scaling up its delivery services to meet the dramatic increase in demand by consumers, and also merchants who needed a new way to reach customers. In March and April, Cohen said just under 80,000 small businesses joined its platform. Many had never sold online before, so Grab expedited the release of a self-service feature, making it easier for merchants to on-board themselves.

“This is a massive sector of the Southeast Asian economy that effectively digitized within a matter of weeks,” said Cohen.

A lot of the new merchants had previously taken only cash payments, so Grab had to set them up for digital payments, a process made simpler because the company’s financial unit, Grab Financial, already offers services like Grab Pay for cashless payments, mobile wallets and remittance services.

Grab also released a new package of tools called Grab Merchant, which enabled merchants to set-up online businesses by submitting licenses and certification online, and includes features like data analytics.

Modeling for uncertainty in the “new normal”

Part of Grab’s COVID-19 strategy involved collaborating with local municipalities and governments in different countries to make deliveries more efficient. For example, it worked with the Singaporean government to expand a pilot program, called GrabExpress Car, originally launched in September, that enabled more of Grab’s ride-hailing vehicles to be used for food and grocery deliveries. Previously, many of those deliveries were handled only by motorbikes.

The situation in each of Grab’s markets–Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam—is still evolving. Some markets have lifted lockdown orders, while others continue to cope with new outbreaks.

Cohen said ride-hailing is gradually recovering in many of Grab’s markets. But the company is preparing for an uncertain future by modeling different scenarios, taking into account potential re-closings, and long-lasting changes in both consumer and merchant behavior.

“Unpredictability is something we think a lot about,” Cohen said. Its models include ones where deliveries are a significantly larger part of its business, because even in countries where movement restrictions have been lifted, customers still prefer to shop online.

COVID-19 has also accelerated the adoption of digital payments in several of Grab’s markets. For example, Grab launched its GrabPay Card in the Philippines three months ago, because more people are beginning to use contactless payments in response to COVID-19 concerns.

In terms of on-demand deliveries, the company is expanding GrabExpress, its same-day courier service, and adapting technology originally created for ride-pooling to help drivers plan pickups and deliveries more efficiently. This will help decrease the cost of delivery services as consumers remain price-conscious because of the pandemic’s economic impact.

“Purchasing behaviors have changed, so for us, when we think about the supply side, the drivers’ side, that means we’ve got to make sure our fleet is flexible,” he said.

Startups – TechCrunch

Five key tips to choose the right tech stack for your company

As a modern company, the software you use is the foundation for everything you do. So you want to make sure it is solid enough to build your business on, but at the same time flexible enough to scale up, innovate or expand. So how do you pick the right tech stack? Marek Gajda, CTO at The Software House has years of experience building tech stacks for the most innovative companies and is here to help with solid tips.

What is a tech stack?

When you build your company, you’re going to have to choose specific technologies that will become important for you in the long term. That’s your technology stack. It refers to all the major technologies that make up your software that your organisation relies on for its bottom line. When your product includes a web application or mobile application, it will likely need a frontend framework, a backend programming language or framework, a database, and an infrastructure provider. All of that is carefully chosen software.

When you create or transform that software, you have a lot to think about. You have important decisions to make on the technologies that your business idea will rely on. Decisions that are going to influence your application’s performance and scalability. But also the development speed (including time-to-market) and the ability to find the right developers to take care of your software. And while it is not impossible to change a tech stack in the future, it is also hard work that you’d rather avoid. So you want to be sure that you’ll have talented developers available to maintain and upgrade your software.

What to look for in a tech stack?

Picking the right tech for your company can be daunting, but you don’t have to go at it alone. Marek Gajda, CTO at The Software House has dozens of custom software projects under his belt, as well as a clear eye on the market as proven by the report The State of Frontend 2020. So what advice does he have to make sure you pick the right tech for your company? Make sure you focus on the right stuff. Starting with:

1: What you want to build

Not every technology is suitable for your use case. Some of the most popular choices for backend technologies for the web are Java, Python, .NET, Ruby, PHP and Node.js. Those last two are often compared and weighed against each other.. PHP has been around for a long time and established itself as the most popular backend language on the web. As the older and more battle-proven technology, it shines in projects that do not require developers to reinvent the wheel. Such as eCommerce stores, CRM, CMS, warehouse systems or any other business system based on forms and databases. 

Meanwhile, the Node.js platform is considered the new kid on the block, gaining the support of a vast community and many innovative companies. When you’re looking to make a very innovative and interactive project, Node.js may be the better choice. It’s a modern technology which attracts like-minded developers. It is up-to-date with all the latest trends and proved especially useful for modern software solutions used in, for example, fintech.

The choice on the frontend is somewhat limited as there is virtually only one programming language: JavaScript. It’s a matter of picking the framework. Some of the most popular frontend/application frameworks are Angular, React, and Vue. When you decide to go for a popular one, it will be easier for you to build a team experienced with it. 

2: What the current tech trends are

Technologies come and go, and it is important to keep up. The longer you stick to old ones, the harder it will be to develop your software. For example, in the latest State of Frontend 2020 report, you can see how fast the trends in the frontend development are changing. Some trends seem to be pretty solid, though. React is the most popular framework with more developers using it (74%) than Angular and Vue.js combined. It’s a clear forecast that React will still reign supreme in the near future. This means that choosing React for the frontend part of your tech stack sounds like a very future-proof decision. 

3: If there are talented developers available

It is wise to go for a technology that offers the right choice of talented candidates. Picking the more popular option ensures there are always talents to be found who can work with it. It means picking the most popular JavaScript frameworks like React (alternatively Angular or Vue.js) for frontend. Among many backend technologies, Node.js seems especially tempting these days. That’s because of the fact it’s based on the JavaScript language. So if you choose Node.js, JavaScript will be the universal language for your software on both the front- and backend.

4:What the developers’ own ambitions are

Good software companies let their developers grow their skills in any way they see fit. If you let your talented developers develop, they may come up with awesome innovations that will help realise new apps and new features faster. And if you don’t employ software developers in-house but rather outsource it, choose a vendor that makes sure their developers have the possibility to improve their skills and have time to think about innovations.

For example, one of our developers had the ambition to create his own end-to-end testing framework because the existing ones were not fitting our needs and were cumbersome. We dedicated some time and resources for this challenge, and that’s how Kakunin was born. This tool drastically improved test automation in our entire organisation, not only in this one project it was meant to run.

5: The evolution of the tech stack

In the world of technology, nothing is set in stone. Once chosen, your tech stack may still change. Sometimes they must be revolutionary, such as switching from outdated legacy technology. However, most of the time they have a more evolutionary character. Nevertheless, you work with technology now, and things constantly change. So don’t get scared when you hear someone say: “Well, we need to update our tech stack a bit.”

For more information on choosing the right tech stack, please visit The Software House’s Technology Radar where you can check out which solutions we use daily and which we avoid.

This article is produced in collaboration withThe Software House. Read more about our partnering opportunities.

The post Five key tips to choose the right tech stack for your company appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

[Skillz in The Wall Street Journal] Mobile-Gaming Company Skillz to Go Public by Merging With Blank-Check Firm

Mobile-gaming company Skillz Inc. is set to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm run by veteran Hollywood executives, becoming the latest pairing to take the trendy path to public markets.

Read more here.

The post [Skillz in The Wall Street Journal] Mobile-Gaming Company Skillz to Go Public by Merging With Blank-Check Firm appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

Company Approach Technique: Cold email vs LinkedIn message

Hello,

I've build a tech product MVP (a type of marketplace), and am now trying to find potential customers.

Since the product features are limited and also haven't tested it with real-world products/traffic, I have decided to approach companies to pilot/beta this and if they are happy we can form a deal. I have shortlisted some potential companies and have found their email addresses. I've also tracked down (via LinkedIn) key employees (leads, department heads, CxOs etc)working at said companies.

I'm seeking the community's input as to what's the best suited approach for my case. Should I cold email them or approach and directly pitch my idea (via LinkedIn messaging) to employees working at these companies?

Any advice/help is more than appreciated!

Thank you

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Is my company a startup?

I'm currently in the process of starting a company for the first time and have been consuming lots of material online about how to build and run a startup. However, the more I think about my situation, the more I start to wonder if my company actually qualifies as a startup and if the startup advice I'm reading is actually applicable to me. Could you guys take a look at my situation and let me know what you think?

My product is a language learning app. The market for these types of apps is, obviously, already very well established, and my product is an evolutionary improvement over existing products rather than a revolutionary new approach. I plan on bootstrapping the company rather than attempting to get VC, and I'm not aiming to turn this company into a unicorn or to completely take over the market. Instead, I'm hoping to just find a modest niche in the market where my product can thrive. As of right now, the company consists of just me, and I don't see myself ever bringing on more than a cofounder and a handful of employees.

Is advice aimed at startups applicable to my situation or should I look elsewhere?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

[Skillz in CNBC] Mobile gaming company Skillz is the next market deal from SPAC team that took DraftKings public

Mobile-gaming company Skillz announced Wednesday that it will go public through a merger with Flying Eagle Acquisition Corporation, led by executives of the same blank-check company that brought DraftKings to the public market earlier this year.

Read more here.

The post [Skillz in CNBC] Mobile gaming company Skillz is the next market deal from SPAC team that took DraftKings public appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

[Skillz in The Street] Skillz Mobile Gaming Company to Go Public Via SPAC

Skillz is set to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm run by veteran Hollywood executives, a deal valuing the San Francisco mobile-gaming company at $ 3.5 billion.

Read more here.

The post [Skillz in The Street] Skillz Mobile Gaming Company to Go Public Via SPAC appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

How to build a company culture remotely?

Hey guys. Like many of us, our team is now 100% remote. Most of us love it, but I’ve noticed that our company culture has gone down. We used to be a close team – have good banter, go for beers or have our foosball tournament. At the moment none of that is around. What do you do to build and maintain your company culture working remotely? Have you done some remote team-building activities? Any ideas and suggestion appreciated. Thanks.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!