Author Archives: David Rashty

David Rashty, an entrepreneur and one of the early web pioneers, has over twenty years’ experience as a CTO and a CEO. He has been involved in several start-ups and established companies and was the founder of two successful ventures.

David is currently using his proven leadership and management skills to act as a Part Time CTO or "JumpStart" CTO for several early-stage ventures; this includes helping them design and develop their product and IT infrastructure.

David holds a BS in computer science and an M.Sc in educational technology. He has been a adjunct university professor, given numerous workshops, written several books and articles on information technology and received numerous innovation awards.

The Continuing Process of Gathering & Analyzing Users Requirements

Gathering User Requirements involves a process that uses several different methods and sources to find and collect data. This can be comprised of information from interviews, questionnaires , A/B testing and focus groups that will then, in turn, be analyzed along with your Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).

A common mistake people make is that they tend to treat themselves as one of the users. Like a horses with blinders, we often myopically base what we think the requirements list is, solely on one’s own selfish needs and not on the real and objective needs of the users. The correct way is to first adhere to the process of gathering User Requirements before deciding on what you think those requirements ought to be.

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Using an Interface Designer and a Visual Designer to Help You Build Your Product

A Minimal Viable Product Minimum Viable Product is designed using an interface designer, a Visual designer, and a Chief Technology Officer that bridges between the two.
All successful products have, as their most important component, a well developed User Interface. Because it is very important that your product is launched with an easy to learn user interface, your team needs to have both an excellent User Interface expert and a great Visual Designer. JumpstartCTO explains how to use an Interface Designer and a Visual Designer to help you build your product.

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Defining your Startup Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

KPI’s and the Human Body

It is easy to understand what a Key Performance Indicator is by way of metaphor, because what the term KPI stands for, comes from our interactions with the human body. The most common KPI that is monitored in Western society is found by studying a person’s health condition, specifically by taking the body’s internal temperature. This is one of the most important indicators that can instantly tell us if someone may be sick or not. A gradual change in temperature or a quick fluctuation can indicate that the human body is recovering or fighting infection. There are several other indicators but only few of them are as important as the body temperature.  Body temperature therefore defines by metaphor what is known as the Key Performance Indicator.  In the study of Chinese medicine, there are other important KPIs which are measured to determine the human body’s condition. Demographically, the KPI is determined by a wide range of considerations, from the standards of measurement for the conditions of the prospective study, and from the background of the subject to the setting of the testing environment. These are all factors that contribute to determining the meaning of the KPIs we observe.

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How to Approach Seed Investors

I often have meetings with entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of their ventures and are trying to approach seed investors while, at the same time, cope with their product offering on a narrow budget.

Approaching investors is not an easy process. While finding investors may be easy, the hard part comes when you need to pitch your idea to them. There are many kinds of investors, so there isn’t only one right way to approach an investor, but there are proper ways to pitch your idea and also to anticipate and cope with some of the feedback you might receive.

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A Presentation On a CTO’s Role in Early Seed Ventures

How to Gather and Prioritize User Requirements and Functionality for a Minimal Viable Product?

In a previous post we established a working definition of the Minimal Viable Product (Minimum Viable Product) and argued that it is more a process within one’s product development strategy that is supported in different  scenarios, than it is a definition of a goal in itself.

In this post is meant to extend the discussion of development processes that determine the Minimum Viable Product into areas of what functionality to include, as well as what to exclude, when designing your product’s offering.

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What is a Minimal Viable Product (MVP)?

The term ‘minimal viable product’ is a common buzzword these days in the realm of business start-ups and early stage ventures by product managers and developers who are trying to perfect their product offering.  The Minimal Viable Product (Minimum Viable Product) is actually better defined as a process and not necessarily as a product goal in itself.

A Definition of the Minimal Viable Product (Minimum Viable Product)

The basic definition for the Minimum Viable Product includes those features that allow the product to be deployed within the defined target audience.

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How can a CTO help me test my product?

Do you know where to begin testing your product?

Usability evaluation of software products and web applications is a growing trend in venture and is proving to be an important need when one is concerned with saving money. It ensures that the product is easy to use and that users have a positive experience. When one is steering a lean start-up through new waters, a usability evaluation can often be an invaluable tool that will saves both time and money.

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The Mistakes We Make: Starting Up A Venture or Business, Part 2

We’re talking about common mistakes that people make in the early days of a start-up. Here’s the rest of the list, continued from Part 1.

Not Taking the Lean Startup Approach

It is very tempting to build the best and most feature rich product, but does this serve your goals or your target audience? No, it does not. You must identify the minimal viable product which will meet the needs of your target audience and remove all unneeded features and functionality of the initial version. Once your launch your product, you will discover the real needs and features needed – some will be as you might have expected but many will be new and come from your target audience needs and reactions. [see also The Lean Startup]

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The Mistakes We Make: Starting Up A Venture or Business, Part 1

When starting up a new venture one has to be careful. Since each new venture has its own unique challenges, there are several common mistakes often repeated in the early stages of businesses that you need to watch out for; all of which could negatively affect your business further down the road.

These are some of the more common mistakes that I found commonplace in my experiences of working with startups.

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How to Develop Your Idea into a Product

The Minimal Viable Product

Building your idea into a product requires a process that involves several different modes of expertise and knowledge. Above all, one must have a plan or methodology to follow so that the outcome will meet one’s expectations and more importantly your plan will address what your proposed target audience needs.

First and foremost to your plan is the need to focus your idea. This is done by doing comprehensive research and identifying potential competitors, in order to understand what the proposed value of your offering is in comparison to other players within your niche market. Often it may be more difficult to be first player in your market than being in a position among several other players. Despite the fact that being first gives you the advantage, it also means your market is not yet defined and you need to educate your customers in advance on how to use your product.

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Outsourcing – Spotlight on India

When it comes to outsourcing, India is a country on the verge of many exciting developments. While wages are known to be generally lower than western countries, the quality of the Indian developers and project managers is fast becoming legitimate competition to the rest of the world.

In the past, people in India have worked six days a week – and sometimes seven – racking up well over the typical forty-hour work-week. Recently, however, things have evolved, as India’s hi-tech workers become more westernized in their approach to not only technology but the important balance of family/free time and careers.

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Outsourcing – Spotlight on Israel

Israel, although small and residing in an unstable region in the world, is a unique mixture of enthusiastic professionals and companies, which share creativeness and out of the box thinking. The tradition of entrepreneurial spirit is prevalent in Israel and this means many small businesses that are always looking for the next creative way to solve a problem.

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Outsourcing in Poland – Spotlight

Poland is a growing center of technology outsourcing, with expansion rapidly taking this country from unknown to sought-after. A gem of the European Union, Poland offers an exceptional crop of technology professionals – programmers, project managers and more – all of whom can be assets to your start-up.

With an emphasis on IP security, and infrastructure, many American and European businesses feel comfortable working with Polish technology workers. A common language and culture – coupled together with an exceptional university system – and there is already a strong foundation for finding the right outsourcing in this country.

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Outsourcing Technology Overseas

The ability to find talented and skilled employees all over the world is a benefit to every business. It is also a way to expand your technology investment as you discover the potential in outsourcing.

It is much more than a decision about money, however. Before you outsource technology, you must examine what your needs are, and what is available to you. A Chief Technology Officer can assist you in this exploration of opportunities. It is their job to know the markets, to know what is being offered and where it might fit into your big picture scenario.

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