sqex me link: We are a platform for data scientists to share and discuss their work.
We do this by providing an online environment where people can share, publish and collaborate on their research data.
These findings are then put back into the hands of the authors and the public, so that others can reuse them for their own purposes.
Analysing data is a key activity in science, engineering and medicine, but it is also important that this work be done in an open environment.
We have many tools at our disposal to help us make sense of big datasets: we have search algorithms; we have written code that gives us access to data sets; we have storage platforms such as S3; we have APIs; and last but not least we have publishing platforms such as GitHub, where our users can make their findings available for others to use.
Assessing the Opportunity
In this section, we will discuss how to assess the opportunity for your product, be it a new app or a new feature.
The first step is to establish the target market for your product. This is usually done by doing market research or by reading the whitepaper in PDF format (which will come in handy).
The second step is to get a clear understanding of what that market wants and need. The third step is to convert that into a value proposition which you can communicate with your customers and potential partners. In this case, I’ll give you examples from my own experience as well as from other people’s experiences. For example:
I used to run an online retail business and I was always getting requests for custom software development projects. So, I started to develop software using Python, so that I could do some custom work on those projects — but it was slow and did not scale up well. So, I picked up Ruby on Rails (Rails) and did some more custom work on those projects with my colleagues and clients — it worked great! And it was fast!
I then put together the best practices from my years of experience and created a document called “Ten Hacks for Creating Custom Software” which covered all the different things you need to know about building custom software for your business:
Then, when people asked me about custom software development projects: “What should we do? What are the best practices? How can we get our software faster? How can we scale up our business?”
I would say that 10% of that text was written during the gap between when they asked me these questions and when they actually got their hands on my custom-made solution. The remaining 90% was written before they even had an opportunity to ask me these questions in person, so they were just pure inspiration. All of those hacks were generated by trial & error (and mostly by friends who had built their own online businesses). These hacks were inspired by various best practices books which came out at around the same time (such as “How To Build A Great Online Business”).
Now let’s take a look at some of those hacks…
Defining the Process
I picked up this quote from Stumbling on Happiness by Sean Ellis:
“The number of things I’ve experimented with that have added to my happiness has been zero, so it must be true.”
This is an interesting thought because it reminds us that we need to keep the experiment small, and focus on the result. The problems we face today are daunting: the world is changing fast, and we need to keep pace. We also know that if we want to be happy (whether as individuals or in our organizations) then we must continually improve. As such, it is important not to get stuck in one corner of the sandbox — instead, think about how you can apply these principles to other areas of your life and to your organizations (or contribute a blog post about how it can be applied in your business).
Let’s start with the last sentence: “Instead of just running experiments and seeing what sticks, though… I try hard not to think about what I can do next. I try instead to come at things as they are rather than as they would like me to be. I also try not to get hung up on meaning or message. That stuff is easy and usually pretty meaningless anyway… Every approach or experiment should be judged by whether it gets you closer toward whatever you want more quickly than anything else you are doing now… Experimentation is just trying things out until something sticks… It may not do anything for you right now, but at least it won’t do anything bad for you later… A lot of people spend a lot of time thinking about what they want from life when what they really need from life is just getting on with doing stuff! They don’t know how much time they have left or what their priorities should be right now; they don’t even know where their nose should be pointed when looking at their schedule! But if they just started doing their work — no big deal; they will figure out where they are going once they get moving! Then all of a sudden there will be more time for thinking about what else might matter in life! If there isn’t enough time for thinking about that for too long I will skip ahead two months and move on – no problem! If nothing else works out well over a few weeks or months, then maybe I could take one day off in order to rethink things… [T]here are so many ways that people screw up; so many
Designing Your Site
Setup your website and give it a great domain name. You’re probably not going to need to hard-code a lot of content, but you do have to have something there that is good enough for Google.
If you’re using Squarespace, you can use the same domain name as your web host (it’s free and will work just fine), or you can buy a domain at GoDaddy.com/squarespace/ or digicommerce.com/squarespace/ . They may not be as nice as having your own domains with proper authority and file hosting, but they are free!
You should get your site up within the next few days (not weeks!), so that it is live and well-established before you start working on marketing it.
Some people find it helpful to start with WordPress and move on from there; others find it necessary to start with Squarespace first and then build their site from there. If this suits your situation, that’s great! But if not, here’s a quick list of things you should definitely have on your site:
- A way of publishing what you write via the web (WordPress is great for this).
- A way of getting back in touch with people using email (Squarespace has an email system too).
- A way of getting professional design help (Squarespace has some great designer tools too).
This should be enough to get off the ground in no time at all; once you have a solid base up, then marketing will follow naturally if things go well! The best part about these tools (and most other marketing tools) is that they are free 🙂
Launching Your Marketing Campaign
There are a lot of great ways to launch your marketing campaign: press releases, video releases, email marketing, social media. All work well for some products. But we’ve seen over and over again that most products don’t work well in any kind of campaign. It’s not enough to be able to announce something on your blog or Twitter stream; you need to actually deliver something. And for most products, delivery is about getting the product into the hands of your users. So we make it easier for you by explaining what you should do before you go out and launch the product.
If your company is already successful with a large audience (say, over 50K), then it’s likely that you have a strong brand recognition already — and maybe even a bit more than that — so there may not be much point in launching at all (but if there is, then this is one). If it’s new enough that some people might have no idea who you are (say less than 10K) then it’s probably worth at least putting out an announcement. This can be anything: press releases (if they are good at these things), social media posts, white papers or infographics about your company, etc…
If it is a smaller audience (less than 50K) then we recommend going ahead and putting out an announcement from the start because this will get a lot more eyes on your product: Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn + email list = 10 x users = massive exposure for very little effort!
Measuring Your Success and Growing Your Business
This is a particularly tricky topic. There are many different ways to quantify success, and all have their merits. For example:
- Did you make even more sales than you expected?
- Are you making more money than you expected?
- Are your customers happier than they expected?
- Have you improved the quality of your services or products?
- Have customers returned to buy more from you?