I'm a rising star! But I need some help in the "shine" department :D

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by MsMicaela, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. MsMicaela

    MsMicaela
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    Hi there! First of all let me say that I'm quite new here so please be nice. If I seem weird in my posts maybe it's because I didn't quite understand or I may have expressed myself differently. But anyway I'd love to get some advice from you! :D

    I'm trying to startup a website that will serve as an online project collaboration tool. Sort of like Basecamp but without the monthly fees (hopefully we can keep it free) and a bit like Twitter for the interface but for private members only.

    Here's my concept:

    -it's a site where files, videos, documents can be uploaded, commented on and maybe even edited by a group of people.
    -real time updates
    -task management
    -separate project groups to prevent confusion
    -user friendly interface (nothing too complicated)
    - probably more depending on user feedback
    -looking into making it mobile

    I know that there are already a couple of these around like Basecamp, Central Desktop, Teambox etc. But what we've noticed is the increase of monthly subscription fees for those "services". I'm hoping to set this up so it can be "mostly" free or at very little cost if any at all. Also there are a few others but the interface is sometimes too complicated for a regular person to understand.

    We're aiming to serve those who do project collaboration online. Maybe people who have Virtual Assistants or project managers with multiple teams.

    I'd love to have experienced people poke around my site and maybe join our community of beta-testers. Help us in making a great project management tool.

    If you'd like an invite please message me. We're hoping to get as much feedback as we can so we can tweak it for best performance.

    You can also leave comments here in this thread.

    Tell me what you look for in a collaboration tool.
    Have you used something similar before?
    What would you have changed or removed altogether?


    Your help is much appreciated!
     
  2. Kay

    Kay
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    Hi MsMicaela and welcome to Business Advice Forum. :) Can you explain what it is about your version that will be its big selling point please? It sounds just like the others you mention. I use Backpack myself and am happy with it. Good luck with your project! :)
     
  3. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum and good luck with your new project MsMicaela. Would it be true to say that the primary benefit you are focusing on is the fact that your service is free? People are always attracted to free services, especially when they are of the same quality as comparable paid services. This is particularly true when we are in the midst of a recession.

    Another area that you could focus on is simplicity and ease of use. Tools such as BaseCamp can be intimidating for first time users. A simplified alternative, that is extremely user-friendly and very easy to get started with, would be very attractive to lots of users.

    How do you plan on generating revenue from the project?
     
  4. MsMicaela

    MsMicaela
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    Hi there!

    I had an awful flu so I wasn't able to get back online as much as I wanted. Thank you for your replies!

    @Fergal. Hmm, when it comes to revenue I think we may try focusing on ads? But it really will depend. I'm thinking more like a web based version of Skype. It's free for basic service that let's you do your job but if you really want something else done then there may be a minimum fee. At least not as high as what the current market for project collaboration tools are going for.
    Regarding simplicity, yes that's what we're trying to focus on right now. Something anyone could use. If you can do Twitter or Facebook you can do Cliqhub as well! I'd like to keep it easy on the eyes, efficient and practical yet noteworthy.

    I know I may be thinking too much about this but this is like a dream project for me. :D

    Do you use any of the tools I mentioned previously? Like BaseCamp? Would there have been anything you may have wanted to change or add?
     
  5. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Sorry to hear you had flu MsMicaela, hope you are feeling better now.

    A freemium business model could work quite well for your business. Members could start off by using your free service risk free and if they are happy with that service, some of them will upgrade to the paid version to get additional features. Some users will also upgrade as a way to support and thank your business for the quality free service you have provided them with.

    I use http://tadalist.com/ which is also from 37Signals and I love the simplicity of the service. I've had a look at other tools like BaseCamp but find them to complex for my requirements at the moment. That's the reason I suggested making your product as simple and as user-friendly as possible. To use the cliché, less is more and if you can provide a simple user-friendly service for free, a certain proportion of your members will be prepared to pay for additional features.

    Perhaps you can focus on one feature that is valued by your potential users. Then work really hard at becoming the very best and most user-friendly service for that feature. Similar to what 37Signals have done with TaDA lists, which is an excellent application focused solely on the To Do list element of project management.

    Could that work for you?
     
  6. MsMicaela

    MsMicaela
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    Hey Fergal, thanks!

    Maybe you could take just a quick look at my site? I'm still working out some bugs but the layout should look something like that. In summary it should feel a bit like Twitter or Facebook but for private users only. You can upload files, make comments real-time, set milestones and have separate tasks calendars for each group so you don't get confused. We might work in a googledocs type of application but it will all depend on user feedback.

    Happy to hear your opinions!
     
  7. Fergal

    Fergal
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    The first thing I would say about your site MsMicaela, is that it needs to make the benefits clearer, give your visitors a reason to join or at least a reason to want to know more. You only have a few seconds to capture your visitors' attention and your site needs to communicate how your site can help them, very quickly.

    The "Contact" and "Support" links are not working, but you probably know that.

    The video on the site is entertaining, but I'm not sure how it is relevant to your service or what it will do to encourage visitors to join your site.

    Please feel free to post a review request in our Website & Graphic Reviews section, to get opinions and advice from other members.
     
  8. MsMicaela

    MsMicaela
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    Hey Fergal!

    First off, I really appreciate all your advice. This is definitely giving me a bit of a clearer picture on what to follow. Of all the forums I've joined so far I've gotten more input here and I'm not kidding.

    I'll follow your advice and post a review request in the Website section. Hope I get a few more beta-testers. The website is almost fixed so the launch should be pretty soon. I just need to find more people willing to help me in saying what works or doesn't work for them so we can create a great project collaboration tool.

    I guess in many ways even in beta-testing this website is already undergoing collaboration with the efforts of the testers so best of luck to us!

    Thanks Fergal. See you around the forums. I'ma help out too. :)
     
  9. Fergal

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    Thanks for your kind words on our business forum MsMicaela. It's great to hear positive feedback. I look forward to watching your project continue on the road to success.
     

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