Basecamp CEO Jason Fried talks about taking an “intentionally small” approach to building a business for the long-term on a recent episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher.
Listening to Basecamp CEO Jason Fried on a recent episode of Recode Decode, we’re inspired to think differently about our relationships with our custom software development clients.
In the interview, Fried talks with Swisher about being intentionally small and the risk of growing too big, too fast. Losing money for years to fuel fast growth is accepted, even expected. Fried’s warning: “By the time you finally need to actually make money, you don’t have any skills. You don’t know how to make money because all you know how to do is spend it.”
Listen to the whole podcast or skip to minute 35:30 to hear the discussion about being intentionally small and focusing on intentional growth.
Whether you’re launching a new business or growing a small one, you’ll be spending money on infrastructure. In today’s world, some or most of that will be invested in custom software — even if you’re not a technology company. How you schedule that investment can make a difference.
OmniSpear has experience growing profitably since 2001. And we’re open to talking about scaling that giant custom software project into a series of smaller projects to fit within your intentional growth budget. Listen. Develop. Deliver.
Contact OmniSpear for your custom software development needs.
You’ve decided to invest in technology to take your company to the next level. Now what? OmniSpear shares its perspective about outsourcing custom software and mobile app development.
Eighteen years of custom software development experience provides perspective. The growth of cloud computing, the power of bandwidth and advancements in programming languages have increased the complexity of software development and created pressure for companies to invest in technology to remain accessible to their customers. A website is no longer enough. Both consumers and business-to-business customers are enticed by customized online and mobile connections tailored to their specific needs and interests.
Creating customized connections requires more than a CMS with a shopping cart plugin. Many small and medium-sized businesses are investing in custom software solutions and mobile applications to create unique experiences for their customers. And some have the opportunity monetize the connection through the creation of subscription-based services known as SaaS.
Embarking on a custom software development project is a very different endeavor than designing a website. Website mechanics are pretty well set and the key to success is good graphic design and marketing content. A well resourced marketing department and website development partner can successfully launch a new website for a company.
With custom software, mobile apps and SaaS offerings, the development project will draw upon operational and technical experts within the company as well as marketing. A successful development partner carefully listens to the needs of all company stakeholders and coordinates the differing perspectives as they relate to the project goals.
Across eighteen years, OmniSpear has been in the trenches with hundreds of clients. Won some. Lost some. And through these experiences, OmniSpear knows what it takes to succeed. Listen. Develop. Deliver.
Contact OmniSpear for your custom software development needs.
Facebook’s social network now consists of over 2 billion users. Not all of them are real people and not all of them have your best interest in mind. Facebook attempts to weed them out automatically using advanced algorithms. Many fake accounts still get through. In the first three months of 2018, Facebook cleared out 583 million fake accounts.
Why is it important to spot fake accounts and what is the motivation for them? Generally speaking, fake accounts are attempting to either gather your personal information, to direct you to sites full of clickbait, or to sell you other services. So how do you spot them and what should you do about it?
Spotting fake accounts is getting more difficult as the perpetrators’ techniques become more advanced. Some accounts are quite convincing, but there are a few tell-tale signs you can look out for..
- Profile Photos – Many fake accounts have only one or two profile photos available. Often times there will be a caption with an external website link – this is a dead giveaway. Take a look at when they uploaded the pictures and if it was within a few days of the request, chances are the account is not real. Also look to see if there are any likes or comments on the pictures. It’s very rare that a user will upload a profile picture and not have any friends respond to it.
- Friends – Most fake profiles only exist for a short time before they are reported. Therefore, it’s rare for those profiles to gather many friends – especially ‘Mutual Friends’. If an account has only one or two mutual friends, proceed with caution and dig a bit deeper into the publicly visible information. When in doubt, ask your mutual friends to see if they know the profile personally.
- Profile Activity – Even the most locked-down private profiles will have some activity visible to someone who has been sent a friend request. Take a look at their timeline. If it goes from their automatically generated birthday post directly to the post showing their profile pic, chances are very high that you are looking at a fake account.
This is a good example of a fake account profile. Notice that Ms. Smith was born in 1956. In all that time, there is no public activity on her timeline. Also, she is extremely young looking for someone supposedly 60+ years old!
Fake accounts are rampant throughout social media and most are used for unethical marketing purposes. When one crosses your path, do everyone a favor and report the profile using the tools provided within Facebook. Look for the three dots on the profile picture and select the ‘Report’ option. Follow the instructions and help clean up the network for all of us real users!
As of June 8, 2018 the fastest supercomputer in the world is now active at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Developed by IBM, the OLCF-4 or Summit supercomputer has been clocked at 200 petaflops. That’s 200 quadrillion operations per second! The Summit is 8 times more powerful than the previous system called Titan. This advanced computing technology is currently being used by the ORNL and also the US Department of Veterans Affairs for clinical research.
The Summit’s advanced architecture is helping them understand the genetic factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease, suicide, Alzheimer’s disease and more. Along with medical research, the Summit will also assist in our understanding of the universe, bolster US economic competitiveness and contribute to a better future.
ORNL has created a great infographic that helps illustrate the scale of this machine!
As members of the tech community, we are always on the look out for the newest gadget or emerging technology. We are also fans of the science fiction genre, so occasionally our worlds collide and fiction starts to become reality. One of our favorite franchises is Star Trek and many of the items in that series have begun to appear in real life. Here’s a short list of some of our favorites:
1. Tablet Computers
The PADD or Personal Access Display Device is a hand-held computer interface used throughout the space-faring organizations within the Star Trek universe. PADDs are often used for a variety of functions including crew manifests, duty rosters, diagnostics, personal logs and more. In 2010, the PADD became a reality with the introduction of Apple’s iPad. This lightweight and powerful computing tool has worked its way into our daily lives with its ability to take photos, video, play music and support countless applications and games. As of March 2016 the App Store hosted over one million apps for the device.
2. Personal Communicators
Throughout the Star Trek series, whenever a crew member was away from the ship, they had the ability to phone home using their communicators. These handheld devices would flip open revealing an antenna, controls, a speaker and microphone. In later series this device was scaled down to fit as a badge worn on the uniforms of the crew members. In 1996 Motorola introduced the StarTAC, a clamshell design often referred to as the first ever flip phone. This device was almost identical in looks and functionality to the original series communicator, but of course, was not able to call any starships as that would require additional satellite technology. Bluetooth technology, however, has advanced to provide us similar interfaces for our mobile phones that work similar to the com-badges found in the later Trek series.
One of the almost magical devices found in the Trek universe is the replicator. It has the ability to reproduce nearly anything from just a digital blueprint. Today, we have 3D printers which may not be at the same level as their fictional counterparts, but still offer a surprising amount of practical functionality. The cost of 3D printing has dropped dramatically in recent years making them commonly useful for printing replacement parts or prototype models.
Star Trek may not have inspired the development of all these devices but the show certainly popularized the concepts. Many scientists have certainly been inspired by the adventures of Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise. We look forward to seeing other Trek inspired technology develop into the real world.
Mobile web traffic surpassed desktops back in late 2015. Since that time, mobile device usage has skyrocketed with 57% of all web traffic now mobile. More than ever before, people have a higher expectation of their mobile experience with brands on their phone. Every experience matters and with users primarily interacting on their phones, it’s more important than ever to get it right.
We have a few observations and tips that you should focus on to help your users have a quality mobile experience. One of the biggest complaints from mobile users is that they have a ‘slow experience’. Google provides a testing tool to address this and will report how well your site performs in a mobile environment.
Finding the information that a user is looking for is also critical for having a successful mobile presence. Simplifying the site navigation on mobile devices is part of the solution. Incorporating a ‘hamburger’ menu with direct links to important information is something we incorporate into all our responsive web sites.
Interrupting the mobile experience should be done with great caution. Pop-ups and full-screen ads that block people from seeing your content contribute to a negative mobile experience. On a desktop it may be easy to just ‘click off’ an ad but on mobile is may completely lock the viewer out of seeing any relevant information. The Coalition for Better Ads provides some good insight into the least preferred ad experiences for desktop and mobile web.
With rapid advances in technology and users spending more and more time on their smartphones, providing a quality mobile experience is key to your online success.
It’s a bit of a tradition for us to shower gifts upon newborns in the office. When we heard the news that a baby was on the way, we scrambled to get some custom gear printed immediately!
Our go-to vendor for short-run custom printing is Zazzle. The people at Zazzle are equipped to customize nearly anything you can think of using their state-of-the art equipment and technology.
We added something special to this onesie and t-shirt combo since the father is one of our support techs. There’s nothing wrong with teaching them early!
Drive space and file management is one of the most difficult concepts to adopt for most computer users. It doesn’t take long to fill a hard drive these days. Even the most modest user has digital photos, HD videos and music files that all contribute. Clearing out or backing up files can be a daunting task.
Manually exploring the finder, looking at files and folders and trying to determine what is taking up all that space is time-consuming and frustrating. We found an app with a great UI that makes this process much easier.
DaisyDisk is an interactive disk space analysis tool that is simple to use and immensely helpful. Once you choose a drive to scan, DaisyDisk creates a graphical version of all your folders in a circular pattern or map. It separates the highest level folders into primary colors. Folders with the most data are shown as large wedges making the culprits easy to spot.
The full version of the app ($10.00) allows you to interact directly with the scanned files so that you may preview or delete them instantly. The trial version limits this capability though it does provide the file path so you may navigate quickly using the finder.
OmniSpear, Inc. has a long history of working with non-profit organizations throughout Dayton, Ohio and the surrounding areas. One of the organizations we work with is Habitat for Humanity of Miami and Shelby Counties (HFHMSCO). Their charitable work goes beyond just building houses. We were tasked to help them convey that message and their mission.
Once Habitat international released new branding and messaging standards, the existing HFHMSCO site had become outdated and needed a full refresh. We worked closely with their staff to outline the elements and structure of the site in preparation for a new look. Together, we slimmed down the site helping them target their message to the appropriate audiences. Once the structural outline was complete, we moved on to their branding and messaging. The new site features strong graphical elements which reflect the new colors of Habitat for Humanity. We also direct visitors with clear calls to action and provide engagement through the use of a news feed and blog.
We are proud of our work in the community by assisting organizations like Habitat for Humanity. You may learn more about their mission by visiting their new site: https://hfhmco.org
The OmniSpear office tradition continues as we all get dressed up to celebrate Halloween. From superheroes to super Mario our web team always comes up with a creative selection of costumes to celebrate the sweetest holiday of the year. Wishing you a great fall season, try not to eat too much candy and have a spooktacular good time!