CTO Operations

Magazine on Entrepreneurship, Project Management, Marketing and Products

November 10, 2012
by Guntram Bechtold
0 comments

PM Camp HD Sketches

During the last 2 Days i was invited to participate at one of the best Events I’ve ever attended. The PM-Camp is an outstanding Barcamp on Project Management. Stefan Hagen and his mates are organizing it once a year and I can definitly recommend it.

 

 more from user Guntram Bechtold on yumpu.com 

From Dornbirns 2012 PM Camp here are some sketches for download

 

 

November 5, 2012
by Guntram Bechtold
0 comments

43 Free Disposable Mail services

Sometimes you just need Temporary Emailadresses. The Service should be fast and easy to use. These Tools I like as 1 time E-Mail Services:

  • Jetable.com – A Great way to get away quick
  • Wegwerf E-mail -German Disposable E-Mail Sevice
  • Spam Bog – Nice Throw away Service
  • Don’t send me Spam – Says what it does. Great way to create Emails for Testing
  • Sofort Mail – Lets you create Email Adresses instantly
  • Safetypost -Without it you will be spammed soon.
  • Ieh Mai – Try out this one. Easy and quick
  • Spaml – Better this site eats your spam than your inbox
  • Spam Gourmet – Some got special interest taste. Thi Site likes spam
  • Guerilla Mail -Directly form the Jungle – The Mail for Freedom
  • 10 Minute Mail – Free web-based addresses created in advance, with no registration required. Addresses expire after 10 minutes, but this time can be manually “refilled”.
  • Burn The Spam – Free web-based addresses created in advance, with no registration required. Messages expire after three days, and addresses expire after three days of inactivity.
  • Dead Address – Free web-based addresses created in advance, with no registration required. Messages expire at a certain time each day.
  • E4ward – Free forwarding addresses created in advance on the site. It is possible to use your own domain instead of the default e4ward.com domain.
  • Eyepaste.com – Free web-based addresses created automatically after visiting the site, with no registration required.
  • Fake Mail Generator – Free web-based addresses created in advance on the site, with no registration required.
  • FilzMail – Free web-based addresses created in advance, with no registration required. Addresses expire after 24 hours, but this time can be manually “refilled”.
  • Fornow.eu – Free web-based addresses created in advance, with no registration required. Messages expire after 10 days. Addresses are password-protected, and are disabled after 30 days of inactivity.
  • Freemail – Free web-based addresses created in advance, with no registration required. Addresses expire after 24 hours, but this time can be manually “refilled”.
  • GishPuppy – Free forwarding addresses created and managed with a bookmarklet or browser add-on. Addresses can be set to expire after a set amount of time or can be disabled manually.
  • Incognito Mail – Free web-based addresses created in advance, with no registration required. Addresses expire after 60 minutes, but this time can be manually “refilled”.
  • Keep My Mail – Free web-based addresses created in advance, with no registration required.
  • MailCatch – Free web-based addresses created as messages are received, with no registration required. Messages expire after a few hours.
  • MailMe24.com – Free forwarding or web-based addresses, both without registration. Web-based messages are deleted after 24 hours, or 48 hours if the account has a password. Attachments up to 10MB are supported.
  • MailMoat – Paid forwarding addresses which can be set to expire after a certain amount of time, forwarded emails, or manually.
  • Mailexpire – Free forwarding addresses created in advance on the site, with no registration required. Address names are randomly generated, and can be made valid for up to three months.
  • Mailinator – Free web-based addresses created as messages are received, with no registration required. Messages are deleted after a few hours.
  • Melt Mail – Free forwarding addresses created in advance on the site, with no registration required. Address names are randomly generated, and can be made valid for up to 24 hours.
  • No-Spam.ws – Free web-based addresses created as messages are received, with no registration required. Supports attachments.
  • NowMyMail – Free web-based addresses randomly generated in advance, with no registration required. Addresses expire after 60 minutes.
  • OneWayMail – Free web-based addresses created as messages are received, with no registration required. Users are free to choose their email address. Messages expire after 3 days.
  • Shitmail – Free forwarding addresses created in advance on the site, with no registration required. Addresses are chosen by the user, and can be made valid for up to three months.
  • Sneakemail – Paid forwarding addresses created in advance on the site or with a bookmarklet. Addresses can be deactivated at any time.
  • SoodoNims – Free web-based addresses created either as messages are received or via web console. Addresses can be disabled on reaching an email limit, manually via console or on hitting expirty date.
  • Spam-be-gone – Free web-based addresses created as messages are received, with no registration required.
  • Spamavert – Free web-based addresses created as messages are received, with no registration required. Messages expire after 7 days.
  • Spambox – Free forwarding addresses created in advance on the site, with no registration required. Address names are randomly generated, and can be made valid up to 1 year.
  • Spamex – Paid forwarding addresses created in advance on the site or with a bookmarklet.
  • Spamgourmet – Free forwarding addresses created on-the-fly by composing a specially-formed address. Addresses expire after a user-defined number of messages. Messages sent to a Spamgourmet address may be delayed by several hours.
  • Stop My Spam – Free forwarding addresses created in advance on the site, with no registration required. Address names are randomly generated, and can be made valid for up to one month.
  • TempEMail – Free web-based addresses created in advance, with no registration required. Addresses expire after 14 days.
  • TrashMail.net – Free forwarding addresses created in advance on the site. Addresses expire after up to 10 messages or 1 month with a free account, or under any conditions with a paid account.
  • WhySpam.Me – Free forwarding addresses created in advance on the site, with no registration required. Addresses are randomly-generated and can be deactivated at will, but otherwise never expire.
  • Wikipedia: Disposable E-Mail Address – Encyclopedia article with background information and a discussion of advantages and disadvantages.
  • YOPmail – Free web-based addresses created as messages are received, with no registration required. Messages expire after 5 days.
  • myTrashMail.com – Free web-based addresses created as messages are received, with no registration required. Messages expire after a few hours

September 25, 2012
by Guntram Bechtold
0 comments

Development Workflow with Active Collab

Teamwork in Software development can smooth, if you keep the overview of your currently ongoing tasks. A workflow derived from scrum is the development process described below. This Workflow reduces confusion and brings focus to your teammembers

 

Creating Big containers first: Create milestones, then add Tasks using Tickets

  1. Peparation milestones
    1. Create all currently planned milestones
      Fixed Milestones: Ideas, Backlog
  2. Development milestones
    1. Weekly milestones: for small tasks
    2. Project milestones: for Tasks that contain more subtasks
  3. Deployment
    1. Using Ticket Lable “for Beta”
    2. Using Ticket Lable “for Live”

 

Milestone Workflow: How tickets are moving

  1. Ideasmilestone: All Tasks that are “Todo, but not yet properly described”
      1. Ideas: Can Create new Tickets: Anyone
      2. Ideas: Can Manage / Change Tickets: Project Management
  2. Backlogmilestone: – Created by
    1. All Tasks properly specified.
    2. Engineers should add their time estimates.
    3. Maximum Ticket Size is 2  – 8 hrs
      1. Backlog: Can Create new Tickets: Anyone
      2. Backlog: Can Manage / Change Tickets: Project Management
  3. Deploymentmilestones
    1. Backlog: Tickets moved from Backlog to Deployment: Project Management. Priorities set by Management
    2. Backlog: Update Tickets: Engineers
    3. Completed with “for Beta” Lable”
  4. Releaseworkflow
    1. Tickets marked with “for Beta” are tested by Developer, Client and Testers.
    2. After Feedback, marked with “for Live” and then deployed to livesystem

 

Create a new Filter for Tasks in Active Collab 3

 

Important Active Collab Queries:

Your Tasks in overview:
http://pm.mydomain.at/public/index.php?path_info=

Your “Yumpu.com” Tasks, only for your user
http://pm.mydomain.at/public/index.php?path_info=projects%2Fyumpucom%2Fuser-tasks

Your “YouBuy.com” Tasks, only for your user
http://pm.mydomain.at/public/index.php?path_info=projects%2Fyoubuycom%2Fuser-tasks

Create a Custom Search for Tasks:
http://pm.mydomain.at/public/index.php?path_info=&homescreen_tab_id=3

 

 

September 21, 2012
by Guntram Bechtold
0 comments

8 Guidelines to painless Marketing and Sales

Entrepreneurs and Startups often do have signficant problems with product marketing. Since Lean Startups start to market earlier, this phase might be entered earlier, yet its not necessarily easier. Start marketing now be knowing how to do it the easy way.

1. Its is about building relationships, not selling

The more qualified you Build relationships with
and introduce yourself to 12 People

2. Prospecting is introducing yourself to people wh are likely to be interested in your services.

Search for places where these people hang out. Online, in Business networks like LinkedIn or Xing, or in real world.

3. Use the lowest enteree barrier medium

Connect on LinkedIn
Send an email
create personal mail

4. Be targeted. Don’t market to everyone. Focus on ideal clients.

Select who you focus.
Focus on fewer prospects
who has the highest values
Who ist most likely to hire you

5. Prepare yourself: See how your example clients work.

Custom-tailer your message for prospects
Find out more about your potential clients
Find out if there are similarties to know more about your clients
This should not take too long, rather a view minutes

6. Be personal, be unique in your message. Avoid templates

Create a unique communication with every single prospect.
Its worth it, since you are working on establishing a longer term relation ship

7. Make an easy to say yes to next step

Offer something of Value:
– Create a free give, like article
– send a customized Fee Schedule
– Portfolio samples
– Customized Report
A big step is to arrange a concall, Presentation.
provide value to your prospects when you contact them

8. Follow up at a concall, screencast or personal meeting.

Presenting proposals in real time is best.
The second best idea is to hand delivered
Using just Email as a communication tool is worst

September 21, 2012
by Guntram Bechtold
0 comments

How to write a PR Article

Be sure to cover the 5 Ws

  • Cover the 5Ws, then its all done. Nothing more to add
    • Who was involved
    • What happend
    • When did it take place
    • Where is the place of event
    • Why is this relevant
  • Text should be readable without headline
  • Text should be cut-able form the end
  • Write in present tense
  • Write in “active” senteces, instead of passive sentences
  • The Lead should  be 3-5 Sentences maximum ( 40 -60 Words)
  • Headline should be uncreative, short and factbased to 3-5 key words

Cover the Facts: Its key to cover important Information

  • Write in basic reportive tone for
  • Investments and Budgets
  • Facts and Figures
  • Places, People, Goal

 

Check the Form: Stay professional

  • How long should the Presentation be?
    • Short, but long enough to cover all important aspects
  • What are the Goals?
    • Check Content and Quality Criteria
  • Add your Contact details to the story. Include your Mobile Number. Be available.

 

Information via Martin Dechant, IKP

September 19, 2012
by Guntram Bechtold
0 comments

The Lean Startup: Principles matter not tactics

Things Learned:

Tuning your product for Success is: Set Userbased KPI and Reviewdates at start

the only way that you can get yourself to pivot is if you make concrete predictions ahead of time.
these predictions need to be:

  • Create a Theory. Test the validity with the smallest effort possible.
  • The better you run these Tests, the more tests you can run, the further you get
  • Try to conduct the Test well, don’t optimize the outcome during the test.
  • Overseeable, and therefor calculated on actions performed by a single-user
  • focused on a specific task to analyse
  • Use measureable metrics, focus single user based

It is useful if these parameters are all based on analytics as a help
Even better is to talk to clients directly

Interesting Statements from the Video are:

the outside expert does not know anything
how are we going to pivot a specific product

 

September 17, 2012
by Guntram Bechtold
0 comments

6 Key Learnings on the Lean Startup

Being an Entrepreneur is a way to view the world. Eric Ries points out that being an Entrepreneur is about being able to conduct defined Experiments. In his Book “How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses” he insits that it is mission critical to make the smallest possible, yet viable experiments in order to strategically develop a product.

Interestingly enough, there is significant overlap with Tim Ferris “Hackable Life”: Ferris also puts huge focus on setting each drug to its perfect dose. He observed that people tend to invest significant power into ineffective, yet efficiently conducted work.

Key learnings from the Lean Startup are:

  1. Try to test your idea with the minimum possible effort.
    1. The Minimum viable effort (MVE) is significantly earlier that the MVP (Minimum Viable Prodiuct)
    2. Ries bringt the story of developing a Instant Messenger that, after 6 months, needed to be rewritten
  2.  Start with a modest offering, learn to pivot that idea to the better
    1.  Companies were never born out of a single idea, but of a person that shaped concepts to products
    2. Shaping concepts to products costs a lot of effort
  3. Expect to get it wrong, and stay flexible
  4. Accounting is about keeping yourself accountable
  5. It’s ultimately an answer to the question ‘How can we learn more quickly what works, and discard what doesn’t?'” 
  6. ‘read and react’ the never-ending anxiety of hovering between ‘persevere’ and ‘pivot’

In short, the lean startup model focuses on getting a minimum viable product to the market, then receiving customer feedback along the way to improve the product and pivot (take a new approach) if necessary. This, of course, is in contrast to the old way of doing business where a product is launched fully functional backed by extensive market research. This method can be successful, but it costs a lot of money, pivoting is difficult, and failure can harm the bottom line (think Microsoft Vista).

Lean Startup discusses macro level strategies to improve the likelihood of viability of new products and services. Moving away from the more rigid academic approaches that are largely finance oriented, Ries takes a market oriented approach and demonstrates with numerous examples how flexibility and testing based on data are key to determining real not “believed” market needs and the extent to which those needs are commercializable. Reis also recognizes that his approach is for the early part of a product/company life cycle and that, once established, product redevelopment should follow a similar path in the face of market competition.

Here are the top five myths about The Lean Startup, and the truth behind each misconception:

Myth 1: Lean means cheap. Lean startups try to spend as little money as possible.

The reality is the Lean Startup method is not about cost, it is about speed.  Lean startups waste less money, because they use a disciplined approach to testing new products and ideas. Lean, when used in the context of lean startup, refers to a process of building companies and products based on lean manufacturing principles, but applied to innovation. That process involves rapid hypothesis testing, learning about customers, and a disciplined approach to product development.

Myth 2: The Lean Startup methodology is only for Web 2.0, Internet and consumer software companies

Actually, the Lean Startup methodology applies to all companies that face uncertainty about what customers will want. This is true regardless of industry or even scale of company: many established companies depend on their ability to create disruptive innovation. Those general managers are entrepreneurs, too. And they can benefit from increased speed and discipline.

Myth 3: Lean Startups are bootstrapped startups

There’s nothing wrong with raising venture capital. Many lean startups are ambitious and are able to deploy large amounts of capital. What differentiates them is their disciplined approach to determining when to spend money: after the fundamental elements of the business model have been empirically validated. Because lean startups focus on validating their riskiest assumptions first, they sometimes charge money for their product from day one – but not always.

Myth 4: Lean Startups are very small companies

This focus on size also obscures another truth: that many entrepreneurs live inside of much larger organizations. As I’ve written elsewhere, I believe the proper definition of a startup is: a human institution creating a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty. In other words, any organization striving to create disruptive innovation is a startup, whether they know it or not. Established companies have as much to gain from lean startup techniques as the mythical “two guys in a garage” (and, as I’ve witnessed in my consulting practice, sometimes even more).

Myth 5: Lean Startups replace vision with data or customer feedback

Truth: Lean startups are driven by a compelling vision, and they are rigorous about testing each element of this vision against reality. They use customer development, split-testing, and in-depth analytics as vehicles for learning about how to make their vision successful. Along the way, they pivot away from the elements of the vision that are delusional and double down on the elements that show promise.

September 12, 2012
by Guntram Bechtold
0 comments

Bug Busters – 5 Great Strategies to win.

Since Testing is quite an important Topic in Software development, it is critical to have your machine Setup in an effective way, so that you can easily produce a highly specified requests. Even if you have the impression that there is an almost endless number of Tickets to be made, try to focus on one single feature or page and track down as precise as possible.

Do a good Inital Design

You need a good Design-Basis for the start.

  • It its critical to try to stick as much as possible to the intial design.
  • Since you should use Wireframes, Photoshop layouts or even Excel or Powerpoint Specifications, it is important to do them as good as possbile in the first place
  • People will get quite disappointed if you keep revising the same work again and again.
  • It is always very hard to be specific in the first place, yet it give the opportunity to get better with time.
  • Try to get online with the version 0.1 Beta or at least 1.0 Beta. Perfection comes with age, if you don’t get online, you won’t be seen.
  • On the other hand, the release features should work. For sure.

When having completed the first development round, its testing Time.

Testing Strategies and Tools

Some of the most useful tools and strategies daily used for testing are:

1. Collect everything in Excel. a table is always a killer for the perfect overview

  • Generally its great to have your work Documented using Excel, since a Table is easy to be managed and keep the overview
  • For taking Notes, I do perfer using Notepad or the more powerful, yet free Program Notepad++
  • A great trick to combine the best of both worlds is:
    • Make your Notes in Notepad++ or any other normal Texteditor.
    • Use Tabs for separation, they will then convert to Columns when pasted  in Excel
    • A good structure might be: ID    Component    Task    Category

 2. A good Screenshot Tool is Key, maybe Greenshot:

The Trick: Greenshot has several great features, for me the most favourable:

  • Its fast and does not use a lot of memory when running in background
  • When hitting “Print” it really opens up very fast
  • Also great: Its uber precise
  • The best feature of all: you can set it to save a screenshot directly to the disk and then
  • Paste the file-Path to your Clipboard. This Path you then can paste directly into the Bugtracker
  • Using PNG allows you even to stay lossless for later reusing of work

 3. Pixelperfect

A handy Firefox-Plugin that allows you to overlay a website with a PNG Image for Development or testing.
Please be aware the we’ve had the impression that the plugin does not really support tabs. For best results: Close all Tabs and then place the overlay.
Find Pixel Perfect here

4. Write short and precise Bug Ticket

Try to name the issue in 3-5 Words,  in the Ticket title.
Describe the Exact Issue in the Content of the Ticket and attach a Image if not 100% clear what exactly is meant. Screenshots really do help a lot for everyone.
Text often does not.
Keep in mind to Classify your Tickets:

  • Bugs: Real Errors, Visual or Functional. Harming the User experience
  • Change Requests: Flipping color or resizing is a change request. The Application might have worked before, but now its just better. a CR
  • Feature Request: You got the inspiration. Or your competitior. Anyway. you need that thing aswell. now. its a feature. a feature request.

5. Confingure your Bugtracker to Accept Emails

As long as you stick to the Quality Policy of adding correct Title, Body and Attaching Screenshots, its even okay to mass-produce tickets using emails.
But stay professional in tone and quality. Its really dangours, since it so fast.

6. A Loveletter to your future self. Or someone Else

Just reiterating point 5: Writing very well and with high content quality is like a love letter. to yourself or your next. it makes everyones work easier.

 

September 11, 2012
by Guntram Bechtold
0 comments

Interesting Things todo in Cologne

The next 2 Days, the Dmexco Fair in Cologne is the place for digital Marketers. Since the Industry itself adding a limited Amout of Innovation, great things to be found are not always obvious. One of the most interesting Tracks is the Social Media Lounge

 

Mittwoch, 12. September 2012

12:30      Meet @videopunk
Markus Hündgen, Journalist blinkenlichten, CEO European Web Video Academy, Gründer Deutscher Webvideopreis, Autor Universalcode

13:30    Meet @tknuewer
Thomas Knüwer, Inhaber von kpunktnull, Autor der Blogs Indiskretion Ehrensache und Gotorio, Fan von Preußen Münster

14:00     Meet @klauseck
Inhaber von Eck-Kommunikation, Buchautor, Redner, Initiator und Autor
des pr-blogger.de

14:30     Meet @pr_doktor
Kerstin Hoffmann, Inhaberin von Dr. Kerstin Hoffmann Unternehmenskommunikation, Beraterin, Rednerin, Buch-Autorin, Autorin des Blogs „PR-Doktor“

15:00     Kaffeeklatsch mit Yelp – digitale Mundpropaganda für lokale Geschäfte.
Wo geht die Reise von Check-In Deals & mobiler Badge-Schnitzeljagd hin?

Bitte auch diesen Blogpost zu Yelp Scam lesen

16:00    Meet Social Media Club Women
u.a. mit @doschu und @doriseichmeier

17:00    Standparties

 

September 11, 2012
by Guntram Bechtold
0 comments

All-Inkl.com Webmail on iPhone or iPad

How to set up All-inkl.com Webmail for iPhone and iPad
A Very quick but effective Way to set up your iPhone, iPad or Android Device for getting and sending Emails

 

Deutsches iPhone

Posteingangsserver Hostname: w00d0000.kasserver.com
Benutzername: m01e0000
Passwort: AsLxaC800000

Postausgangsserver Hostname: w00d0000.kassserver.com
Benutzername: m01e0000
Passwort: AsLxaC800000

SSL im Posteingangsserver und Postausgangsserver aktivieren.

 

English iPhone

Icoming Hostname: w00d0000.kasserver.com
User: m01e0000
Passwort: AsLxaC800000

Outgoing Hostname: w00d0000.kassserver.com
User: m01e0000
Passwort: AsLxaC800000

SSL activated.

 

But, remember, All-inkl.com got the best Support, ever.