Monday, August 23, 2010

Our first six months as a startup

Recently we were looking closely to ourselves to check how good we are at this venture. Are we as fast as every other startup? Are we flexible to take on changes in demand and market? Being a web start-up from Kerala / India we were afraid of being slow when compared with our competition. This is the sixth month since the day we went online for the very first time. In this blog, we plan to say what all things got added/changed in our first six months in the life of our startup.

When started we were a site where people can share their investment portfolios with each other. And our prime focus was to make sure, it is very easy for everyone to create and share a portfolio as a model. And we decided to keep our site in Invite only mode so that we can limit the users and fix our loose ends while collecting feedback from our first users. Users were given provision to share their market takes with their friends.

First major change we implemented is two-way twitter integration. We saw people sharing same updates on twitter as well as on finahub. So we decided to make it simpler. Now if users want to share market update entered in finahub on twitter, they just need to check the checkbox for it in our site. Also if people want to submit any particular tweet with finahub, they just need to add one hashtag #fh or #finahub to the tweet. Then it will get automatically posted to finahub. So literally, people can post updates to finahub from just anywhere, even as an SMS tweet(on Twitter) from any mobile phone.

The second major change was to drop friend relationship in favor of followers and following relationship. We feel that a friend relationship does not capture the essence of the natural relationship between people in the investment world. People follow the lead and advise of better investors but they may not be friends with each other. In order to reflect this, we removed the friend relation and the friend tab. In its place, the user would able to follow other users on the site. The market updates of users you follow will be visible in your timeline.
All existing friends are not lost instead friend has been made to be mutual followers.

Other changes we did include providing RSS feed for the market updates of each user. RSS feed would allow users to make market updates of a user to be added to their blogs or to be read using RSS reader. Next was an exclusive toolbar at the bottom of the page for logged in users. This toolbar showed all the latest posts from the finahub platform plus recent Live messages from the finahub.com administrator. Also, there we were provision to search within site and see direct happenings to the finahub facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/finahub)

Another major initiative was to create and support a Facebook page exclusively for we Indians. It’s called the Rising India http://www.facebook.com/risingindia. It is a Facebook community page for all Indians to share their stories about rising of new India and India’s journey to become this century's greatest economic powerhouse.

Going forward we plan to implement an insight feature for our security pages as well as for each market updates. Insight would allow the existing users to see what is happening in the social media with regards to securities that matter to them the most.

All this was done in a span of six months based on the feedback from the users on the platform and our judgment. We thing we have travelled a lot from where we had started but it is very minuscule compare the path ahead.We also feel that we are not travelling fast enough (don’t know if it is common to all startups) but we are doing everything we could to keep up the pace.