Gawbl – The Product

It’s been a while since I’ve spoken about the product that marcept has been working on. So this is what has been keeping us busy:

Gawbl's website

Gawbl. It’s a mobile application that gives you suggestions about where to eat based on your mood selection. Users often get confused about where to eat while going through a list of restaurants. To avoid those confusions, we moved away from showing results in a list format. The application is built on an Android platform and will be launched soon for the Indian market.

So how did we go about getting here?

  1. We noted down the problem area.
  2. We had multiple brainstorming sessions.
  3. Then jumped on to naming the product, and
  4. Finally, doodled various forms for the logo and finalized the one shown above.

Steps to Gawbl

It took us around 2-3 weeks to do all of these exercises.

And where are we at right now?

  • Half way into the development of our Android app.
  • We are also keeping busy with the data collection.
  • And are on the initial steps for marketing.

As of yesterday, we just went live with Gawbl’s pre-launch website, got a facebook page and began tweeting.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 3.08.26 PM

There is plenty of stuff going on here that we want to tell you about. We’ll share with you about Gawbl’s design process shortly. And stay tuned to find out about Gawbl’s launch happening soon. Until next time, have a great day.

Regards, Chiragh

6 things my start-up taught me

It has been 60 days since marcept started and 30 days since we started working on our own product (more to come on this one soon). It is a journey and as always, it’s a good one. And on this journey there are a few things that I have learnt along the way:

1. Bring the Energy

As the owner/founder/CEO of a company, it’s really about how you set an example for the rest of the team. You come in to office every day with an abundance of energy, listing and tackling every challenge one by one, which sets a high energy level for your staff to follow. Energy is the key. When the momentum and pace is established and everyone has a grip on it then the next step is to try and maintain it.

2. Mood – your face value

The face value of a start-up in the beginning totally banks upon how the owner/founder/CEO’s mood is. Whether the product is successful or fails, is still uncertain. However, the staff generally assumes the mood of the owner as the value of the company. Even if there’s tension, try to wear the happy-face mask while you’re in office. It works.

3. Your outlook can help command your Position

Start-ups are a battle. The field is open and there are a lot of troops out there. As the owner, you are in command. To emerge as a winner amongst these troops, it’s good to adapt your personality and behavior to the setting and show that you are in charge. The walk, the talk, the clothing and the behavior matters. Many young CEOs and founders are usually younger than their staff members, board of directors and even interview candidates. That’s where your forefront outlook comes into the picture.

4. Take out time for Accounts

I know, it’s boring, some of us even hate math, but it’s about time we get our hands dirty in accounting. They are some basic journal entries that will help you keep a track of your inflow/outflow. It’s good to do some allocation, budgeting and predictions. If you happen to outsource or have an in-house Chartered Accountant, that’s even better. Sit and discuss your finances with them and see to it that you’re on track and in budget with the expenditure and the income.

5. Calculate Uncertainty

It’s everywhere and it can get really uncertain. Just when you’re about to launch your product, your senior developer falls ill. Or there was a natural calamity in your city, like the floods or a storm. There can be other reasons as well, like third party permissions and terms being changed. It’s important to keep some buffer time for uncertainty. If you calculate this well in advance, it will be less disappointing at the actual time of cause.

6. Build a product and not a application

Over the course of this journey, I’ve come across several developers, engineers, designers and even students saying things like:

  • ‘I have an idea for a application’.
  • ‘I’m already making my own app’.
  • ‘Oh! Your also making an app?!’.
  • ‘My application is going to rock’.

What I understand is that many of them have the capabilities to build an application but they all think short-term. It’s like a one off thing they want to pull through and just launch an application. They aren’t thinking of their application (or let’s call it an idea) as a product. It needs to be holistic. A product involves various other facets and touch points when you’re building it for the user.

Let’s take an example: Jenny launches her application. The user signs-up for the application. Uses it. Closes the application. And never comes back to it. Jenny would probably miss out on small details like an HTML welcome mailer, other small features to be added, website or customer support, long term engagements, etc.

When you have an idea, think of it holistically, like a product and not a one-off application.

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Hi, I’m Chiragh Kirpalani, owner of marcept studio. Thank you for taking time out to read this blog. Before starting marcept studio, I was a Sr. Experience Designer at OAB Studios and prior to that, Product Design Manager at fab.com. Currently at marcept, I am working on a consumer product set to launch this summer. I have learnt a lot so far and am looking out for a lot more advice towards building this company. If you would want to take some time out for mentorship, I would love to get in touch with you.

Thanks, @ckirpalani

The start-up man and slice of his time

Have you ever noticed, when you come into office before anyone else does and wait back later than when everyone leaves? If your answer is Yes, you are a start-up man. As clichéd as it may sound, it’s not to far from the stature of superman. A start-up man is usually carrying out half a dozen tasks and the other half-dozen are running in their head. There may be various reasons for why they stay back in office until the wee hours. The main one is to find the peace and quiet which is required to think and ponder on how the day went? how did we do? what are the left-over to-do’s for next day, dates and other pending stuff, etc. There can be various other tasks that can be added to that list.

When time is the most important factor for any start-up man, the juggle between personal life vs. professional can get tricky too. With everyone around you asking for your feedback and attention, you’re left with hardly any time for yourself. When you do, either the phone rings or the door bell. There is always one thing or the other. The mind is constantly working, calculating and planning. The people you expect  who would understand you the most are the ones who demand the most out of your time. And at that particular moment, if you’re not there for them, then you’re the one at fault. Sometimes, you just get too tired to be strong. That’s the time when you have got to prioritize. As the day passes by, it’s not about how you manage time well, I’ve realized that it’s more about how you manage relations and prioritize them in such a way that you break free from the tiredness and start the next day with a fresh mindset and great allocation of time.

Ankit, my intern who works at marcept asked me today before leaving, “You’re still going to be around for a while?”. I replied “Yes, for another half an hour or so”. It made me think, why do I actually stay back to work until late in office? Is it because I couldn’t do proper time management with my daily routine? The answer was the same that I shared earlier. Peace. Sometimes, you crave for that silence. Your time, in your den. Quiet. Thinking. Planning and Strategizing.

Until the next time, here is a quote on time by Sophia Bedford-Pierce - “Be mindful of how you approach time. Watching the clock is not the same as watching the sun rise.”

Marcept’s december

The month of December 2012 was the birth month for Marcept Studio, the month when Marcept started existing. I can relate to Marcept as my baby. Most people would advise that one shouldn’t be this attached to a startup, however, I beg to differ! I have made up my mind, it is my baby and I am emotionally attached to it. The name, Marcept, has been in my head for the last 4 years, parked. Now if this isn’t called emotion, then what is?

So I started with all the running around and getting the basics in place for my brand new office. 1st December: Marcept was inaugurated with the traditional prayers and rituals. 7th December: Got the internet set up, chairs and a big table. All laid in place to begin work in a proficient environment. There were many other installations awaiting to be positioned, but the focus and attention was now starting to drift from infrastructure to something much more serious.

The next big question was: Should Marcept take up services and work for clients or produce their very own in-house products?

This question gave me sleepless nights. I was thinking, then re-thinking and after some speculation I decided Marcept should do only in-house products for a start. It was time to take the plunge. Yes, it is a risk, but a calculated one. We are in this for the journey, a path that is going to teach us much more than any master’s degree or a Phd. It is a rough road- it is dark, slippery and slopped, but then again, I never assumed it was going to be easy!

So here we are: www.marceptstudio.com, launched our website this December, fixed on our product idea (which will be shared soon) and happy to let you guys know, the journey has begun! We hope to be making small differences with our products in a big way. Until then, wishing all of you a very happy and successful New Year from everyone here at Marcept Studio!