GDG [Google Developer Group] North Jersey held a lively meeting August 21, 2014, in conjunction with several other meetup groups, including Scarlet Startups, Code for Newark and BrickCity Tech Meetup.
The gathering, titled “Google Your Life: Wearable Demo + the Top Startup Hacks to Help Your Business,” took place at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) (Newark).
Hosted by Todd Nakamura, GDG North Jersey organizer, the meeting was divided into two parts. The first was aimed at developers wanting to know more about Android Wear, the operating system for Android smart watches.
The second, presented as a concurrent session, was geared to the entrepreneurs in the room. Anthony Frasier — organizer of BrickCity Tech Meetup and cofounder of The Phat Startup (New York) — and Clark Lagemann — organizer of Scarlet Startups and cofounder of Health Options Worldwide — discussed the productivity hacks they use at their startups every day to make life easier and save time.
Before the meeting broke into sessions, Nakamura offered advice to programmers who are just starting out. It can be hard to break into programming, he said, since you are competing with those with lots of experience.
“Just go to the new technology,” he said. Whether you learn something that came out a year ago or three months ago, he said, make sure it’s “somewhat ubiquitous” and at least emerging, to level the playing field. Coders won’t be able to learn them all, he noted, but becoming a specialist in an up-and-coming language can ensure that relatively rare skills are well-paid. He also advised new programmers to find a mentor.
NJTechWeekly.com attended the session on productivity hacks, at which Frasier and Lagemann shared their top hacks for saving time, earning money and making life manageable. “We didn’t find these overnight; we found them over months and years,” said Lagemann.
Posting slides on SlideShare was the first under-the-radar marketing hack Frasier and Lagemann presented. Frasier noted that soon after posting a presentation on the website, he had thousands of hits without having done any marketing whatsoever, driving traffic back to his own site.
Now he repurposes blog content on the site as slides. “Once it’s converted into a slide presentation, you don’t know who will discover you,” he said.
For sales, Lagemann recommended Socedo, a Twitter tool. “Basically, you go into this tool …, put in criteria about your prospects [including geography] and it will create a full list of all your prospects.” The tool has an algorithm that will “favorite” your tweet and retweet it an hour later. After that, the tool lets you follow the prospect on Twitter, he explained. “The clients think, That Clark — he loves me!” he said.
Lagemann uses the app ToutApp as a Gmail extension that lets users pull in sales templates and attachments automatically. “My emails take three seconds to send. You are not going to be able to copy and paste an email in three seconds,” he noted. ToutApp also offers analytics and insights that let you determine who is opening what, he said.
Frasier recommended that startups that don’t know how to set up their own e-commerce sites but want to sell online use the tool Gumroad. “It literally does everything for you. It’s plug and play. They give you a widget you can embed on your website, and it has SSL [Secure Sockets Layer] security.”
He also likes Rapportive, a Gmail extension that provides users up-to-date social info on everyone who has emailed them, when they want it. That way they can reply to emails in a personal way.
For a full list and an explanation of the startup hacks shared by Lagemann and Frasier, see their presentation here on Slideshare.