Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Finding a product idea

Eric Sink the non-legendary founder of SourceGear has a very good article on how to find good product ideas for wannabe entrepreneurs.

PS: He calls himself 'non-legendary', but now he is quite a legend I reckon :)

Saturday, December 11, 2004

'Google Suggest'

Google never fails to come up with ideas which though seem small, are pretty useful. You would feel the need and presto they come up with it! The recent addition is Google Suggest. Google Suggest provides you with suggestions as you type your keywords. These keyword-suggestions are ranked by the number of results. Another website which does this is SurfWax News Accumulator.

The user experience is good without any intermittent page refreshes, the way the do this is quite simple:

1. Handle the OnKeyUp event for the text box where the keyword is typed, so that after every keystroke the function can assess what the user has typed and whether it can make any suggestions.

<input onkeyup="ShowSuggestions(event);" name="txtSearch">

2. Provide an IFRAME below the ‘txtSearch’ textbox (say ‘iSuggest’) which will display the suggestions. Every IFRAME has an URL property from which it loads its contents and this URL can be changed dynamically.

3. Now to the javascript function ShowSuggestions:
function ShowSuggestions(e)
{
var charCode;
//get char code
charCode = e.which;
//check if it is enter key, then submit the form to search
if (charCode == 13)
{
searchForm.submit();
}

/*
if is not enter key, get the letters so far typed change the URL of the IFRAME so that it now refers to your search URL. Pass the letters so far typed as a partof the querry-string. Your search URL provides the suggestions as the response which will be displayed below the search textbox
*/

iSuggest.location = "http://mysearch.com/suggest.aspx?wordsSoFarTyped=" + txtSearch.value;
}

Hmm, quite interesting and simple right?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The story of Paint Shop Pro and Robert Voit

Here is an intresting story, It is the story of Paint Shop Pro and its creator Robert Voit. Dont miss this:

The origins of Robert Voit's business date back to 1990, when he was a 30-year-old pilot for Northwest Airlines and his hobby: digital imaging. He developed a graphic-utilities-software program and offered it as shareware on electronic bulletin boards. Users were invited to download the shareware, called Paint Shop.

Voit's start-up costs? The price of paper, envelopes, and stamps, says Voit, who bought the supplies so that he could send an encryption code to customers who had paid him for Paint Shop.

The advent of the Web caused Voit's business to soar. Based on users' feedback, he created a new version of Paint Shop, which he dubbed Paint Shop Pro and continued to sell as shareware.

By 1997 his company had 80,000 paid users and 40 employees on the payroll, its revenues had climbed to a staggering $6.5 million, and its product had won kudos in the trade press. Distributors welcomed it with open arms, he says. In 1998 Jasc Software ranked #161 on the Inc. 500 list of America's fastest-growing private companies, and its sales continued to explode, totaling $17 million by year's end.
And now Jasc has been acquired by Corel!

[I found this and other intresting stories at this link: http://www.1099.com/c/ar/ia/grandplans.html]