Deconstructing Chatbots

AI and Chatbots are trending topics nowadays, but some people don’t understand how terrific could be a chatbot in business.

The following video shows how chatbots works, can they understand what humans says, and how they can response by using artificial intelligence.

Is your business leveraging chatbots to support clients or maybe your business planing the next move? Take a look.

 

Improving Team’s Health

We are engineers and designers that spend most of our time sitting in front of our computer. Cool right ? Well yes and no. Spending 8 hours of our life sitting is not a good practice at all. It increases problems with our health. but It’s not only about being sit, it’s about the food we eat.

We are not stoping and checking what we are eating, is it really sustainable to be with that diet ? Drinking coffee ? Consuming tons of sugar ?

Well, at 4Geeks we have stoped and think on that. We are seeing the problems we can face as a company for not being healthy, all of US. We can not have an unhealthy CEO. He has to be 100% for decision making, to lead the company to a better future. And yes it starts from the statement of being healthy, that’s the bottom line for us.

People with an active physical lifestyle and with a good mental health will work their work better, that’s a true fact. The question to this is how can we, as a company, improve it, how can we impulse our people to be in a good shape ? to eat better ?

We have been doing some effort with that. I will like to share with you our movements and the result of them.

Exercise challenges

I remember We started doing push-ups challenges. We do it in monthly basis. People started to feel better, but also most of them never thought they were be able to do 50 push-ups at once. We were doing a minimum physical activity, but, it was gain dues our sedentary past.

We went next to plank. This challenge was really hard since the top of it was to suffer 5 long minutes in plank position. Try it, you will 5 minutes from another perspective, 5 minutes is a long wait.

Everybody started to take consideration about the benefits of doing exercise. We felt better and started to see the changes in our body. Another important note here is that we took 10 minutes from our daily work to do that. So we have to stand, share with our team members, laugh, suffer and then continue working, with a little satisfaction. We avoid sedentarism those days.

Yoga practice

Starting Yoga is a good point to se how your body is. The flexibly of us was not optimal, the minimum stretch for us was painful and difficult. Our muscles were not in a good shape. We kew that, but we just confirmed it.

We disconnected from tech a little bit and started to feel our body and relax after a good day of work.

We got better every week and started to feel better. We were able to do another moves and to keep position. Unfortunately we had to stop this yoga time due conflicts with schedule.  But if you want to add it to your company or to you life it really worth.

Nutrition help

4Geeks pays 50% of a nutritional consult for all of our collaborators. This is the most valuable approach we have done. People are getting better on why eat matters. We are now understanding to take control of our food, not to be controlled by it.

We are trying to do a good effort to change our habits when eating. Again, if people are eating healthy, their brain will work better, that means better decision making, more concentration, more retentive.

We are halfway of the goal. Everyone is doing their best effort.

Our nutrition sessions are like focus groups. We all help to each other to accomplish the goal 🙂

Shared breakfast

It may seem not an approach to help on people’s health, but actually, we in each breakfast someone shares a topic, specially topics to be better, to improve our health specially.

How the habits work. Get rid of stress. Detach from the phone. How motivation works. Those have being some of the topics we have been discussing. It motivates people to re-think how can they get better.

Book Club

Reading for me is where we educate, where we understand things, where our imagination do their job. We started to do book recommendations and everyone at the group had to read it. We found out some really amazing books.

Now, we change it a little bit, everyone reads the book on their convenience on monthly basis, at the end of it, we share our impression. Without spoilers.

We have been creating a nice practice. The habit of reading.

Those are examples of books we had read. We just comment, good and bad thing about the book, everyone at their own peace, and when they have time.

Running team

Alongside with other team members, we decided to register in a running competition. For some of use it was a huge advance, since they were not used to even run. Some of them started to train hard to make the better run they can. It actually, make a good union between the team. Some of them started to train together. This is the start of a sport team, the 4Geeks sport team 🙂


We are thinking on another ways to improve our team’s health. We are happy that we are seeing progress and change in people. As I said we are halfway. Feel free to share another approaches.

7 Steps of Machine Learning (Artificial Intelligence)

Hi 4Geeks Nation! I want to share with you this video (from Google AI) that explain so clear 7 steps of Machine Learning.

  • Gathering Data
  • Preparing that Data
  • Choose a model
  • Traning
  • Evaluation
  • Hyperparameter Tuning
  • Prediction

 

Meet Alex M. Luna

We have been growing this couple of months. That means more collaborators, more amazing projects, more meet the team blogs 🙂

Recently Alex joined our team as a QA Expert. He lives in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, yes, a lot of sun and beaches near by his home. I think this is a perfect place to do daily work. Work and relax combination. Alex has shown us in these months the desire he has to learn and lead his team to the desire QA processes. I will stop the introduction to add a little interview we did to him.

How will you describe yourself?

I do like sports and be with friends and family.

What do you do in your free time?

I like to practice surfing and Mountain bike(downhill).

Best series you have ever watched?

  1. The Addams Family.
  2. Friends
  3. The Simpsons
  4. The big bang theory
  5. Dragon ball Z, All of them

Mountain or Beach ?

I like both, Mountain because the fresh air and the forest.There are hills to practice downhill as well. Beach is because I have always liked the water either river or ocean, I surf and have been doing it for about 9 years by now.

Do you do sports (adventure, extreme, endurance) ?

I do like sports. The sports I like are combination of both.

Which type of music do you like?

I have always thought, someone who really like music appreciates all genders but in my case the most i like are 80’s and 90’s music, I like also latin rhythms like Salsa, Cumbia, Merengue. Reggae music I like to listen often.

What are your top 5 books of all the time ?

  1. Perfume
  2. Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  3. Para Nunca Olvidar

What are your top 5 movies of all the time ?

  1. Harry Potter, All of them
  2. Fast & Furious, All of them

What is the most excited part of being QA Engineer ?

The most excited part is to learn about the processes involved and placed in the system. The logic on how was build and the ways it could be improved. Also I get to be involved with most of my coworkers which is good to create a good relationship among the people in the office.

What is the most challenging situation you had faced in your current position ?

So far i have not got any challenging situation in my current project i guess is due to the great tema im working with.

Which is the best part of being part of 4Geeks team ?

The people!

What are your goals for this year?

To help create carrer as Quality Assurance Engineer on a growing company. To get to know better all 4GEEKS team and feel part of this great team. To achieve lot of knowledge which I’ sure my coworkers would like to share with me in this whole process of developing and QA.

I hope you guys enjoyed this little interview to Alex.

Whenever you need help on how to start making ideas into reality though technology, 4Geeks team is up and ready, just reach out to us at hello@4geeks.io.

Best 3 Tools to Analyze Products and Predict Growth

If you are behind a product management, you already know how important and crucial is to measure every single step in the product life cycle. Why? Because you need to engage customers by providing them an excellent solution.

Happy customers should be equals best ROI. A good ROI numbers can help you to predict your product growth for the next months.

Here at 4Geeks we design and develop products for other companies, so, sometimes we suggest our customers ways to collect and to analyze data, as a good habit to growth. Now I want to share with you this information.

Ok, let’s go to the important part of this blog post. The best 4 tools to collect and analyze product data.

Tool #1: Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a very good tool to collect data from your website or mobile app. It’s free (always you can upgrade to any plan is you need more features).

Google have been gradually improving auto reports by adding Artificial Intelligence, so it help us to take better decisions like online visitors by region, country, device, ISP, date and more.

I have used Google Analytics since 10 years ago. Nowadays, I can receive custom “smart reports” driven by AI.

Google Analytics for Firebase (serverless platform to run modern apps) let developers and marketers to track users behavior easily from their APIs, SDK and libraries.

At the heart of Firebase is Google Analytics for Firebase, a free and unlimited analytics solution. Analytics integrates across Firebase features and provides you with unlimited reporting for up to 500 distinct events that you can define using the Firebase SDK. Analytics reports help you understand clearly how your users behave, which enables you to make informed decisions regarding app marketing and performance optimizations.

Tool #2: KeenIO

KeenIO is a premium analytical and 100% custom platform built for developers, letting them collect, store, query and present data.  You can start using KeenIO for 30 days for free, then you can pay $1 per 10K events streamed, and $1 per 10M properties scanned.

Since KeenIO is customizable platform acceded by APIs and libraries in multiple languages like Python, Java, Swift, Javascript, PHP, .NET and more. With APIs designed for software developers, you can build intelligent apps and data products that offer analytics as a core feature, in minutes.

Nowadays, KeenIO serve multiple startups in all industries, and companies like Pandora, Polycom, Unity, Sendgrid, App.io and Adobe.

Definitely KeenIO is a great option to analyze and predict product growth. Test it, and let me know your feedback in comments.

Tool #3: Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is a top-level data science and analytical platform, founded by Neil Patel, the marketing guru.

With this tool you can understand what people are doing on your website and products, and deliver behavior-based engagement every step of the way.

Kissmetrics let startups, SaaS and product owners  to use powerful insights to give your customers exactly what they want.

You can easily connect with your customer on Facebook and Instagram in order to create dynamic, automated Facebook Audiences with a single click, for better targeting and higher ad ROI.

Also you can integrate it to Slack, Shopify and WooCommerce, and then setup automation email campaigns in order to engage your customer to your product, all in auto-pilot.

If you was looking for a tool to collect your customer actions on your product, here you have 3 options. Please comment below your experience. What’s your favorite tool? What’s your growth plan?

See you next!

This is the Best Day to Send an Email Marketing

The email marketing strategy in a company is not only a planning tool, it can also become the best allied to strengthen branding and consolidate a corporate trajectory.

We must be clear that e-mail marketing may or may not be successful, however, it is even more important to understand that we are gambling the good reputation of the company.

So, we will start knowing what is emailing strategy?:

Today, many companies use millions of marketing tactics, this is one of this. The intended aim is to allow send emails promotions to a selected, logically and available list of potential customers in order to approach them.

But, why to use the mail?

Mail is one of the oldest way of communication, today, thanks to the digitalization era, we can access easily and quickly to our correspondence from our smartphone.

According to the SocialMediaToday, a digital media company that reports business news, the email open rate from mobile devices has increased by 180% in the last three years. Becoming in to the best media way to match with the costumers.

Despite constantly we received entries in our emails and immediately we verify them, the big marketing managers ask themselves, what is the best time to send email marketing and get the attention from these potential customers?

To know the answer of this question, we must know The Target.

For a campaign to be effective, the first thing we need is a “Marketing List” that is no more than an updated and segmented register of clients with profiles and characteristics that allow the identification with the products marketed by the company.

If you want to know how to create this list you can take a look at this video.

Once this list is filtered, let’s analyze the perfect moment when the readers will pay special attention to our campaign, and for this we will focus on their weekly plan. Just remember the mission is help us approach our customers knowing their likes and preferences.

According to the study from 2017 of GetResponse the campaigns sent at 16 hrs indicate the higher open rate.

However, let’s see what is the behavior of our customers during the week.

MONDAY

Certainly, Monday is often a busy day, customers returns from their weekend so they use to be disconnected from business issues and it is very difficult to keep their attention.

Generally Monday’s tasks consist on:

• Clean the email inbox,
• Prepare the weekly plan,
• Attend meetings,
• Be updated and prepare pending reports.

Regardless of everything we have mentioned, in certain cases, particular clients will be able to read the campaign in the afternoon, because we expected the workload decreases.

TUESDAY

Once the Monday tide is going out, early in the morning the clients are willing to pay attention and invest time into our sent emails, because they consider it is a good time to make decisions.

The Recommendation is to send this emails before 8-9 am or between 12: 00-16: 00

WEDNESDAY

As we know, Wednesday is the central day of the week, so it minds our clients are hard at work. However, statistically, is the best day of the week to send newsletter and that is because they will be particularly receptive due in terms of productivity, the needle is in the highest part.

Of course, everything will always depend on the previous knowledge we have about the clients included in our list.

THURSDAY

It also an acceptable and reasonable day very early in the morning, between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. The clients usually find topics to release stress and forget the daily routine.

Remember, the competition knows all these records and we must pay special attention to the branding and services we offer to avoid falling into the spammer email group.

FRIDAY

Technology products demonstrate a greater receptivity on Fridays. So, we can provide and offer a lot of possibilities for our clients. This mind they will pay special attention and interest when they open our newsletters allowing us a great way to offer all our products and services.

 

Definitely this whole topic is about showing everything around and what is involved a startup. How we can to avoid and prevent, by all means to achieve the headline “Spammer” and fight with the competition.

The recommendation is once you have selected the day and time for the campaigns, you just have to maintain it and promote the expectation by the client.

Tell us about, your experience sending email marketing and if the statistics match with your practices.

Radar opened.

 

Based on the content posted on:

 

Freelancers vs IT Consulting Firms. Pros and Cons.

Digital services is the most outsourced field not just in the USA but in all the world. It’s so great when you find a trusted partner to outsource some work, it can be a freelancer or a company. So you are maybe looking for reason to choose a freelancer over a company or the other way around.

Ok. Based on my own experience, some client’s feedback and market growth I will be 100% honest with you, and will share with you some pros and cons of hiring a freelancer or a company/agency for your next product or project.

What’s the real difference? Where is the secret? Maybe you can think the price is the only most important thing to get in mind, but no. There are more facts that you should consider.

I’m pretty sure that freelancers works and consulting companies/agencies works as well; the difference is on your goals, your budget and timing. If you can get feedback from friends about working with freelancers or companies, it can be a good escenario for you in order to take a good decision.

Now I will how you show pros and cons based on my own experience. Let me say that I have worked with both freelancers and companies at the past for specific projects.

 

👨‍💻❌ Freelancer cons:

  • Some freelancers out there are not working full-time as you expect. They can just disappear from the map and you can’t do much to change it. Remember that freelancers, most of the times, are working in more than one project at the same time. If your project needs a top-level communication skills, and your deadlines are very important, please take note about this.

 

  • Cheapest freelancers are based out of USA, where Internet connection and professional English skills can be a disadvantage to keep meetings, provide product advisement and predict bad events on future.

 

👨‍💻✅ Freelancer pros:

  • One of the best point is favor of freelancers is pricing. They can offer you, sometimes, a better financial proposal because they don’t spend money in other ares that incorporated companies does. For example, most of freelancers works from home, so they don’t need to pay for an office or transportation. Make sense?

 

  • Availability: Some freelancers are more available to accept new businesses almost right away.

 

🏢❌ Company cons:

  • Availability: The best IT consulting firms around the world have excellent but limited designers, developers and marketers assigned to specific current projects. So, if your product needs a to start right away, maybe you will expect that kind of delays. Once you started working with a company, everything will continue fluently. Working with 4Geeks, for example you can expect a complete schedule with meetings, releases and some others important dates.

 

  • Pricing: I’m not pretty sure if pricing is a disadvantage when you partner up with firms or companies, compared with all the value you receive. But if compare this price with freelancer price, you probably will see an increment.

 

🏢✅ Company pros:

  • Professionalism & legal entity: If your product is already in the market, you should not play a different game.

 

  • Product advisement: When you partner up with a company or firm, you are backed by a complete team of consultants, designers, engineers and marketers, who can provide you “free advisement” about your product on specific areas. That’s the power of leverage on a company and its experience.

 

  • One-stop shop: If your project needs more than one guy working full-time or part-time, the company can setup a right team of top talented engineers for you, and it’s really awesome. At the end of the day, if you trust enough in that company, you can outsource all your work to them.

 

 

Providers listings

Platforms like UpWork, Freelancer and People Per Hour are some very good and popular websites to contact and hire freelancers, in almost any category you need…. web programmers, mobile programmers, digital designers, copy writers, data entry, and more.

At the other hand, platforms like Clutch, VenturePact and GoodFirms are popular company listings websites to search a company related to your needs like Digital Marketing, SEO Services, IT Services, E-Commerce Development, Software Development, Blockchain technology and more.

These platforms let you find the right provider by filtering hour rate, customer feedback, years of experience, country/market and more custom filters.

I would love you read your experience, good or bad, working with freelancers or companies. So, please use the comments section below to drop us a line about your past experience.

If you are looking for an IT consulting company, feel free to reach out to us. We focus on helping companies with its product design, product development and product marketing.

Take care!

Introducing #GeekCapsule videos series

You have been a star follower for months (or years), and you already know the genuine passion we put on doing every single thing; every single project, every single product. We never will stop to do that.

Couple months ago we started a podcast; all you invited to listening.

I’m pretty happy because a couple days we published the first #GeekCapsule video (introduction). So, what the hell is #GeekCapsule? Simple: it’s videos series, interactive, about business, product design, product development and product marketing.

The plan is create and share with all you our experience and knowledge in fields that we are experts.

So, feel free to subscribe our YouTube channel in order to get notifications when a new topic is up, and share with your community and business network on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

I would like to use this opportunity to ask you: What’s topics is more critical for your business at this moment? What business problems are you facing? Please share with me your comments below.

Best.

SmarterSelect: 4 Main Product Challenges Solved

Digital businesses need a good ideation, implementation, execution and growth, but at the development side the challenges are huge as well. As much as a product grows, so do the challenges and problems to solve.

In this opportunity I want to tell you the main product development challenge our engineering team faced, and I will show you how we fixed it. Maybe your business are facing some similar issues and this post can help you to find a solution.

SmarterSelect is a web platform to create and manage forms. As they say: “Online Applications. Made Easy”. Over 1 million active users (and counting) are creating and managing online applicationsgrantsscholarships on SmarterSelect every week in the United States.

SmarterSelect enable partners like Texas Tech UniversitySan Angelo Area Foundation and Vermeer to manage online applications.

4Geeks created a engineers dedicated team, getting together Ruby on Rails engineers and Quality Assurance experts, to solve past issues and improve the product constantly.

Let’s start! Here is the 4 main problems we found and how we fixed it.

Challenge #1: QA manual

Too many projects faces issues in production, customers don’t like that for sure. Our first recommendation is to add human power to avoid mistakes on development. QA people is amazing to think on hundred of combinations for test scenarios, that what SmarterSelect needed.

We added QA experts to the team, in the same building to improve communication on issues and help the developers to create ever more code quality.

Listen to this podcast episode when we talked with Meli, the QA Leader in SmarterSelect.

Challenge #2: Dockerize the app

I remember having some bad nights working with server infrastructure, libraries. With Docker we got rid of that, same container, same for all environment, we forget about the differences on development, staging or production.

Also, some advantage we see is when some new developer joins to the team. There will be no need to spend hours or days trying to install all gems, libraries and dependencies with just a docker command, voilà! environment ready. Our client is definitely happy for that.

Challenge #3: Implemented CI tools

The team introduced CircleCI to the projects, helping us on running the small (increasing)  set of automated tests before putting any code into main branches.

For every PR (Pull Request) we run CircleCI containers and confirm the code is not breaking any configuration or code.

Have you implemented (or thinking to do) CI tools on your project? Comment below your experience.

Challenge #4: Rails upgrade

This is a huge deal. Some day we decided that It was time to move from Rails 2 to Rails 4. It sounds crazy but we didn’t want to do a little migration to Rails 3 to later move to Rails 4. It was time to do the roughest change.

So for 4 months the team was focused on create features and migrate at the same time. It was a complete successful, and now we are thinking on move to Rails 5 for sure, but our client doesn’t know (probably he will find out here).

We improve some security issues by that migration and we also did some refactors on old legacy code.

 

Bonus: Download the full Case Study in order to get know how SmarterSelect grew up more than 110% in 2018.

If you need help with your business/product and your annual revenue is $3M+, please reach out to us; our consultants will be happy to assist you on find the right path and solution.

Introducing Product Marketing Services

For years we have been supporting companies by designing (Product Design) and developing (Product Development) their own digital products, like mobile apps, web systems, chatbots, cloud services and so.

We have accumulated a lot of experience on turning simple business on successful products. Prove to yourself by browsing the Portfolio page. Remember you can download a full case study for some projects here.

We really understand how difficult is to launch and to keep a product profitable, because of multiple facts. To be honest with you, tons of products will never achieve business stability.

Today, we are closing the circle. We’re happy to announce you that our team will also support product marketing services, focused on $3M+ in revenue companies. Now you can get all you need in a same place. And I think this is a very positive fact, because designing and engineering team can be so close to the marketing team.

If includes a wide variety of services but I can mention:

  • Setup and manage marketing strategies
  • Branding
  • Social Media
  • Paid Media (CPC, CPM) on Facebook, Google and LinkedIn
  • Blogging and SEO
  • Email Marketing
  • Growth Hacking techniques and more.

For now, we are just accepting an small batch of products to market a month, in regions like United States and Latin America.

Guys, you know we love to share 100% valued content with you, so take a look at product Marketing category in order to learn more tips, specially written for CMOs and Head of Sales about how to attract more leads through digital marketing and growth hacking techniques.

All of you out there, are you facing sales and marketing challenges? Feel free to drop us a line in order to understand your start point and show the way to the next level. If you hate contact forms 🙂 you can pick a date to talk with me.