Vocus.io

Very happy to release Vocus.io, which adds a bundle of features to your Gmail experience: accurate email tracking, meeting coordination, send later, and much more. The goal of Vocus.io is to help business developers and hyper-networkers make more of their time on email.

I keep finding myself juggling spreadsheets to keep track of my leads and repeating the same blurbs in my emails. I experimented with some of the options out there but was either underwhelmed with their functionality or detracted from their pricing. Vocus.io will grow to accommodate the needs of that digital hustler — not the sales person with a target quota, but the startup CEO/biz dev who’s constantly improvising.

We’re off to a great start with much higher than anticipated traction. Stay tuned for more!

Human Fax Machine

I took a design class laster semester and our first minor assignment was to “represent something with something else”. My proposal was the Human Fax Machine: a small Processing script that translates sound to grayscale dot-image. This proved to be very entertaining.

Download the source code and run it with Processing. Draw a smiley face and tweet at me.

Azzemble

Today we launch the first version of Azzemble, a hassle-free tool to help you socialize in the real world.

Azzemble allows you to share your immediate plans with your Facebook friends and let them know where to meet at the touch of a button. Going for dinner? Create an event and tell people where you’re going. Bored? checkout what your friends are up to and join them.

Azzemble targets the messy (and sometimes intrusive) nature of our communication tools, such as Whatsapp. With current tools, it’s a hassle to cherrypick a large number of invitees, organize a single short-term conversation, and tell your invitees who’s coming. Azzemble is one abstract layer on top of that; it allows you to seamlessly coordinate your immediate activities (not you long-term events) and choose who you want to receive a push notification, and who receives a “silent” invite.

Azzemble is also the cure to the awkward conversations you have with old friends you randomly cross path with. You know how that conversation goes… “Oh we should totally hangout sometime!” but you never actually do. Not because you’re not interested, but because you do not want to immediately lockdown your calendar… supernetworkers, rejoice!

I’m building this with The Great Nirav. A superb product manager and strategist. Stay tuned for more features!

Book Summary - Hooked

I truly enjoyed reading Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal. The author masterfully analyzed widespread apps and websites to understand why people keep coming back. The topic touches upon many disciplines: marketing, user interface design, user experience, growth hacking and – most importantly – human psychology.

Click here for my book summary. Obviously, the summary does not do the book justice since it skips impressive analysis and stories. An audio version is also available.

I highly recommend this book especially for product managers, designers, and makers of all types. 5/5.

Plates 2.0

I took two months off between my resignation and graduate school, and I used most of that time learning Swift and Android’s SDK by re-implementing Plates. This was back in June, and even though I (almost) completed the work on both of them in August, I’ve been procrastinating the release. Until now (for iOS, at least).

The new iOS Plates is much snappier, smoother, and comes with offline synchronization. I am still struggling with iTune Connect to delete the old version (for some reason I’m getting an error) and also trying to convince Apple to upgrade my seller account to Burkan Labs rather than my name.

Anyway, check it out here.