Cette année encore, le Lido de Paris va faire vibrer la cérémonie des Globes de Cristal le 12 Février 2018.
KeenEye is very proud to be working with Globes de Cristal, France’s premier festival for the arts and cinema.
This is the second year we are working with them and our good friend Mehdi Hamdi the person behind Globes de Cristal.
This year we have expanded beyond software development to helping them manage their online presence, work on their digital footprint and create online buzz.
Companies and brands have a huge issue that they often don’t know how to deal with. Their online reputation.
How do you deal with a negative post ? A review of an irate customer ? Worse yet how do you deal with a bad article ? These things get picked up in social media and in Google search and CEOs, brand managers and managers freak out.
Head in the sand solution :
This consists of ignoring negative comments and just hoping that they will go away.
Defensive solution :
We had a blast, with I must say some backbreaking work making these desks. Apart from the actual esthetic pleasure of cool desks what really gets us going is that we were able to upcycle and make something with our hands. It is so cool to design something and then use or rather reuse material to create something useful and cool.
The whole concept was a great experience too as everyone at office had a hand moving around the furniture and carrying things. And the founders led the work by doing the hardest. It jives with our motto which is to lead by example.
We had some cool experiences too as we did all the cutting out on the road. People slowed down and stared or the more adventurous asked us what we were doing. Lol.. The fact that we were doing it ourselves really fascinated people. Maybe they will try something on their own. We invited them in to see the final product. Lets see if they stop by.
We are very proud to work with DigitaleBox to launch Civic Impact app. Live today on iTunes and in the following days on Android Impact allows you to tell politicians your thoughts on any subject.
With politics ever more fast moving, with upset after upset in diverse countries like the USA, France and the UK allowing the people to reach directly out to politicians with their opinions is so important. That is exactly what Civic Impact does.
You can download in iTunes here.
There is a philosophy behind our new team page and why it is designed the way it is designed.
We feel strongly that everyone in a company is important. We are a team and each member of the team is necessary for the overall success of the company. Some may have a more prominent role but could the company function without security or without the place being properly cleaned ?
To that end everyone is on our team page.
A flat structure
We don’t want a structure that is top to bottom, a pyramid like structure. We want to create a company atmosphere where each team member feels responsible for the quality of their work, the punctuality of their deliveries and the ability to make important decisions alone and then stand by them.
To that end we show the team in a random way each time you refresh the page. That way no one is more important than another. Everyone can be at the top or at the bottom.
We believe strongly in each person’s uniqueness. Each of has something that sets us apart and makes us different and special. To that end in the bios we tried to get each one to tell their story, in the first person. Why they do what they do and why the love it and what are their hobbies and their thoughts on life.
We got some real gems out of that :
Buddhika : People are so busy that they forget to stay tuned with nature. I feel that society in general should realize that if there are no farms, no trees well there would be no food. It is a shame how people are so denaturalized.
Yohan : In terms of philosophy this is my way of doing things : Start simple. Things get complicated for sure. So start simple. This is for both work or for life. If you over complicate things you lose motivation. You lose courage to actually tackle things. So my way is to start with a simple approach to life. It has helped me face difficult situations in life and in work.
Keerthana : I like being positive and I look at life as if everything is possible. I am a big believer that if you think hard enough and long enough about something it will come.
Aruna : I also understand people who are radically different than me. I think that makes us stronger our differences. Me I am the calm collected one but in any relationship work or personal you need also people who are more talkative and spontaneous.
Viranga : As far as my view on life, I strive to be simple. If we live simply we have small problems but if we lives with lots of material assets then we end up having complicated lives. So although the world doesn’t really work like that I try to keep things simple.
Just a few glimpses of what our team thinks and believes.
This week Nisha and I went to Bandwagon organized startup meet-up that was held at Ikman’s offices. The Managing director of Ikman made a short intro about how they invested for 4 years before finally hitting profitability in 2016. After that it was beers and walk around meet and greet. We met a few really cool projects, some not so cool and then suppliers to startups. For sure this sort of thing is really important to foster a startup mentality and scene. As I am new here I will check out the different events and write about them here. So stay tuned.
Meanwhile I thought to list down some ressources for startups here :
A list of startups that have listed on Angel List : https://angel.co/sri-lanka
Some investors and angel networks :
http://www.bovcapital.com/ and an article about their fund : https://www.techinasia.com/
A really positive article that focuses on the startup potential in Sri Lanka. I like that they also call to mind the geographic advantage of Sri Lanka just near one of the largest markets in the world, India : https://www.techinasia.com/
As the new year rolls around it is always good to think what you want to accomplish this year, what you want to change (because we all need to grow and that requires change) and what our your objectives for the year. On a personal level this is a great habit and as a team or a company it is really essential to create a positive group dynamic.
So we sat down and took stock of what we accomplished in 2016 at KeenEye and what we wanted to do in 2017.
2016 had many changes, a new name and visual identity, a new management team and reorganization of the board. Now that those things are past we need to look forward to what we want to do in 2017.
After discussion this is the Vision we worked out :
We chose these two ideas because we feel that THINKING smart is so vital in our industry and THINKING differently is too. It is vital that our team think out of the box and be ready to embrace new ideas. This automatically leads to the next idea which is to GROW. Individually this is vital for us to GROW in knowledge and in experiences and as a team to GROW in good processes, as a company with new team members and and in quality.
We drilled down a bit more in our Mission statement :
Our ideas here are pretty self evident. What we want to achieve is what we started on last year and dovetails with our philosophy as founders which is to create a world class software company that creates shareholder value and that provides great quality to our partners and at the same time nurtures each team member.
To finish off this post we were all inspired by this quote and I can set it as the quote of the year guiding our Vision and Mission statement :
So there have been many changes as the new year has come and first month is almost done.
Some of those things were started last year and are bearing fruit now.
For example after some bumps last year we managed to radically reinvent our company by setting up a management team from our smartest and most senior staff. We have also set in place a plan to make them and other staff a stock option plan.
We also brought in an outside advisor : Guillaume Alabert. Guillaume is an old friend and Steve Anthony and I have already worked with him in France. We will do an interview with him later on to share his ideas and vision and his background.
To really grow the company and take it to the next level we all agreed to relocate myself along with my family to Sri Lanka. This is a pretty big change as it required a lots of logistics, packing, saying goodbye to family and friends and relocating. I have now been here for a week and half and things are really cracking. I will do a separate post on that whole endeavor. My role went from Sales and Strategy to coCEO.
Steve Anthony also changed his role at KeenEye. Before he was CEO and lived in Lanka. But now that he lives in France we shifted his role to coCEO along with me and to a more customer oriented role. He works closely with our European customers, growing our presence there by getting new clients and catering to the older ones. Also he is closely working with the startup community in France and in Africa to bring in future deals and investments. He also works very closely with Digitalebox (one of our investments) which is booming right now. We will do a specific post on Digitalebox in the near future.
And last but not least we are redesigning the work of Nisha who is our CAO. She will be relying more on several new software tools and news staff to help manage and plan and strategize finances, to manage accounting , invoicing and payroll. As we work on helping startups not only in France and the USA but also in Lanka her role will be more and more that of Advisor and Financial Strategist.
So in a nutshell KeenEye is ready to rock 2017. Look forward to many posts this year about our strategy, our business processes, our tools and our partners.
Following the success of our little interview with Rooban we get to know better Yasodha today.
Yasodha is a bundle of positive energy and really exudes that and it is quite infectious. She has been at Appmonkeyz for just 6 months but has managed to really make her place in our growing team. She is Project Manager on one of our coolest projects called ClipCast.
Shaun : So Yasodha please tell us where you are from and where you studied ?
Yasodha : I was born and raised and even now live in Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka. I went to school at Devi Balika Vidyala in Colombo.
Note : Mount Lavina is Colombo’s southern suburb and the beach party area closest to Colombo. On weekends many families go down to Mount Lavina’s beaches for a swim and maybe a bit to eat on the beach.
Shaun : So tell me a bit about yourself ?
Yasodha : Well I am recently married, just in January, I have 1 sister and I am 29 years old. My dad was a legal consultant. I studied at SLIIT.
After I graduated I worked as a C# and DotNet developer. My longest experience was at Calcey where I was for 2 and half years.
Shaun : So what made you start project managing ?
Yasodha : Well that was my plan all along. I prefer PM as it is more about dealing with people and I am a people person. I like interactions and I like helping people solve problems. So what I did was develop for a few years so that I would fully understand the mindset, issues and challenges of developers. I think that has really helped me to understand better the issues and better help manage.
Shaun : Yes that is a great plan. So tell me a really horrible experience you have had in developing or project management ?
Yasodha : Hahaha.. a bad experience ? Hmm ok.. well we had this project for a foreign client. It was a 15 member team and we had to do some R&D. Unfortunately we badly underestimated the time that it would rquire to do that ! We tried to tell the client but he would not accept that we deliver late as they also had tight deadlines. So we had to work for 2 weeks night and day and weekend. We would leave office around 2 AM and get back at around 7 AM. I remember coming back to office on the bus and missing my stop and having to take a tuktuk to get back…. what a stressful period.
Shaun : Ah yes… I think we have all been through that sort of situation ! Now tell me the best one you have had ?
Yasodha : Well it is definitely ClipCast. They are a great client to work with a real vision with and the team is highly motivated. What is cool is we do lots of versions and sprints and each time the project requirements evolve and it gets more interesting and more complex. The fact that we are on the cutting edge in this project really makes the team motivated. I think when you have to do R&D and then find the solution and make it happen that really makes developers happy.. and the client too.
Shaun : That is awesome. So where you see yourself and your career going ?
Yasodha : Well it may sound a bit pretentious but I really want to become an expert in Project management issues. I would love to help find solutions that will solve that eternal problem that is there.. How to manage properly resources. How to strike the balance between productivity of the developer and not burning them out or boring them. How to build teams that are holistic and innovative and at the same time create real ROI for the company and the client.
Shaun : That is a great vision. I hope you achieve it. Lastly something about yourself ?
Yasodha : I am a people person so I love to make people feel good. As everyone around here knows I like to use humor to make everyone start off the day with a smile.