Archived entries for Projects

Clickatell API PHP Class

Have you ever wanted to send SMS messages from your PHP Application? I have!

After analyzing what’s on the market of SMS’ gateways, I decided I wanted to give Clickatell a try. Their coverage seemed like the most complete one (at lest for Argentina) and their API simple and straightforward. But the examples they provided for PHP where a little bit “simplistic” and the PHP classes available on the web outdated, so I decided to develop a class of my own.

This is what I’ve come up so far. It’s complete, simple and ready to use!

Download Clickatell API – PHP Class v1.0 (It’s dual licenced LGPL and BSD so anybody can use it with the licence they see fit)

Just in case you don’t know who’s Clickatell I’ve borrowed this description from their product page: Clickatell’s messaging gateway allows you to send messages to almost any mobile phone in the world. Its high powered platform ensures reliable delivery of all messages, and our global coverage means that you can reach 819 mobile networks in 220+ countries.

If you give it a try let me know how it goes 🙂

Enjoy!

Download lickatell API – PHP Class v1.0 here

Innovation

Innovation is a big deal.

Many ideas have to be tried and fail to have just one that succeeds. When your company is small and your ideas go far beyond your R&D capabilities it’s always difficult to find a balance between what you feel like might be successful today, and what the market will require in a couple of years, probably the time it’ll take for you to build it.

Also, as an entrepreneur, many times we try to guess what’s best for the market, but when done, the only thing left is experience, valuable one, but not a home run. And sadly the market has taken a very different path.

That’s the when many jump out from the ship, and embrace other ways (easier ways) of making a living…

Experience, measurable by lots and lots of interfaces, UX, and LOCs widen the gap between you and the next entrepreneur, every day a little bit more. And that is what nobody tells you.

That’s why is not about who can copy your idea, it’s not if your idea is great or lame, or if your timing is correct or off by a decade…. Steve Jobs made the NeXT computer almost a decade before the market was ready for it. Same thing happened to Bill Gates with the Tablet PC.

When Facebook went public, MySpace was the king of the world, some years later and MySpace is almost “a thing of the past”.

Btw, great ideas are all over the place, many of them never succeed.

So, it seems like, those who give advice might be right: It’s all about execution. My personal opinion: 95% execution, 5% luck.

So, when building a (software) company you can take many paths: You can reuse/resell (open source or corporate), copycat, build cheap stuff, build expensive stuff, be unique, be an specialist, be a generalist… etc.

My vision is this:  A company must invest (heavily) in R&D, eat it’s own dog-food and avoid reinventing the wheel, conquer it’s clients and be feared (in the good sense) by it’s competitors.

But most importantly, you have yo share your dream, and let the people working with you embrace it, expand it, and bring it to life.

And that is 99% of execution, but nobody will tell you.

Moore’s Law

As Claris evolves (technologically and as a business) we are starting to face new chalenges ranging from UX design to Prices and Options.

We are always trying to make things the easiest possible way for our users. And that it’s a hard path to follow as many times it’ll be much easier to drop a bunch of options in a form and let the user figure things out. But, that’s less than ideal, we aim to build an app with almost no forms!

Our niche is crowded with many competing companies, and in that ecosystem, we want to stand out by our simplicity! Even if what we are trying to solve is not simple at all.

After all, Claris is about making things easier for people,  or to “change the world” if you like.

Claris: first week in public

August has been quite a month for Claris, last 4th Rodrigo and me had the chance to give a keynote about Claris at #CordobaOnline.

Before that day Claris was a very secret project that nobody had seen or heard of. To be fair, two days before that, it didn’t even had a name, we came up with it just in time for the event.

To prepare for our keynote, we had various rehearsals. As you might imagine, we wanted  to give a stunning presentation… but we couldn’t fit everything we wanted to show in the 10 minutes the organization said we’ll have available. So we ended up with a keynote that needed almost 20 minutes to complete.

In our defense, I’d say that we  tought nobody would care… of course we were wrong.

The obvious outcome was that we couldnt finish, so we ended up showing almost nothing about Claris demo. (Yeah, we left the best for the end, and there was no time for the end, so we ended up with no end!)

Claris: A good idea

Presenting at #CordobaOnline was a great experience, for a start we learned that we have to make our keynote last less time than what we are allowed, not double. We also got a lot of great comments and reviews from the people who where present there, and of course a lot of them registered to participate in our closed beta (hint: to participate go to Claris web site).

Two days after that, on August 6th, we traveled to Buenos Aires, were we had planned a set of meetings to show Claris. We felt very warmly received as everyone gave us a lot of feedback, and praised our “Scrum on steroids” approach.

We were thrilled! We always felt that the way Claris handles SCRUM was a killer feature, but when other people start telling you just that, that’s when you get really exited.

To close a great trip, just when we were about to get back to Córdoba we got a very nice review at Unblogged.

What a great journey! At this point we are so exited and inspired that we have developed a serious Claris-addiction condition!

My view of entrepreneurship in Córdoba

For the last 10 months or so, Nutus has been secretly developing a new software that will see light really soon, it’s name is Emporika.

I’ve been dreaming about it’s functionalities since Nutus was born more than 5 years ago, and it’s with great pleasure that what I see it has become is pretty much what I envisioned (only that the real thing has a much better UI).

But what I’d like to talk today is not about Emporika per se, but about what it feels for me as an entrepreneur our actual reality is, as a group and in our context.

It’s always pleasant to see something you have envisioned get to a point where others can use it, enjoy it, etc. Even if it’s not great, or extremely popular or whatever. Also every time a new launch occurs, I feel confident it’ll be better than the last one, primarily because you learn a lot of things each and every time and also because you are older and smarter (o more knowledgeable).

Of course it’s not easy, of course planing will fail many times, of course you’ll dream with 200million users and that won’t happen in a blink… but it’ll lead you to another idea, another project, another success.

Aversion to risk is pretty high in this country, many people say it’s because of the crisis, or the government, or whatever. I think the problem resides somewhere else, let me call it “critical mass” (or the lack of it). Everywhere you’ll find people that avoid risk, that work in factories or in the government, those kind of people exist in every country, also, there are entrepreneurs in every country, and they risk it all just for the sake of showing their idea to the world. What is happening here is that we don’t know each other, we don’t help each other, and mainly we don’t share. Everyone is at home, bragging about how we’ll take over the world, but without some peer help, we won’t be able to do anything of value.

Rich people, smart people, science people, have for centuries developed “peer networks”, with a greater or lesser level of secrecy to help each other, why can’t we entrepreneurs do the same thing? And don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about PV/PVC/CV or anything like that, because meeting in a bar, to hear some “goddess” talk about how succesfull it is, and have a beer, is very far away from “finding a solution” to a technological or econommic problem that your venture might be having this week. We are not helping each other, we are just enlarging some egos.

I started proposing a solution to that problem called “Sillicon Córdoba” (I think global but act locally), at the begining my idea was to make it some kind of “socialist” solution where anyone could join, and everyone was an equal, that idea didn’t catch on… so for version 2, I’m accepting suggestions and the approach is going to be very different.

I’m not here desiring to be one of the “saved” ones. One of those who got into the right circle, made a lot of money and flew away. What I want is to create something that’ll prevail, something that can make a lot of peoples ideas succedd. I’m talking about making a better world, one entrepreneur at a time.

Yes, I’m an idealist, but I have a steady walk, slow… but steady.



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