One of the great things about doing a startup now is the growing range of tools, services, meetups, associations and conferences available to you. The numbers of these resources both Online and off grow each month.
These new tools and services can shave months off the development cycle while improving your startup’s game. In Chapter 4 of my new book, The Web Startup Success Guide I cover 16 of these new tools and services, how to connect with other startups and microISVs on and offline and much more.
<shameless plug>The Web Startup Success Guide will start shipping from Amazon July 22nd. If you’re planning to get my book, please pre-order now! Other booksellers – from the big chains to the independent booksellers – look closely at these pre-order numbers when deciding how many copies to stock. Your pre-order today means this book will be on their shelves.</shameless plug>
I’d like to share with you two of 16 tools I recommend to startups:
What it is: Site analytics that really work.
Figure 4-6. CrazyEgg’s Confetti view
What it costs: From $9/month to track 10,000 visits to your site and 10 pages up to $99/month to track 250,000 visits/100 pages. The Standard ($19/month—25,000 visits on 20 pages) would seem a good fit.
Special mojo/shiny goodness: Unlike, say, Google Analytics, the beauty of CrazyEgg is that it shows you visually exactly where people are clicking on a given page, by overlaying on the page for you either a heat map or aggregated click counts or actual clicks that can each display more information. Stats are one thing—and CrazyEgg does that as well— but, at least for me, being able to see the page and to see where people are clicking makes it easier to comprehend what’s working and what’s not.
Why you should know about it: CrazyEgg is a very cool way to find out what’s working on your site and what’s not—quickly. You can invest untold hours into analyzing your server logs and you won’t get the same actionable knowledge that a single glance at a CrazyEgg-monitored page will show you.
What it is: Screenshot and video capture for Windows and Macs.
Figure 4-10. Jing
What it costs: Free, or for $14.95 a year you can acquire Pro, which handles MPEG-4, one-button YouTube upload and brand-free videos.
Special mojo/shiny goodness: Jing makes easy the capturing to video of what’s on your screen and sharing it with another developer, a customer needing support, or the world. Sometimes a minute-long video will calm a customer, explain a programming problem, or entice an investor when words simply would not get the job done. Although other tools, notably Jing’s “big brother,” Camtasia Studio, have editing capabilities you’ll need to create more formal videos, such as product screencasts, Jing—with its abilities to capture both video and what you have to say, to automatically upload it to TechSmith’s Screencast.com, and to stick a URL on your clipboard—is a tool you will not want to be without.
Why you should know about it: Jing adds to your problem-solving arsenal instant video screen capture with audio. That’s a powerful tool in all sorts of situations when you want to communicate with one or many other people quickly, informally, and simply. I’ve found Jing to be a far better way to provide tech support to users of my various apps than dreary multistep instructions. And it’s faster.
* Quick note: these excerpts are from my last version pre-pdf and before Apress’ crack team of proofreaders caught the last of my typos.