Archive for the ‘OAK Reflections’ Category

CISED & OAK: Amplifying Social Entrepreneurship in Ottawa

We are super excited to announce our partnership with the Collaborative for Innovative Social Enterprise Development (CISED). Starting January 2012, OAK is helping CISED with the development and launch a new digital and web strategy, which includes a complete overhaul of their web presence, review of their social media footprint and ongoing advisory support to put in place a technology roadmap that will help CISED leverage its strengths and deliver timely and relevant support to Social Enterprises from across Ottawa.

 

What does this mean?
In a nutshell, CISED is committed to offering the best tech tools for social entrepreneurs and OAK will help CISED with the development of the tools and the strategy for their deployment – while constantly reviewing the consumption of all support delivered through tech platforms.

A Tribute to Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

The conversation in the office today is all about the passing of Steve Jobs.  At OAK we have different levels of apple fans:  the early adopter, some from the early majority, and a couple from the late but loyal majority.  But regardless of whether we’re from the apple cult, absolute fans, or skeptics of itunes, we all have great respect for the innovation, the business and vision, of Steve Jobs.

To every entrepreneur out there, Steve Jobs is the gold standard.  For tech startups, he’s almost a myth:  building a garage tech startup into the most valuable company in the US, valued greater than Exxon Mobil (yes tech > oil – understand why he’s a legend?)

And while he has passed away, his genius will continue to be referenced in our OAK offices just as frequently.  The most impressive part is that everyone at OAK references him – the business strategist, the designer, the coder and the marketer in the office – agreeing or disagreeing, but always comparing to his gold standard. Read the rest of this entry »

10 things we have learnt about client-business relationship

OAK has been in business now for 2+ years, and we have over this time gone through a lot of crests and troughs. We have come to appreciate and loved clients who believed in us, and worked through the challenges of working with those who struggled with us. We have learnt a lot, and we are still constantly learning but we have identified a few lessons that we are happy to share our thoughts on. 

1. IT STARTS ON DAY 1 – ALWAYS GO TO THAT FIRST MEETING THINKING THAT IT IS START OF SOMETHING GOOD.

2. Never ever stop working on that lead – Treat every interaction with the prospective client as if it is your first date.

3. Invest your time into your client – Let your client know that you are prepared to give them the time that it would take you to learn their business.

4. Persist – Don’t give up on the client just because you do not like what you hear.

5. Be an extension to your client’s team – Your relationship with your client should not just be just about the contract and the contract deliverables. Step in when they need you.

6. Let the client know that you are in it for the long-term – We all love consistent stable relationships, and that applies equally well to business relationships.

7. Don’t exploit a situation, EVER – When a client is in a corner, don’t push them more into that corner. Be there when they need you, and often will least expect you to.

8. If they can’t pay you, try help them find out how they can – what matters is that you get paid, and if you can help the client raise it – BINGO.

9. Be prepared to say a “NO” to the money – esp if you know that the client either needs something simpler, or already has a minimum viable product to go to the market. Better to lose the money but keep the relationship.

10. IT IS ALL ABOUT LITTLE THINGS – SURPRISE YOUR BEST CLIENTS WITH LITTLE UNANTICIPATED SURPRISES (A LOGO DESIGN, A SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN, A LITTLE SOMETHING THAT HELPS AND ADDS CAPACITY). 

OAK has a new slogan – “OPEN FOR IDEAS”

After a lot of going back and forth and putting millions is micro-seconds into the thought processes, OAK finally has a slogan. In coming up with the slogan these are some of things that we wanted the slogan to represent and celebrate:

– OAK’s philosophy towards its business, its clients and its partners

– What makes all of us extremely proud of what we do in OAK

– Our future plans, and our excitement about our future

– Our strengths in software development, and our focus on new Ideas

And …. the OAK slogan is …. drum rollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll ….. 

“OPEN FOR IDEAS”

We are really excited about our slogan, and it truly represents each one of the above observations. “Open for Ideas” reinforces our commitment to new ideas, new concepts, software incubation, product development …. and cool partnerships. We welcome great ideas backed by visionary entrepreneurs. As we say “bring us your ideas and we will make the software happen”.

Update  (July 1, 2011): Trademark application for OAK slogan (Open for Ideas) submitted to the Canadian Trademark office

OAK LABS is born – Welcome to our Co-Creation Space

Ever since Obaid, Dave and I started working on OAK together, we have harbored a desire to have a creative incubation space that would be open to like minded young technologists/entrepreneurs who share our passion of building new amazing things.  We formally started looking for a formal office space in March 2011, and the desire to open our potential space was at the back of our mind throughout our search. We, at OAK, are happy to announce that our idea of an “Incubation Lab” – a space dedicated to technology innovation, idea co-creation and all around entrepreneurial fun is finally coming to fruition with the formal launch of our incubation space that we are calling “OAK LABS”.

We have around 850 sq feet of space at our location at 44 Byward Market that we have cut out into around 10 work spaces. OAK currently occupies about 6 of those spaces and we have 4 open spaces that we are happy to share with any other technology/software development team that is looking for some prime real-estate. We are located right in downtown Ottawa, the emerging mecca for young technology companies. For the right candidate, we are happy and willing to consider very favorable terms. If you happen to be working on a kick-ass product that in your opinion will change how future generations will interact with technology – then that definitely is worth 40 browny points. About us – we are a team of 6 talented/young/ambitious technology professionals who understand their (few) limitations while (in general) being quite humble about their awesomeness. We are easy to get along with, and we absolutely enjoy the company of freakishly talented geeky developers and designers. If interested in sharing our space with us, please send us a note at team (at) oakcomputing (dot) com and let us arrange to get together and have a chat around your dreams, your view of co-creation and your sports interests (not really).

Why call us “OAK” – How did we choose our name?

We are asked this question a lot, hence a blog entry dedicated to this question. OAK, historically and culturally, is a common symbol of strength and endurance. An evergreen tree, OAK is identified with shade, strength, support and stability – a constant provider in the hot parched lands of Indian sub-continent that provides much needed respite to those looking for a dependable place to take a much needed break. It is always there, it stands firm and it always provides. 

In developing our software development practice, we wanted to build the foundations of our business on top of the values espoused by OAK tree. OAK prides itself on its strengths in technology development, our commitment to our clients and partners, our focus on doing the right thing and our desire to be around for a long long time.

Update: Trademark application for OAK submitted to the Canadian Trademark office

Update 2: Trademark application for OAK symbol submitted to the Canadian Trademark office

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