Posts Tagged ‘Obaid Ahmed’

Apt613 & OAK: A Community Partnership

We are absolutely thrilled to announce the launch of Apartment613’s new website later today (stay tuned, it’ll be live at around 9:00 pm)!  As Apt613’s technology partner, OAK has been working zealously to redesign, re-architect, develop and launch a fresh and innovative web presence for Apt613.  As a part of this commitment, OAK will also provide on-going technical support to ensure that the rivoting content of Apt613 continues to be presented and shared to Ottawaians in the best possible way.

A Little About Apartment613

Apt613 is Ottawa’s go-to community website, committed to connecting people to their neighborhoods.  Written and produced by a group of passionate & eclectic individuals whose goal is to uncover the pulse of the city, Apt613 profiles “exciting people, places and going ons”; that is, the world of art, dance, music, food, fashion, politics, love, opinion, and anything interesting in the Ottawa scene.  Apt613 is a platform for participation and community building, only 3 years old, but already the gold standard in Ottawa.

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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 »

Launch of Welcoming Communities Initiative

New WCI HomepageYesterday OAK launched the new website for The Welcoming Communities Initiative.  But don’t be fooled by the pretty layout and bright colours.  This is not just a facelift; this is a redesign of their content management solution, allowing them to manage and share their members, editors, publications and resources quickly, efficiently, and most importantly, in house, by themselves.

See our case study for more information on the project: WCI Case Study

We’d also like to make give a shout out to the amazing project management from the WCI end from Meyer Burnstein and Victoria Esses.  Our design, creative and technical processes were only strengthened by working with clients who have a strong management structure & process on their end.   It was an absolute pleasure to work with them!

Case Study: Welcoming Communities Initiative

The Client

Welcoming Community Initiative (WCI)
Victoria M. Esses, Co-Chair WCI
Meyer Burnstein, Senior Fellow and Director of Policy and Planning  

Type of Project

Enterprise Software Development, CMS

The Problem

 WCIs former website and management solution no longer fit their needs.

  • Complicated back end – difficult to navigate, update resources, manage content, make changes, and train new users using the old platform.
  • Limited display – different types of content (reports, events, e-bulletins video) could not be published in a suitable format.
  • User Access – there was little control over user governance; members and editors had similar access to the website.
  • Branding – the visuals of the old site did little to enforce the WCI brand.

Old site front end

Limited ability to display information

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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

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