My name is Ismael Chang Ghalimi. I build the STOIC platform. I am a stoic, and this blog is my agora.

Production timeline

More and more customers and partners are asking us when the platform will be ready for production deployment. Now that we’re starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel, here is the answer we’re giving to most people:

  • We should get a first beta of the MVP sometime in November.
  • We should get a very solid beta by January.
  • The decision to go GA is not ours, it’s yours.

What that means is that by November, you should be able to use STOIC to start some real projects, and you should expect that most required features will work, albeit with some bugs here and there. By January 2014, you should be able to go into production with a limited number of users (a few hundreds maybe), and a limited dataset (10 to 100GB of structured data). And it’s not unreasonable to expect that a majority of our users will have decided that we’re ready for GA release by April 2014, which means that it would have taken us two years to fully bring our product to market, and one year to deliver something solid following our Kickstarter campaign.

Of course, all this is very prospective at this time, but if you need an answer, it’s the best we can give at this point. Also, whenever you talk to customers, make sure to explain our unique philosophy, and the fact that we’re a very transparent company. Our experience shows that being transparent and forthcoming really helps people cope with the unavoidable delays of any software project. So make sure to show them our Pivotal Tracker. Even though they might not understand every single details captured by the tool, it will give them a level of visibility that goes far beyond anything they’ve ever received from any other vendor.

Partners

It’s 10:08 PM, we have yet to ship a first product, but we have 10 partners.

From 8 countries.

5 global ones.

I can hardly believe it…

And many of them are totally betting their farms on us…

A-ma-zing…

PS: CloudPerfect has a really, really cool new logo. Awesome work!

Sell two, get one free

Jacques-Alexandre suggested a super cool program for all partners including consultants: sell two Dojo seats, and you get one free, including the royalties that go with it. At $10K, selling two is no walk in the park, but it has to be the most cost effective way of attending our exclusive sessions. This program is now officially started and outlined on our partner page.

First partner in Australia

We just signed our first partner in Australia.

We now have partners in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada (global partner)
  • France
  • Japan
  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands

And we hope to sign a second global partner later this week.

Partners

The application we will build during the STOIC Internship Program's inaugural session is CRM. But there are a few objects that we need right now, and we've decided to get started right away. So, here comes STOIC Sales, with its very first object: Partners.

image

And here is what it looks like on our new website: Partners.

It’s almost too easy…

First partner in Japan

We just received the backing of our first partner in Japan! This takes our Kickstarter over the $30K mark ($31,851 to be exact), and makes me feel confident that we should be able to raise at least $40K with this first campaign. And if our crazy idea for STOIC internships takes hold, who knows where this campaign will end?

On this particular topic, I just had a meeting with a potential OEM partner in Japan who is considering sending two engineers for two weeks for the internship program in order to develop some prototypes ahead of a potential OEM deal. In the meantime, we now have four partners, in four different countries, on three continents:

  • Canada (Global partner)
  • France
  • Japan
  • Switzerland

What’s great with all this is that we’re not only proving that one can launch a new business software product using Kickstarter, but that one can also create an ecosystem of partners with global reach. This has never been done before, but something tell me that our example will be followed by many software companies in the future…

So, if you’d like to learn more about how we do it, sign up for an internship!

Welcome itvenio

It’s with great pleasure that we’re welcoming itvenio as a new partner! Just a few minutes ago, our long-time friend Pascal Miserez just increased his already-generous pledge from $500 to a whopping $3,000. This sent our average pledge through the roof ($119), and took the total amount of pledges to $14,100, just $900 shy of our goal for the week. And we’re just Monday… So, we’ve decided to increase the goal for the week to 75% of our funding target, or $18,750. It’s definitely a stretch, but we’re feeling pretty good about the whole thing right now…

Welcome on board Pascal! And thanks a ton for your support. It means a lot to us.

First partner signed

We just signed our first distribution and implementation partner!

Stoneburn is a cloud solution specialist in the United Kingdom focusing on medium-sized and enterprise customers, enabling customers to collaborate using cloud applications, remove server and software capital costs and reduce the burden on IT teams.

Stoneburn is a Google Enterprise Partner and Amazon Web Services Solution Provider. We’ve already started to work with their team on a really cool consumer application that we hope to unveil early next year. Stay tuned for more details…

Stoneburn is sponsoring our upcoming London Meetup. If you’re in the City on Friday, join us!

Welcome on board guys! We’re thrilled to have you as our very first partner.

First partners coming

No later than a day after we announced our partner program, a handful of candidate partners have come up, and we expect to sign the first one this week or next. This is a lot faster than we had expected, and it’s very encouraging. The first partner in any given geography will have our undivided attention, so, if you’re considering to become a partner, get in touch with us now, for the best spots won’t remain available forever…

Kickstarter pledge for partners

We’re in the process of building our partner program, and we’re settling down on a standard Kickstarter pledge for systems integrators. The idea is to make it very attractive for certified Google Apps partners to join our partner program at an early stage. The pledge will be set to $2,500 and will include the following:

  • Local lead sharing
  • Certified STOIC Partner Logo
  • Dedicated page on stoic.com website
  • Joint workshop organized for local customers
  • 100 user-months (a $2,500 value in and by itself)

For the joint workshop, partners will pay for the venue, and we will pay for our travels and accommodations wherever the partner might be. Either Jacques-Alexandre or myself will be present for the workshop, which will be heavily promoted on our website, on this blog, and on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

With that in mind, here are the places where I’d like us to have implementation partners:

  • Chile (I really want to visit Patagonia)
  • Iceland (my first mentor gave me the bug)
  • Japan (my heartland)
  • Malta (I’ve always wanted to visit the place)
  • Mongolia (it’s totally happening)
  • New Zealand (I’d like to retire there eventually)
  • Palau (best diving place I can think of)
  • Qatar (I hear they’ve got many interesting projects going on)
  • Tanzania (a friend of mine owns a ranch and a few bush planes there)

My bags are already packed!

PS: If you know other great places with local Google Apps partners, let me know!

Partner program

We have a problem: we’re getting too many requests from customers who will need custom implementation work, either to develop specific connectors, or to build some custom widgets, or even to write some custom Google Apps Script code that would facilitate the reuse of existing Google Spreadsheets that have loosely normalized content. These customers need help today, and there are simply too many of them for us to handle directly with our limited resources.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is the kind of high order problem that I really like to get. In fact, if life only brought this kind of problem, life would be really, really good. Nonetheless, this is a problem, and we have to fix it. We’re approaching it in a couple of ways.

First, as mentioned yesterday, we’re hiring. So, if you’re in the Bay Area, in London, or in Paris (where we seem to be finding many opportunities), please contact us, for we might have a really cool job for you. Make sure to read this first though. We’re really picky when it comes to hiring!

Second, we’re accelerating the development of our partner program. We’ve reached out to about 50 certified Google Apps partners, and we’re in the process of selecting the best ones to work with. If Jacques-Alexandre and I manage to spend enough time together in the next 36 hours, we should have the program ready by next week. So, if you’re a Google Apps partner and we did not get in touch with you already, make sure to drop us a note.