The whole STOIC team will be in Paris, France, from November 12 to November 16. Also, I will be in New York on November 8 and in the afternoon on November 16. If you would like to meet us, drop us a line. We should have a pretty amazing demo by then…
Our entire team will gather in France in November for our yearly executive offsite. We will take advantage of this trip to hold Friends of Sutoiku Open Tab events in a few cities. If yours is missing and you’d like meet us, let us know. For the time being, here are the ones we’ve picked:
We hope to see you then!
Today, Ken and I visited four possible locations for our upcoming office space in Shanghai. After a few discussions, we narrowed down our options to the BEA Finance Tower managed by Regus and the Citigroup Tower managed by Servcorp.
Both are within walking distance of our hotel and provide excellent amenities. Regus has a larger base of offices around the world, but we were very impressed by Servcorp’s IT services. Prices are comparable, even though we must be careful about variable components.
We will visit a few more spaces in the next couple of days and make a final selection by the end of the week. We will initially start with a virtual office in order to get our Chinese subsidiary incorporated as soon as possible, then move into the actual office sometime in September.
I can access the Sutoiku.com blog from my hotel room in Shanghai, which means that it is not blocked by the Chinese firewall. Nice! So, as a reminder, our Friends of Sutoiku Open Tab event will take place tomorrow (Friday). Check this previous post for more details.
Flying from Singapore to Shanghai turned out to be quite a bit of a challenge today. Because of a typhoon in China, my 10am flight was canceled and I got a seat on a 9pm flight instead. As a result, I spent 13 hours waiting at the airport, and I did a late check-in at my hotel (Park Hyatt Shanghai) a bit after 4am, following a six hours flight. Not exactly my definition of fun.
Nevertheless, when I showed up at the hotel, they had already setup my usual room (8101), with a desk chair on loan from the front office manager. These simple things really made my day. Many thanks to the hotel staff for their outstanding service. When we setup our professional services organization, I really hope that we can match their standards.
Our first FSOT event in Singapore was a blast. Turnout was larger than expected, and I even met someone that I had not seen for fifteen years. The locally-brewed beer was refreshingly cold, the weather not too hot, and the discussions very lively.
The feedback we got regarding our plans was very consistent with what we had heard in Tokyo. We also spent some time discussing the way we deal with workflow in the context of objects, which seemed to be very well received.
Prior to the gathering, we had met with two investment managers from Infocomm Investments. They clearly liked our story and immediately offered their help, quickly following up with a couple of resumes for potential additions to our local team. We should meet them again in the Bay Area in September.
Our next trip to Singapore is planned for October. We hope to see you all again next time!
Our first FSOT event in Tokyo turned out really well. Initially, we were a bit afraid that the informal format would not work in Japan, but we were dead wrong. Many more people showed up than we were expecting, and several brought friends along, which came as a bit of a surprise. As a result, we met potential collaborators, investors, and partners, in a very casual setting. Around 7pm, a live jazz band started to play, and we had to extend the event by a couple of extra hours in order to continue the discussions that were going on.
The feedback we received is really encouraging. Of particular interest is the idea that making our product available through multiple marketplaces will be highly valuable to our ISV partners. We also confirmed our intuition that we should initially focus on the ISV market (vertical software vendors building their applications on top of our platform), and we validated the recent changes that we made to our proposed pricing model (percentage of revenue with a lower minimum).
A few people could not make it and several companies want to organize follow-up meetings as soon as possible. As a result, we might be back in Tokyo as early as September. We’re also planning a few meetings with the Silicon Valley venture arms of a couple of trading companies who expressed interest in investing in our company.
Because the event lasted a lot longer than I had originally planned for, I had to skip a dinner with some friends. Later in the night, I went to dinner with a potential partner who might help us port our application to an alternative platform, complementing the delivery capabilities of our Chinese team. We also discussed some really cool ideas about task and event management, especially with respect to the creation of tasks and events from any note-taking application on a mobile device. More on this soon…
Overall, this first FSOT event outside of Palo Alto was a resounding success. Onto the next one…
Better late than never. Our Friends of Sutoiku Open Tab (FSOT) event in Tokyo will take place at the New York Bar, on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, on Friday, August 3rd (tomorrow), from 5pm to 8pm. And feel free to join us even if we met earlier this week.
If you fancy yourself as a friend of Sutoiku and happen to be in Singapore on Tuesday August 7th, please join us at Brewerkz Riverside Point from 5pm to 9pm. Beer and appetizers will be on us, and we’ll have a few screenshots of our most recent developments. We might even have a video of our new provisioning system, courtesy of Jacques-Alexandre and his posse.
This week, we’re having a few informal meetings in Japan with old friends and acquaintances. With nothing more than a few hand-drawn architecture diagrams and a couple of screenshots, we’re trying to explain what we’re working on, focusing on our product design philosophy and our long-term vision.
So far, the feedback we’re receiving is extremely positive. Here is what people like the most:
- The simplicity of our end-to-end provisioning
- The way we integrate with existing office applications
- The ability to deploy the platform in a private cloud environment
- The flexibility of our architecture for integrating with legacy applications
- The versatility of our user interface (multi-device, offline mode, REST API)
People are also very excited about our upcoming Kickstarter campaign, and we have yet to meet anyone who does not want to fund our project. While we will need to localize our product for the Japanese market, the English version will be sufficient for early adopters.
Overall, Japan looks like a very promising market for us, which could not make me any happier.
I am back in Japan for a few days, meeting with old friends and recharging my batteries, following an 18-month stretch of out-of-balance product development work. I visited Japan for the first time 21 years ago, and have been in love with the country ever since. A lot of my inspiration comes from the work of Japanese artists:
I can’t wait to see which ideas this latest trip will bring…
We will hold our very first Friends of Sutoiku Open Tab event in Shanghai on Friday, August 10 from 7pm to 9pm at the 100 Century Avenue Restaurant, on the 91st floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel. If you want to learn more about what we’re up to, apply for a job, or just have a drink with us, feel free to join us. Appetizers will be served and spouses are welcome.