How Fractional CTO Services can help your startup get off the ground

Fractional CTO Services

According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there were a total of 582 million people running their own business or setting it up, in 2016 alone. This number is rising at an exponential rate. People from all over the world are looking for business opportunities to benefit from. However, the process of setting up a business is not free from hurdles. A significant portion of these companies is technology startups.

As the marketplace is getting saturated with a large number of startups happening, at the same time – there is also a considerable number of startups which never saw the day of light. Many future entrepreneurs come up with new and brilliant ideas but back off due to fear of the unknown or the potential hardships they are likely to face in building and growing a startup. A lot of these untouched ideas are related to technical fields because entrepreneurs (especially the non-technical entrepreneurs) do know where to start when it comes to building the technology.

TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE ISN’T ESSENTIAL

Contrary to popular belief, one doesn’t necessarily need the technical knowledge to implement his/her idea. For instance, Henry Ford was not a particularly accomplished engineer – but he is the father of automobile. Steve Jobs built some of the most successful devices on the planet – but he was neither a software or hardware engineer.
So that provides that all you need is a burning desire to succeed and your ability to surround yourself with competent advisors with proven track records. You lose 100% of the shots you DO NOT take. It is better to act upon your idea, understand the industry and hire the individuals having the necessary skill set to complete the task rather than putting off the idea completely.

Say you have an idea that has the potential to improve the lives of people around the world or fix massive problems that your organization, city or country may be facing. However, it involves building technology, assembling a team of engineers, writing code and deploying servers. For a non-techie person – these could be daunting tasks. And you give up on the idea rather than face these challenges. In this scenario who suffered the most significant loss? You who did not get to realize their dreams? Or the future users of your technology which will not be able to help them?
Won’t it be a much better proposition to look for expert advise and bring your dream project to life?

Read: CTO AS A SERVICE

TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE ISN’T ESSENTIAL

Outsourcing is key

There are two main options while using technical skills of other people. Either you can outsource it or hire in-house technical staff. As is typical for startups, most companies have a tight budget and cannot afford to hire highly qualified people for the long term. Thus, the obvious solution, in this case, is outsourcing. Smart entrepreneurs utilize the globalization phenomenon to their advantage and get a massive edge in terms of cost savings by hiring experienced and qualified staff overseas. Moreover, if your team is in different timezone – you can also get an advantage of around the clock progress.

Outsourcing any work (especially technical work) should not be taken lightly though. Everyone knows about the benefits it provides – but most people miss the mark when it comes to operationalizing a remote team. The key to a successful outsourced operation is effective communication.

So you should do your homework when it comes to working with an outsourcing vendor and then setup a process of constantly communicating with them. A short daily meeting is highly recommended. It is also recommended that you have at least person on-shore who could guide you through the ins and outs fo outsourcing world. This person can also help you manage the remote teams effectively.

Different organizations and freelancers are offering their services at varied hourly rates. You should be careful and make cost as sole criteria for your selection. As in most cases, the most affordable option often proves to be the most expensive one in the long run. It is because the cheap rates usually come with low standard work and long work time. So you not only pay more due to more work hours but also for low productivity. Thus, it is vital to optimize the outsourcing process.

At TetraNoodle Technologies we provide fractional CTO services. We have helped many ideas come to life at fraction of the cost because of our experience and expertise in building highly productive and experienced outsource teams all over the world.

Outsourcing is key

PROFESSIONAL HELP IS HANDY

There are a whole lot of communities of like-minded entrepreneurial people (both offline and online) who come together to share their ideas, experiences and wisdom with others. These communities are definitely a big help in the hard growth stage of startups. Some of these communities arrange seminars, workshops and provide other advisory services. Sometimes you can get guidance and mentorship from expert entrepreneurs guiding the new upcoming entrepreneurs by sharing their success stories and the tips that helped them in making their dreams come true.

These communities also promote intercommunication between local entrepreneurs. This allows entrepreneurs to form connections and partnerships that they require to be successful in the field. Moreover, seminars and workshops are also a good place to find technical advisors for the hard step of startup of business.

These communities are important and indispensable – but to be truly efficient and navigate the treacherous path of tech entrepreneurship – getting help from personal advisors fares much better. These advisors take the time to know you, understand your business and recommend tailored solutions which are suitable to your business, budget, and timelines. This greatly reduces the risks involved and time taken in getting your business off the ground. They possess the practical knowledge and experience in building, deploying and maintaining complex technology that is needed to run a successful startup and grow it into a booming company. They also have all the connections to build highly productive teams very quickly and at affordable rates.

Our fractional CTO services help entrepreneurs validate their ideas quickly, bring them to life and put it in the hands of the customers in no time.

WAY TO MAKE YOUR PRODUCT LONG LASTING

Startups are incredibly hard. However, this next step cannot be ignored at any cost. We talked about the startups which never happened – but you will be amazed to know there are yet another group of startups which actually came to life. They were successful in bringing a product or service to market – something that their customers wanted to pay for. But rather than ride the wave of opportunity – they failed to maintain their presence. Their products or services were unable to pass the test of time. In most cases – it is attributed to poor technology choices. This is a direct result of hiring inexperienced teams who do not understand how to build technology which lasts.

To make sure that your company doesn’t follow the same suit – you must pay particular attention to two factors – customer feedback and innovation. These TWO factors will make sure you sure stay on the right side of the growth path. Your customers will tell you exactly what they need to solve their problems. And if you can bring innovative solutions to their problems to the market – it is tough to lose in business. These innovations and positive changes are necessary to prevent the death of service or product in the eye of the general public.

Obviously, here as well you need expert help to interpret customer feedback and translate into tactical actions which the company should take to address the feedback. Innovation requires visionary abilities – but it also needs to be grounded in experience.

No one has the luxury of unlimited time and resources. So you always need to make trade-offs between various projects you can undertake and how you execute those projects. If you make the wrong compromise like cut corners on building a strong technology foundation in order to save money for a new logo – it can come back to haunt you later. Building a strong foundation is essential in the early stage of the product lifecycle. Because if your product is successful and people want it – guess what – you will not get a chance to rip out the old shaky foundation and put in a new one while your customers are using the product or service.

So there is no substitute for expert advice – which is backed by experience and an unbeaten track record of products built and money saved. Globalization has greatly improved the chances of anyone launching a successful business. You no longer need to have the technical skills or higher insanely expensive teams to implement an idea. If you have the right advisor at your side – you can do much faster and cheaper than you think. However, pick your advisors carefully – thoroughly check their backgrounds and references before giving them your time and money.

Teaching computers how to see like humans with Convolution Neural Networks

convolution neural networks

Digital Image Processing:

Google’s vast index had more than a trillion images some years ago. This number can’t possibly go down owing to the ever-increasing use of internet and use of pictures in conveying the message. But that was just the amount of images indexed by Google, there is also a significant portion of images found on the internet that aren’t indexed. Similar is the case with videos, with over 1 billion videos on YouTube alone it is a massive amount of data in the form of videos.

Videos and images are not only found on the internet. There are security cameras capturing videos of their area of effect at all times. Pictures and videos are being shot for personal and business use. They also make up for a hefty amount of data.

This vast amount of data is way beyond the scope of usual human intervention. This information needs to be processed through automation. Automation, machine learning, computer vision are some techniques using which we can actually have a chance to decipher this data and make sense of it. Digital image processing is the solution for this issue. It involves the use of computational methods for differentiating between the images and videos.

Digital image processing makes this data of images and videos much more viable for analysis purposes. A widespread use of image processing is employed by law enforcement agencies. They compare the facial features of the culprit with the databases of their own and the video inputs coming from around the country with the help of image processing. Additionally, the fingerprint software used by the police and other agencies also employ the use of image processing in its working.

Neural Networks:

Computers or machines do not have same concepts about vision and interpreting images and videos like humans and animals do. Our mind features an insight learning which allows us to make sense of the visual sensory input in a much faster and accurate manner than a computer. We can infer whether the given object is a cat, a dog or a chair irrespective of the color and type. The machine takes time to produce this result as it first makes a digital interpretation of the image and compares it with the images and objects placed in its database.

A new advanced field of machine learning has given rise to the technique of neural networks, which is a machine learning method, is used in processing the image. This method lends true learning capabilities to the machine which brings it closer to the working of the human brain. Human brain receives information from sensory organs, analyzes it and generates a response. Similarly, in the neural networks, there is an input node, a hidden node, and an output node. Information is received on the input node, the hidden node analyzes it, adds value to it and sends it to an output node which produces the action suggested.

Read: CLOUD COMPUTING: BUSINESSES ARE EMBRACING THE CLOUD

Convolution Neural Networks:

Convolution neural networks is a modified version of the neural network. The convolution neural network gathers as many inputs as possible which means we should be able to capture most if not all the pixels in an image and process for further analysis. Makes sense, right?

Well not really. Believe it or not even with the large computers and multiple core CPUs and GPUs we have at our disposal these days – this is not practically possible because of constraints of time and processing power.

Convolution neural network decreases the sample size used in the analysis. An image usually contains hundreds of thousands or even millions of pixels. With the current computing capacity we have at our disposal – it is not viable to analyze each and every pixel. It is also a fact that pixels which are close to each other are very similar to each other though vary as the distance increases. So the sample size is decreased by making groups of pixels. One pixel, a representative, is selected from each group and put up with other such pixels. These pixels are then analyzed with ease as they are small in number and can be efficiently computed.

Image:

kdnuggets.com

Source: kdnuggets.com

Steps:

  1. The image is divided into smaller parts in the form of tiles.
  2. These are sent to a neural network which converts them from a network of tiles to arrays.
  3. The arrays represent the area of picture numerically. They are also assigned three axes of color, height, and width of the channel which are the three dimensions. A fourth dimension of time is also assigned if the input is, in fact, a video.
  4. The multidimensional arrays are then exposed to a downsampling function which removes the unnecessary and redundant information from these set of arrays so that only the required amount is analyzed.
  5. This data is then forwarded to the conventional neural network.
  6. The computations are done pretty quickly, and the desired output is generated in the form of labels.

The first three steps are also termed as convolution. And from that name of this neural network comes from. There are many convolution and down sampling layers in a real system. They all are working at the same time to reduce the sample to a manageable size.

Why is it better?

Convolution neural network is better than the conventional image processing method due to variety of reasons. Conventional image processing methods include: Conversion to greyscale of images and then comparing the pixels, comparing the pixels one by one, Scale-Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT), Binary Robust Independent Elementary Features (BRIEF) and Speeded-Up Robust Features (SURF) etc. These processing methods are either totally dying out or are inefficient when compared to convolution neural networks. Convolution neural network is much more efficient as it uses less time and fewer resources. Additionally, SIFT and SURF are somewhat comparable to convolution neural network, but SIFT and SURF offer face problems of inaccuracies. SIFT and SURF use Gaussian differences and differences of scales for detecting the object and often compromise on the data for simplifying the computations which essential for identification of an object. On the other hand, convolution neural networks though employ simplification of the image, but they make sure that no important detail is lost in the process.

Convolution neural systems are now being used around the world. Neural systems are inspired by and are derived from the human brain. When used for image processing, it sorts of gives the computer a human-like vision. It is due to this reason that almost all the face detectors software is using convolution neural networks for accuracy. It also uses so few resources that even your smartphones are using this for face detection.

This technology is relatively new and yet it has endless advantages over the traditional imaging recognition. It is already being used for law enforcement, security, health, and much more. Only time will tell how more can we benefit from it.

Encouraging Women Is My Mission

manuj-aggarwal-is-encouraging-women

A well-known technology leader and entrepreneur, Manuj Aggarwal, has made it his mission to empower woman in the technology sector. Through his site TetraNoodle.com he has taught over 40,000 students in only a few years. Due to his experience, Manuj noticed that the gender discrimination wasn’t just media talk, so he decided to do something about it:

“I met my wife through computers and if it weren’t for her, I’d be working in an office for someone else right now. On my TetraNoodle.com page I have dedicated a 15 % discount for pupils of this respected gender. This is the first step of many that my company and I are taking towards a decrease of the gender discrimination situation.”

Mr. Aggarwal sees this as a natural thing to do and does not think about it twice. He came from a small town in India and moved to Canada in his college years. He fell in love with computers and left business school for them. Alongside with the educational website, he is the founder of a consulting firm that goes by the name of TetraTutorials.com. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and contributes with free teaching in third world countries. His opinion of the matter is, that wherever you come from or however you start you can build a life that you enjoy, and he is helping others make exactly that happen.

Original Post: https://techgeek365.com/encouraging-women-mission

CTO as a Service

CTO services

The software industry inherently goes through numerous changes. The newest trend in the market is the use of short-term Chief Technology Officer to meet the dynamic demands of a company. This may seem odd while considering the contemporary requirements of organizations, however, in the modern business era, it is all about cutting costs.

A consulting CTO that works temporarily for your company will not only provide you with all the necessary technical guidance (both strategic and tactical) but will also be available on short moment’s notice.

The trend of a freelancer CTO is not that common as of now, but if you find one, then they have to be highly valued due to their dynamic market experience. These people offer the best services without the burden of a long-term contract. The people who offer their services as a consulting CTO are generally serial entrepreneurs and have been the CTO for a few startups.

Why are CTOs Required?

A non-technical founder or a savvy businessperson may not always be aware of the latest technological innovations that may make their businesses more efficient. Therefore, in order to make the most out of business, a CEO can always hire a CTO who is an experienced technology leader, executioner and is up to date with the latest technological innovations.

The responsibilities of a CTO are to deal with projects with a technological perspective and making sure that the project can be completed with the tool available to the company. The CTO also guides the leadership on how to the improve the existing infrastructure of the organization to meet the latest demands. CTO deals with all IT, software, and engineering team-related matters. A CTO is of absolute necessity for the modern tech startup; otherwise, the startup is in danger of going astray when it comes to technical solutions.

Read: HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR IT CAREER IN 4 SIMPLE STEPS

CTO services

Consulting CTO Services

A consultant is usually a person that is hired on a short-term basis to help out a company with a specific project. The concept of a consulting CTO is very similar and startups and small-scale businesses that require technical expertise and guidance can hire CTOs on a consulting basis to help them out on their projects.

The following are some other situations where the use of a consulting CTO may be beneficial for technology executives or investors:

  • When time is short, and a permanent technology advisor is unavailable, then a consulting CTO is the best choice to guide the project to success.
  • Tech executives can hire consulting CTOs to help them out in a project if it needs to be completed
  • Investors can also use the services of a consulting CTO to learn more about the technology that is being used in their interested company.

The Right Time to Use Consulting CTO Services

In startups and small-scale businesses where funding is scarce, and projects need to be completed within strict deadlines, a consulting CTO may be the difference between failure and success. Startups usually need to save their funds before launching their companies and a consulting CTO will help by avoiding a permanent technology partner that would be more expensive.

  • Avoid wasting time and hire a consulting CTO immediately before finding the right permanent partner.
  • A consulting CTO will raise awareness regarding all the technology constraints and issues that need to be dealt with when the company brings in a permanent CTO.

Startups can preserve their capital by hiring a contract CTO.

CTO services

Why a Consulting CTO?

Why hire a consulting CTO instead of a permanent one? The following are some of the reasons that answer this question.

  • A consulting CTO can be used to complete the business plan and will help in estimating the costs of developing and deploying technological tools necessary for the thriving of the company.
  • For startups, the CTO can provide the guidance needed to complete a preliminary mock-up that can be presented to potential investors and buyers.
  • A consulting CTO is an expert on the latest technologies available in the market and to a non-technical founder or businessperson, they can help in choosing the right hardware and software that will help the company in its path to success.
  • A consulting CTO may help the startup in finding the perfect permanent CTO for the new company. The temporary one may guide them and explain their requirements so that the right match for the company can be selected.
  • A consulting CTO is mostly an industry person who is aware of the best practices when it comes to software development. He would guide and set a standard for your development projects that can be followed in the future.

Finding a Consulting CTO

The concept is still unheard of, but outsourced CTO services are gaining momentum, and if you need to find a freelance CTO then one can easily be found on the internet by searching for CTO consulting services. For startups and small-scale business that cannot afford the overhead that is usually associated with a permanent CTO, consulting CTO services may be the right option, if not the best. In this technological world, no company can thrive without the right kind of online presence. Therefore, a CTO is mostly a necessity if not a requirement for companies.