Pivots and lessons: how a 25-year-old tech company continues to grow

alligatortek is software that addresses business bottlenecks. Founder and CEO Sid Bala took his 90s enterprise-application company and updated it, getting it named as one of the top 50 Employers for Gen Y Emerging Talent in 2013. Bala reflects on the origins of his company and the many lessons and successes along the way. aligatortek is a 2-time Chi Innovation Award winner. And remember, alligators put “byte” into your productivity.

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Will Spectacles v2 See A Better Future?

OK! First, let me preface this by admitting that I literally do not understand how (or why) to use SnapChat… or Insta for that matter… But, I’m told by the powers that be that I really should expand my Facebook horizons!

In short (I’ll spare those of you that only skim headlines and nut grafs 🙄), if you’re one of the 220,000 Snappers that already own Spectacles v1, save your money – unless you’re a heavy user!

As is well reviewed by TechCrunch here: the price went up $20, and in return you get a slightly better pair of frames, HD, improved battery, water resistance, improved pairing/upload time and a less pain-in-the-ass, clumsy ops experience. But, wait there’s more…

Spectacles v2 is a nifty attempt by SnapChat to regain its “cool” factor, while also attracting people like me (that have zero interest in filtered funny faces) to the platform. And, because I think the ability to record quality video (and photos) with your people acting a fool is pretty awesome – especially when you remove the pairing/upload pains-in-my-ass barrier – it just might work!

I’m going to give these puppies a whirl, and I’ll tell you why!

  1. I’m a believer in the value of unique content – and while produced videos and filters can be fun and unique – nothing, NOTHING… tops catching hilarity live in color!
  2. The convenience of tapping the frame to capture a fun photo, firing out a short clip burying a 💰 putt, or capturing something regrettable while not looking like a complete tool is appealing enough to shell out the equivalent of a fancy dinner.
  3. They’re not Ellison’s, but they’re not UNATTRACTIVE shades – meaning, I would be willing to be made fun of for wearing them!
  4. The capabilities are enough of a differentiator for me to actually give SnapChat a legitimate try

As for my feelings on SnapChat’s strategy; I disagree with the above referenced TechCrunch article. At first glance, writing off 100,000 units and $40,000,000 is almost as mind-blowing as doubling down on virtually the same product. But, if you step back for a second and look at the value of being the only substantial player in a multibillion dollar vertical (Apple Watch, anyone?), there’s some serious value in learning how to effectively deliever what users want and need before new entrants come calling (or poaching…Facebook/Insta).

The real question is whether that value is worth the $100,000,000 investment…

Additionally, attracting an entirely new user base (me) to your platform by building tools that allow me to experience your vision in a new way is smart!

I don’t care about pictures of people that added a fairy dust filter, but I do enjoy seeing my friends fall out of a golf cart!

Speaking of Facebook, can you see their Oculus VR tech adding the dimensional experience that truly makes head wearables the real deal? We’ll see. Regardless, to find out a Spectacles v2-like wearable must come first… so, there you go!

And, as a Snap investor, I’m probably not overly thrilled about Spectacles 2.0 given how poorly the marketing, sales strategy and product launch went the first go around; but given my losses and where Snap is sitting compared to Insta Insta… I’m game to see if Evan and friends can make a better go of it this time!

Whatever, if it fails again maybe they can just sell the IP to Ello 🤣

Worried about doggy itches and allergies? Give them more GOO!

Stephen Hauer has created a tasty new GOO for your dog that re-calibrates their immune systems, letting them live happier, healthier lives. Doggy Goo is a goo-licious treat that you feed to your dog daily. With Spring starting to bloom, GOO has come out to play. Prevention trumps treatment, everytime. GoCivic Chicago’s Beth Bond joins the show to discuss the upcoming Midwest Women in Tech conference.

 

Use TECHNORI GOO to get $15 off on ALL Doggy GOO purchases, good thru June 8, 2018.

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Make tech a teacher’s pet in the classroom

Otus COO Keith Westman is giving you more insight into the classroom. Host Scott Kitun is joined by GoCivic Chicago’s Beth Bond to talk about what’s new in tech overseas in London and Stuttgart. The goal of Otus is to utilize tech to create a holistic approach to teacher-student relationships without replacing humans with bots.

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Appreciate your meat with the fellas from Chomps

Chomps is the better for you meat snack. Gas station meats have historically left consumers wanting for better, healthier options. CEO Peter Maldonado and COO Rashid Ali join the show. Host Scott Kitun is happy to have the opportunity to discuss jerky. How do you build a meats startup? The team then gets into a lively discussion about the importance of timeliness.

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Office gym memberships. The secret to healthier employee engagement?

Gympass is gonna get your office ready for beach season. The program allows offices to sign up together for a gym membership. US General Manager Sean Flynn and Midwest General Manager Fabio Salim join the show. The duo will let you know why this system is a win-win-win for businesses, employees and gyms. Pleasure beats pressure.

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What’s an influencer and how do you become one?

Matt Kamp is Senior Vice President of Influence & Co. The old adage goes “talent isn’t everything.” That’s because so many talented people have a hard time getting published. That’s where Kamp steps in to share some of the insights offered by his company.

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Let neighbors give you the inside scoop during your apartment hunt

Rentgrata is letting you live welcome. Co-founders Zach Sloan and Sam McArtor built a platform that combines apartment searching with social networking. The differentiator for this startup is that it allows you to talk with building tenants to learn about life on that block.

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Outsource all your chores

CEO Jake Obremski and CTO Neil Glazier are helping you get your chores done with the Dablr app. The duo started Dablr as high school juniors and are helping you either find extra help or extra dough. The services offered on the marketplace go anywhere from moving boxes to cleaning floors. Also, get an inside look on what it takes to build an app.

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Put these powerful women on your Chicago tech radar!

The Founder of Women Tech Founders Terri Brax joins the show to discuss the upcoming Midwest Women in Tech (MWiT) Conference. GoCivic’s Beth Bond co-hosts with Scott Kitun to run through the rolodex of star female leaders that will be at the event.

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