Challenges in Scaling & Globalization of a Web Application - The Slideshare Experience


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These are the slides for a talk I gave at Conquest2007, an entrepreneurship focused event that has held at BITS Pilani (in Rajasthan) , one of India's top engineering colleges. The event was held on 7th April, 2007. The audience consisted mostly of engineering students, their faculty and a few participants from industry, venture capital firms etc

It was organised by CELBITS, the student body at BITS Pilani

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  • Challenges in Scaling & Globalization of a Web Application - The Slideshare Experience

    1. 1. Challenges in Scalability & Globalization of a Web Application Lessons learnt in creating SlideShare
    2. 2. Who am I? <ul><li>Co-founder & COO, SlideShare </li></ul><ul><li>Author of Webyantra, Indian Web 2.0 blog </li></ul><ul><li>Active on the Indian tech startup circuit - BarCamps, </li></ul><ul><li>Techie turned marketer turned entrepreneur </li></ul>
    3. 3. SlideShare <ul><li>Social sharing of presentations & slideshows </li></ul><ul><li>‘ YouTube of PowerPoint ’ - TechCrunch </li></ul><ul><li>Launched Oct 06, growing very fast </li></ul><ul><li>Run by a 12 member Delhi based team </li></ul><ul><li>Aim: Global scale social sharing webapp </li></ul>
    4. 4. SlideShare…global footprint <ul><li>Global user base </li></ul><ul><li>Content in >60 languages </li></ul><ul><li>Used by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>bloggers, consultants, teachers, students, professionals, jokers & pranksters, gardeners, preachers, investors, artists, photographers, conference organizers, advertisers, speakers et al </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. SlideShare Lessons in Scalability & Globalisation Experience sharing, observations, unanswered questions
    6. 6. What kind of challenges ? <ul><li>Creating a Global Product </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multicultural, multilingual usage patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Operational challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>office setup, servers, 365X24X7, hiring </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technological challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>enablers, bottlenecks & obsolescence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Business challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>revenue, growth, market share, funding </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Creating a Global Product
    8. 8. Is your product truly global?
    9. 9. “ Only contestants from USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and India can enter their presentations (sorry, this is due to contest law issues!).&quot; When I saw this I was very sad. Such discrimination! I am from Nigeria. Why was I born...? Contd from prev slide…. FeedBack email
    10. 10. Global norms for content acceptability
    11. 11. Tagged : swimsuite, porn, soft-porn, sexy, awesome, beautiful “…… .soft-porn? where is porn in this? i dont see any?........” Contd from prev slide….
    12. 12. Defining the target user ?
    13. 13. Languages : English (42%), Spanish (37%), Portuguese (5%), French (3%) “… .demographics & psychographics vary across continents…” Contd from prev slide….
    14. 14. Language barriers separate your users from you
    15. 15. “ Hola me gustaria saber como puedo hacer para entrar ala pagina ya que es en ingles y no entiendo nada, me gustaría que me ayuden. GRACIAS!!” “ Hello Amit. It pardons my way to write, I do not speak English (single Castilian) and use the translator of Google for writer…….” Contd from prev slide…. FeedBack emails
    16. 16. Operational Challenges
    17. 17. Internet traffic does not respect your body clock
    18. 18. Hey, (… has contacted us. Below is the message/bug: The problems continue. I solved the username puzzle but now you refuse to send an acknowledgement email this my FOURTH request. My professor is now deducting points and thinks I am a slacker. …… [email_address] Contd from prev slide…. FeedBack email
    19. 19. Keeping team engaged
    20. 20. <ul><li>Initial product development is always fun! </li></ul><ul><li>Indian “services” mentality is a bottleneck </li></ul><ul><li>Products are never completed…they continuously evolve </li></ul>Contd from prev slide….
    21. 21. Technological Challenges
    22. 22. Risk increases with growth
    23. 23. <ul><li>Incremental features add exponential complexity </li></ul><ul><li>More time spent testing, less time spent building new functionality </li></ul><ul><li>System inter-dependencies increase and cause unanticipated problems </li></ul>Contd from prev slide….
    24. 24. Nokia v/s Canon Telecom v/s Skype Disruptive Technologies & Technological Obsolescence
    25. 25. Business Challenges
    26. 26. smaller, faster competitors
    27. 27. David v/s Goliath
    28. 28. Raising money can take time and attention away from product development
    29. 29. Growth V/s Monetization <ul><li>Money opportunities start small </li></ul><ul><li>Growth opens up bigger opportunities later </li></ul><ul><li>What adds more value now: money or traffic/mindshare ? </li></ul><ul><li>You might not have a choice! </li></ul>Contd from prev slide….
    30. 30. Questions? Slides available on