Who Are The Techies Episode 2

Gather around good folks because we’re back with another episode of Who Are The Techies! This week we have with us Patricia, Michelle and Aimen!

Patricia Wong

Here’s Patricia!

Patricia is our—wait for it—Junior Front End Web Developer extraordinaire! What a mouth full. Patricia was discovered in one of those cool movie methods.  She was discovered at her graduate showcase. Soon Seng attended her showcase but they did not exactly meet there. Instead, Soon Seng personally contacted her and they video chatted and she ended up taking the job offer to work here. Fun fact: This is her first job! She likes how everyone in The Techy Hub is friendly and how we all go out for lunch together—we really do!

She describes herself to be quiet and shy but she’s our go-to person when looking for recommendations for the latest k-dramas to watch! When she’s not busy catching up on her k-dramas, she likes to sleep. Don’t we all, really? If she could have any superpowers, she’d want to be able to teleport because you could go anywhere you wanted to (and also because of the amazing airfares).

Her goal is so simple yet understandable. And that is to be able to retire young and to enjoy her life travelling, eating and maybe catching up on the never-ending list of Korean dramas!

Michelle Ng

This cheery, always-smiling and joyful girl is Michelle.

Amongst other words that describe her are serene, positive, and cheerful. She was recruited by Soon Seng as the Junior Art Director Michelle during her final year of university. Michelle, once an intern, has become one of the first Techies here. Just like our Art Director, Kah Yan, Michelle’s most memorable experience here was preparing for the Inkredible sales day. She said it was because she had the chance to try out new things and learned a lot. We are glad that she enjoyed going out of her comfort zone to prepare for something very different.

Michelle likes going on adventures to different places and exploring the world one place at a time. It’s no wonder her favourite movie is Jumanji! The one thing that she dreams of doing is to one day get the chance to travel around Europe. To learn about the culture and to experience life in a different place. Adventure!

Her goals? To learn beyond what she already knows and her dream is to someday start her own fashion brand. Michelle, don’t forget us when you’re famous!

Aimen Sasi

Aimen here is our Back End Developer from Libya. He first came to Malaysia five years ago when he decided to tag along with his father who was coming here for work. Needless to say, Aimen really liked it here so he decided to stay. He has a big heart for Malaysia and has an even bigger heart for programming (spoiler alert—he’s really good at it).

He was introduced to Soon Seng by a friend he had met at boot camp and that’s how he started working at The Techy Hub. He chose to work here because it gave him the opportunity to gain experience at coding, expose himself to real life application and improve his problem-solving skills. His most memorable experience was working with his first company called MoneyMatch, he’s proud to be one of the pioneers for what it is now.

The three words he’d use to describe himself are shy, fast-learner, and problem-solver. If there is any one language that he learns really fast, it would be the coding and programming language. While he’s not coding the next greatest app, he’s at home catching up the latest tv series. Aimen’s goal in the future is to be part of something big. Something that can help change the world. What a stand up guy!

Our Pitch Perfect Experience

The Task

Us interns are wet behind the ears but we were tasked with pitching a marketing strategy as well as a potential client to approach. You can imagine the amount of pressure and nerves we felt while preparing for this. We felt like our lives were on the line—okay, maybe that’s a little too dramatic, but you get what we mean.

With what little knowledge we had, we dived right into the task and did our research. Our boss made it very clear that this pitch would be the real deal and we had to do it as if speaking to a client, it would be a way for us to gain experience and learn. Not gonna lie, we did end up leaving most of the work undone till d-day, but that was mostly because we had other tasks to do.

Besides this, the fact that we were so inexperienced only caused us to be even more nervous and unconfident in what we were pitching. Everyone knows you can’t sell anything if you have no confidence! So needless to say, it ended up an utter failure. However, Soon Seng gave us a lot of feedback and constructive criticism.

So firstly, our slides were horrendous; some of the pictures were pixelated and of poor taste.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Secondly, there was no real structure to our slides, therefore, our presenting was all over the place. Our points also weren’t clear so it wasn’t easily understood.

The biggest problem, however, was our confidence. At the end of our presentation when Soon Seng asked us how confident we were in our ability to get the client we suggested, we admitted our chances were really low. Soon Seng really emphasised on how much we needed to work on our confidence.

With all that in mind, we headed back to the drawing board. Three days and three nights we spent on our new and improved pitchjust kidding, we only had two days to work on everything. This time, we didn’t wait until last minute and started with redoing our slides as well as making sure that our points were more clear and concise.

Two days later, it was showtime. This time, we had an actual structure to our presentation and made sure to show that with our slides. We had more information as well. The confidence part, well, that still wasn’t really there but it was definitely better than the first time around. To us, it was a big relief to hear that we improved.

The Take-Away

Chris

My head felt like there were needles poking into it. Every breath I took burned my lungs. My heart pounded like would at a rock concert. The hope of surviving the day was lost. It felt like I had lost everything.

Everything I said above is an exaggerated expression of how failure felt like. My background is in marketing and public relations. You would think that research and pitching would be normal and easy for me. You are wrong (at least in my case). The whole experience of “pitching to a client” could not have felt any worse.

However, if there is one thing that was great about failing is that there was an opportunity to learn.

One of my key takeaway points from the experience is to do research on the important things. Every bit of information on your potential client’s business activity or websites is important. Focusing solely on SEO made it difficult to do research on the company (limited my own thinking). Learning about how Google and the potential client’s website affects SEO among other factors helped us understand our task better. It also helped me build confidence in pitching knowing what I am actually talking about.

Another key point that I took away from the experience is to be specific. When presenting data to a client or any person in general, you need to be very specific. It is very important to highlight the key points in images or statistics. It is important to direct the listener to what you are talking about and to present things that they want to know. It helps them understand your point and prevents frustration from searching through your slides.

Finally, the whole experience has really made me realize how important experience really is. From failure comes success. Our atrocious first presentation helped us come back strong. We do, we learn then we improve. There is definitely a sense of dread that comes from failing, but only through persevering through the tough times can we build character.

Ranko

As opposed to my partner, I come from a mass communication background and have significantly less experience in the field of marketing. Also, I’m much less dramatic than he is (no she is not).

Sure I’ve done presentations before, it’s something that one often does while in college or university. It’s certainly normal to get nervous before one because your grades are on the line each time you do a presentation. However, being told to pitch as if pitching to an actual client is way more nerve-wracking.

Nevertheless, here are a couple of things I took away from this whole experience.

Confidenceit’s everything when it comes to pitching. You need to be confident in what you’re trying to sell in order to make the client trust you. If you’re confident in your products or services, it’ll make the client think you’re not good enough and you won’t get hired. My confidence when pitching is definitely something I need to work on and I have to not let the nerves get to me.

Be specific—you don’t want to risk confusing others or yourself. Everything has to be clear-cut and concise, slides are just a tool to help you better illustrate a point but they have to be arranged in a way that can be easily stood while still containing a significant amount of information. During our first sorry excuse for a presentation we definitely just dumped all the information we had which resulted in us confusing people. It’s definitely important to structure the entire presentation and have all your points ready.

A learning experience—every experience is chance to learn something. There’s still much we need to work on but what’s important is that we have learned our weaknesses through our failure of a pitch and we managed to improve in the second one. Whether you experience failure or success, what’s important is that you take something away from it.

There’s still much to learn and much to work on but hopefully, we’ll do much better next time.

An Intern Bids Us Farewell

The Techy Hub loves interns, there’s no doubt about it. We even have a dedicated page just to feature our lovely interns! Our goal is to make sure every intern that works here learns something and of course, we can learn a thing or two from them too. We value what they contribute to our company and after being their teachers for a few months, it’s always hard to see them go but all good things must come to an end.

Today we say goodbye to our Back End Development intern Jeremy. Here’s what he had to say about his time here at The Techy Hub.

Although his time here was short, he says he still managed to learn a lot in two months. Jeremy was assigned to work on a mobile application, it was his first time developing a mobile app and he was learning a new computing language at the same time! Just like anyone, Jeremy had a hard time with it at first but soon got the hang of it.

While Jeremy has had experience in programming whilst in university, compared to the short programs he worked on previously, the one he worked on during his internship was on a larger scale. He said he never had to put so much thought into a program before; the small intricate details of a single function were still new to him.

Amongst other things, Jeremy also learned the importance of having a version control of an application; it helps if there’s a problem with the application, it allows him to start again from when it was still running smoothly instead of spending hours debugging it. He also got the chance to collaborate with other developers, he said. They were patient with him when teaching and guiding him which he is very thankful for it.

Before signing off, Jeremy thanks everyone for being so patient and tolerant with him. It was a great experience working here, he says, the company be small but everyone has big hearts and passion for their work.

Well Jeremy, it’s with heavy hearts that we bid you farewell and wish you all the best in the future.

Who Are The Techies Ep. 1

Hello good folks! Ever wondered what kind of people our Techies are? Well, we’re here to satisfy your curiosity with our new mini-series called—drum roll, please—Who Are The Techies! This mini-series will consist of three parts in which we’ve written a little about our Techies; their goals for the future, what they like about working at The Techy Hub, etc.

On this week’s episode of Who Are The Techies, we have Young Wei, Kah Yan, and Kur Win!

Low Young Wei

Young Wei here is our trusty accountant who’s an OG at The Techy Hub and started way back in 2016 with Kyle and Soon Seng. He was in an accounting firm for two years prior to working at The Techy Hub. He said that the environment in the office is nice and likes how everyone is close to each other. He also enjoys the freedom and how there is no need for formalities when speaking to one another; everyone talks to each other in a relaxed manner and we joke around (like a lot).

Young Wei likes dogs but he owns both a cat and dog! And yes, they do get along; we asked. His hobbies include sleeping and playing football. But of course, he never sleeps in the office! Nor does he play football here.

His current favourite movie is The Greatest Showman, he said it’s really good. If he won the lottery he’d invest some of the money and use some to travel. His goals for the future is to start a family.  

Kah Yan Lim 

Kah Yan studied Advertising & Design and decided to join The Techy Hub because the digital industry is new to her and she wanted to try her hand at it. Our Art Director describes herself as cheerful, short, and fun! Her most memorable memory while working here was the Inkredible sales day, she enjoyed helping prepare the office for it.

Something not many people know about her is that she likes to sing and swim. She’s very much an outdoorsy person preferring to be out and about rather than watching videos online like most of us do. She likes dogs and used to own one but couldn’t properly care for it so she chose to, sadly, give it away. *sobs*

Kah Yan is a talented artist and one of her wishes is for more people to see her artwork. You can check out her artwork on her Instagram: kikiyaya_

Lau Kur Win

Here’s our Marketing Man, Kur Win! He decided to join The Techy Hub to gain experience with websites and more types of niches, he said it really helps to know more about a client’s website. What’s his most memorable moment working here you ask? Well, it’s when he was surprised on his birthday! He said there have been many funny moments since we always have a good time in the office. When asked to describe himself in three words he said ‘I don’t know’.

He likes reading non-fiction books in his downtime, he likes to learn from them. His hobbies include reading, of course, and playing football. If he were to win the lottery most of the money would go into investments ‘as any smart person would do’, and the other portion would go into traveling and getting good food. One of his favourite movies is Gladiator, he said it was ‘good’.

His dream? To leave the interview…

Bad Genius: Knowledge for Success

(Warning: This post contains some spoilers for the movie).

Knowledge is defined as the skills and information that is gained through experience or education. There are endless things in the world that we can fill our minds with. We can explore the world and use what we have learned to make daily tasks more interesting or easier. It is essentially one of the greatest tools for success when used right.

We see much of this show by Lynn in the movie, Bad Genius.

Just in case you haven’t watched the movie. Here is a very short summary of the movie:

Lynn is a genius in her studies. She initially gave answers to her friend, Grace, during a test. She then gets roped into a whole scheme of charging students to help them cheat in their exams. It eventually reaches the level of an internationally standardized entry exams called the STIC exams (something like the SATs) where she makes millions.

In other words, Lynn uses her brains to earn money.

Now, while most of us want to become millionaires, we do not encourage or condone the act of cheating to do so. However, we have plucked out some nuggets from the movie which we want to share with you.

1) Knowledge Trumps All

Home of knowledge, the library

The British Library: Second largest library in the world (Picture Credit: The Malaysian Times)

Remember those days of trying to squeeze a semester or a years’ worth of information in a day before exams? I’m sure that most of us have. At some point you probably said “why do I need to learn how to calculate x(2x – 5) = 2x – 1”, and then you realized you needed it to become an engineer, a researcher or a pilot.

But enough of conventional reasoning (at least to me). We know that to become a doctor you need to know biology and to become a lawyer, you need to study law.

But let us look at something different, cooking. Contestants on MasterChef are often presented with very common ingredients like potatoes. Each contestant somehow comes up with unique dishes while we sit at home thinking of frying them into French fries. Not forgetting that none of them are professional chefs.

Expanding your knowledge allows you to create many opportunities and advantages. Just like Lynn, she started with knowledge based on academics and learned how to run a business (sort off). You and I may not become the best at one thing but there is a quote which I find really powerful. That is:

“Jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

2) The Smarter You Are, The More Shots You Call

Leaders of Star Wars

Princess Leia: One of the top rebel leaders in Star Wars. (Picture Credit: The Daily Mail UK)

Remember how you thought “nerds” were always at the mercy of “bullies” in high school? Well, that is the total opposite in the working world. As commonly quoted, knowledge is definitely power. It is even recognized and thought as one of the main sources of power in management studies (Expert Power).

However, do not fully assume that all smart people are guaranteed success and power in life. Having knowledge is one thing, applying it is a whole different topic.

Anyway, as someone new or a fresh grad in a company, you often start at the more basic ranks in a company. From there you work your way up and you learn things. As you learn things (and work hard), you slowly find yourself becoming a leader. So long as you have people working for you, you are a “leader”.

At this point, you are looked up to as a leader because you know what to do, when to do something and some best practices. You can share all you’ve learned with your juniors and know how to do it because you were once in their shoes.

In the case of Lynn, she knew what the people wanted and she knew how to use that to her advantage. She knew students needed answers and she knew Bank needed the money. So she leveraged on that to earn money.

Knowledge is a powerful tool. In a business, knowing and keeping up with societal trends, expectations, and wants can help a company grow. You give the people what they want, you build up your reputation and you grow.

3. Keep Calm and Think

Breath and then think (Picture Credits: HundredMelanie on Deviant Art)

You feel an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, breathlessness, and franticness. Then suddenly you see your life flash before your eyes! (Too much drama). These are all common symptoms of stress.

When you are stressed out, everything seems like it is out of control. You will not be able to focus and that is when you struggle.

Imagine having to complete a task for your colleagues in 30 minutes but have to do it discreetly while your boss walks around. That is what Lynn did. With what time she had left, she did her best to stay calm. She finished up the second exam paper set and got the answers to her “friends” just in time.

Imagine if she had lost her cool and went berserk. She would not have finished the task. Life is often full of stressful situations. How you and I choose to react to it makes a world of difference. If you can collect your thoughts, you can overcome those situations.

Some tips to help you would be to get enough rest (whether at night or in between tasks) and to remember to breathe properly.

Here are some really helpful tips to help you cope with stressful situations.

4) Knowledge is a Game of Business

Evolution of Phones as a result of increased knowledge and evolving technology

The Evolution of Phones (Picture Credit: Easy Technology Now)

I want you to take a few seconds to focus your attention on the device you are looking at right now (your phone or pc). Now think about how you can access the internet and do so many other things. Finally, think about how many different companies have basically earned money from you.

Most people would always think of ways to earn money. In Bad Genius, Lynn saw an opportunity to make money off helping others cheat.  She knew what they wanted, and she found a way to deliver it (from flying to Australia, texting in toilets and making fake puke).

The world we live in revolves around knowledge. We read, we learn, we experience and then we develop (well some people do). On your phone, you are already unconsciously supporting a whole bunch of companies. From your telco provider, internet service provider, companies advertising through games or YouTube videos and so on.

All these companies were started by someone (or a few of them) who had an idea. They had a lightbulb moment and then they researched and developed something. And now they are making money off you or the products and services you use.

How many of us really thought it’d be possible to make face-scanning a feature to unlock a phone? Or even simpler, designing a mechanical pencil with weights in it (a “shaker”) would make a world of a difference when people used it.

A little bit of interest and knowledge somewhere could lead to something new. I personally love going back to food the industry. At how something small like adding coloring to food inspired interesting creations like the rainbow grilled cheese sandwich (which was a thing at some point).

New ideas can be born from even the most basic of knowledge in something.

Concluding Thoughts

Once again, knowledge is important. It can be hard to find inspiration now but do not be discouraged. Life is an eternal journey of learning. You might find something that inspires you along the way. You might even become the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.

Never stop learning, and never feel disheartened if someone claims to know more than you. We each have different interests, but should not limit our learning to that one area. Go explore the world (or the internet) and discover new things. Knowledge is not limited to anyone.

I conclude with this one key message to everyone out there:

You should keep learning new things and expand your knowledge. Find something that you are truly passionate about or are inspired by and work more on that. Leverage your personal interests and knowledge and grow!

All the best in your future, dear reader.

Vision 2018

A new year is a new chance to do better. 2017 was a rocky year riddled obstacles, but we at The Techy Hub are onto bigger and better things this year. Our first change of the year was moving from Web development to App development, and there will be more changes to come.

“Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all that I can?”

― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Personal growth; we all know how important it is. But just how exactly does an employee’s personal growth benefit the company? We’ll tell you how!

As the people inside a company grow, so does the company itself. We encourage the concept of work hard, play hard; Techies are encouraged to maintain a healthy balance between our work life and personal life as we believe it will help with personal development. As we better and groom ourselves to be stronger by honing our skills, it benefits the company as well.

Also, our senior Techies will be taking the junior Techies under their wings and guiding them through this maze we call our job. This is no easy task but what better way to teach new Techies than by showering them with our wisdom.

“Never venture, never win!”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

We all love new things, don’t we? Which is why we’re looking to introduce new concepts and bring new trends to the table. For example, cryptocurrency is something we might be dipping our toes into. On the creative aspect of things, we’re going to try out some new designs for websites and apps. What kinds of designs, you ask? Why don’t you contact us to find out!

“We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Another step towards improvement will be by reaching out to more bloggers for content writing. Who better to go to than experts like bloggers? They know what works and what doesn’t, we hope to pick up on some of their tips and tricks.

“Great results, can be achieved with small forces.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

As we talked about in this post, we have an appetite for knowledge; specifically in technology. In order to sate our appetite, we’d like to collaborate with other companies and learn from them. Having leverage over another company’s clients is also a plus point! We’re also looking to form strategic partnerships and barter in terms of services.  

In Conclusion

In conclusion, we’re looking to try out new things and expand our knowledge in order to build ourselves up. 2018 will be a year for us to scale to new heights and build our team. With our heads facing front, we’re looking forward to what the future brings us.

An Appetite for Knowledge in Technology

When doing a thousand piece puzzle, you match one piece to another perfectly and now you only have another 998 pieces to go, great! Our knowledge of technology is almost exactly the same. The only difference is that there are more than 998 different things to learn. In fact, technology evolves so fast that it can seem like an impossible task to keep up with it all. You finally buy yourself an iPhone 6 and in the blink of an eye, the iPhone X is released and your phone and its features seem obsolete.

The reality is that technology surrounds us and we surround ourselves with technology. So many babies are already born with phones in their faces, the sea of knowledge is readily available online and other things like cameras, cars, watches and endless other things are evolving. “But I don’t think it’s important to keep up with technology because I’m happy with what I have,” you tell yourself. Denying it would be like denying the fact that we grow older each year.

As a company which embraces technology, we also acknowledge that there is so much more to learn. One key reason that grows our appetites to learn more is that we look forward to growing as a company so we can meet the needs of our potential and current clients. We also want to help everyone in our company to grow.

But worry not, I shall share some reasons on why you should develop that appetite for knowledge in technology.

1. To Keep Up with the Age of Technology

Grandma discovering technology

The Struggle is Real (Picture Credit: ImgFlip)

As mentioned earlier, there are already too many things to learn about technology and it will still continue to evolve and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. For most of us, trying to keep up with every single thing may be too overwhelming and thus some of us may have thrown in the towel. Pick that towel up because it is now the age of technology and we should not give up!

However, one should not give up that easily as falling behind in this world of technology could lead to a whole series of problems we would not want to deal with. For example, most jobs today require people to know the basics of using a computer and Microsoft office tools which some people do not even know how to use. So the better your knowledge in using these tools, the high chance you have of getting employed. Read more about it here.

Here at the Techy Hub, something that we do is that we are trying to keep up with the demands and the times. We have spent the past couple of months going back to the books and embracing as much knowledge as we can in moving from web to app development.

We have relooked at the way each hybrid, native and web apps work. Now we want to focus on growing by using our knowledge on app development to grow as a company. You can read more about the different apps here.

You could start by just knowing more about the things you own such as your phone and laptops. Over time they can really provide other benefits such as conversation topics with others, potential subject of interest to pursue in future, free knowledge, being more updated on times and a better understanding of the things you own (which could help you save money) and many other things. 

2. Technology Helps us Stay Ahead of Others

Internet Sensation

Youtube Star Logan Paul (Photo Credit: Daily Beast)

Logan Paul is one of the fastest rising stars of the internet. Despite the recent backlash he received over what he did in Japan, he is still a good example of getting ahead of the game. Logan (his personality aside) managed to utilize Vine (a popular video-sharing app by Twitter which has since been discontinued as of January 2017) and garnered so much fame and popularity which he brought over to YouTube and it has translated into his career and has become one of the most successful YouTubers in the world.

Here at The Techy Hub, we have monitored a trend and demand for one the most sought-after skills, App Development. By adapting to meet the demand for app development, we hope to improve our skill sets to become a developer for other companies.

We look to help other companies meet these trends. For example, most users use their phones to surf the internet. We seek to help companies transform their websites into mobile-friendly websites which could lead to a conversion.

One of the benefits of technology are the endless opportunities you can find if you try hard enough. Not all of us can be like Logan Paul and become a millionaire within years. But who knows, if you choose to learn more about technology, you could one day spot an opportunity and turn in to a millionaire within years as well!

3. Convenience and Communication

Communication evolution through technology

Links that Modern Communication (Picture Credit: Your Story)

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are some examples of applications we use every day. One of the few things they have in common is that they make communication much easier. They give us the ability to connect and communicate with people all around the world.

Technology has also provided us with a means of added conveniences in not only communication but other aspects of our lives. For example, we can now do so many things online ranging from shopping to banking and even to get a bachelor’s degree as opposed to the traditional methods of having to taking a number at the bank or going through the sea of shops called a shopping mall.

Now, have you ever visited websites where it was almost impossible to navigate through? Or maybe the website was just so dull and not mobile friendly? Well, that is because some companies do not opt for responsive websites.

Responsive websites are sites that are optimized to fit your needs to view a website conveniently through your phones. That is one of the things we do here, we help companies develop modern, intriguing and mobile friend sites for people. Have a look at our portfolio for yourselves.

It does not take very much time learning all the simpler and ready-to-use aspects of technology such as phone applications or the internet in general. As humans, we always look for ways to make things easier and open up more time for ourselves. On that note, it is important to understand how to use these things and even how they work. There will definitely be a time in future where everything is digitalized and we will eventually need to learn and adapt to the change.

4. You Can’t Escape Technology

Grandparents and cameras

Give me one too! (Picture Credit: Mutually)

“What the heck?!” you say to yourself as you look at the picture above. Isn’t it funny that our grandparents (or even parents) who are already in their golden years are trying their best to grip certain aspects of technology? We all know this to be true, the world around us is evolving, even the older ones are forced to learn about it. Even more so for those who are still working. Once again, we cannot escape technology. And if you can’t beat it, join it!

The main point here is that, whether or not we like it, we will always be surrounded by technology. Be it computers, phone applications, televisions and even the fans in our houses, these are all parts of technology. For our own good, we should start now. Better late than never right?

Concluding Thoughts

There are perhaps more thought-provoking and deeper reasoning for why you should learn about technology but these are the simplest reasons I can give. There are so many other things we could all learn about technology. That is why I encourage you to at the very least, learn more about the technology that surrounds you.

Start small with understanding how to use your computer and phones better. Then slowly move on and read more about other tech related things. If you are interested in reading more about various aspects of technology, Google is just a few clicks away!

Why We Moved From Web to Apps

From Web to Apps, Why?

It’s been 3 years, we are moving from Web development to App development. We’re adding new services with App development being one of them!

As the great Benjamin Franklin once said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”

The Techy Hub is certainly not finished; in fact, we’ve just begun. We are able to adapt to new changes in the field, and it helps us stay relevant. Technology is ever evolving and we strive to evolve along with it, which is the main reason for this move.

According to Forbes, App developing is one of the top tech skills that’s in high demand for 2018. Mobile app downloads across iOS and Android hit nearly 25 billion in 2017, so this piece of news is not surprising. Therefore, we sincerely believe this move will enable us to broaden our client list which we’re very much looking forward to!

What Is A Mobile App?

First off, let’s get into what exactly is a mobile app; essentially, an app is a software you can download and access on a smartphone. As long as you own a smartphone, you probably use multiple apps in your daily life. For youngsters and older people alike, mobile apps have become an essential part of life; watching videos, social networking and even banking are all done via mobile apps. Downloading apps are as easy as ABC. Just head on over to the app store, a couple of taps and you’re good to go.

Fun fact: Did you know that the Nokia 6110 Snake was the first mobile app created?

The Main Options

Now that you have an idea of what a mobile app is, it’s time to talk about the options you have when developing it. There are three main options when it comes to mobile apps: responsive website, native apps and hybrid apps.

1. Responsive Website

A responsive website is essentially a mobile-friendly version of a website. Your website will look good on either a desktop or mobile browser. Non-responsive websites are sure to give the user a headache if they access it through a smartphone.

While this option seems like the simpler route, there are major drawbacks to it. The main one being that the user has to be constantly connected to wifi or using mobile data in order to access the website whereas both native and hybrid apps have the option to store information on the device itself, therefore not needing any network connectivity.

2. Native Apps

Native apps are designed to run only on specified mobile operating systems; a native app developed for iOS will not run on Android.

One of the biggest benefits of this option is that the app will run more smoothly. Since it’s designed to only run on a specified operating system, all the specs of that system have been accounted for. If you hire good developers—i.e. The Techy Hub—you most likely won’t be getting any complaints about the app being wonky, which is a definitely a bonus!

The drawback of this option is that if you should choose to make the app available on other devices, it’ll have to be redeveloped for other operating systems which makes it more time consuming and expensive.

3. Hybrid Apps

Unlike native apps, hybrid apps are designed to run on multiple operating systems. By using plugins, your app will still be able to access a phone’s native capabilities such as the camera.

A hybrid app will be able to run on different operating systems which means it’ll save money and time to develop—who doesn’t like that? Not that your users will really care but they shouldn’t be able to tell if the app is actually hybrid or native. Again, that’s only if you have good developers. *cough cough* The Techy Hub *cough*

However, for large-scale applications being on a hybrid can be a nightmare. Take Facebook, for example, they used to be a hybrid app but migrated to native. Mark Zuckerberg even said, “The biggest mistake we’ve made as a company was betting on HTML5 over native.” HTML5 is a code language that can be used to develop hybrid apps.

What Are The Benefits of An App?

So why should your company have an app? What’s the benefit of having an app rather than a website? Fret not, we’re here to tell you about them!

1. Performance

Looking for something on a website may take longer to load but apps are proven to be faster due to how they store information as mentioned before. This will help make the user’s job easier with a quick in and out of the app; everyone knows less frustration equals satisfied user.

2. New Demographic

While having an app can help with keeping existing customers interested in your company, it can also help pull in new customers of a younger demographic; namely, the younger tech-savvy generation.

3. Convenience

With people getting increasingly impatient nowadays, everyone wants things done as quickly as possible so needing to access a browser on a laptop or even their phones is usually seen as a hassle. So why go through all that trouble when an app is located right on your home screen? Needless to say, apps provide a lot more convenience, just one or two taps and you’re ready to go!

4. Customization

On the technical side of things, apps have even more to offer. One word—customization; for both your company and customers. From colors to the interface, an app can be designed any way your company sees fit. So much freedom! You can even add in options that allow the user to chat with a customer service representative.

On the user’s side, you can provide them with the option to customise the app to their liking by tuning it to their own preferences; for example, choosing what will appear on their homepage, tweaking the colors to the basic layout.

5. Serves As a Reminder

Seeing as how the app is something the user will see every time they unlock their phone, it can also serve as a constant reminder about your company which may prompt them to scroll through it to see what’s new. It’ll be like waving in their faces and saying ‘Hi, we’re still here!’.

 Conclusion

We hope this post has helped you understand a little more about mobile apps; what they are and their benefits. Ultimately, the decision to develop an app depends on your company and the services it provides, but with almost everything in our world being digitized why not get ahead of the game by having an app? 

If you’re interested or would like to inquire more, feel free to contact us!

The Importance Of Keyword Research And How It Helps Businesses In Malaysia

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More often than not we see that most take Keyword Research for granted, especially Malaysian Companies. And what happens is companies neglect keyword research when they set up an online ad on systems such as Adwords. This produces catastrophic results like poor Clickthrough rate (CTR) and high Bounce Rates for companies. 30% of  the world is on the net as shown here, don’t lose anymore.

This is akin to pouring money into something that will ultimately cost them in the long run. This article is aimed at anyone, that needs help with Keyword Research, why it’s important and how to improve it. Do Keyword Research right and it will definitely help bring you closer to your goal, whatever it is. Or look for us and we can help you or check out what else our company can do here.

Understand The Intent Of Your Viewers

The first piece of advice, Keyword Intent. It’s vital to understand what your viewers or customers want and what you have to offer to them. There are three general types of search query, Informational, Transactional and Navigational. Say you found this page, about Keyword Research and how it helps on Google’s Search Results, then your search query is an informational one.

For the sake of convenience, we will only focus on Transactional Search Queries since it’ considered a high-value intent. They are the ones that bring instant immediate profit to your company through the selling of your goods online. The other two queries are considered low intent since its informational or just a means to find something. They will probably help with brand image and recognition but they won’t be buying anytime soon.

An Example

So let’s say your companies sell foodstuff online, and purely is in the business of selling, not educating. So, in this case, the kind of keyword you should look for yourself are those of Transactional, not Informational. When creating your ad, aim for keywords such as “buy” or “Discounts”. This indicates that you are selling, not informing or educating a product and will lead potential buyers to your ad.

Sale,Cheap,Offers Search Queries

Dyson Sale,Cheap,Offers

Note how some brands place keywords like “Cheap” and “Offers” into their headings. This tells Google or other search engines and viewers that the sites are selling.

For other types such as Navigational and Informational, you have to imagine yourself as a visitor and how you would find what you think your visitors want. So the example for Navigational, it could be words like “login” or “home”. For Informational, it would be like “how-to” or ” why” or “reviews”. You’ll have to think of it yourself other variations. Mind you these are just the keywords that you add either to the front or back of your keywords. So a page like our “Our Work“, can be considered an Informational query that only appears when people look for it.

You still need to find your keyword. This just helps with filtering people that you did not target, if the visitor doesn’t intend to buy, don’t show them a Transactional ad to click. That just adds cost since you won’t get a sale and they won’t find what they are looking for. Check out Wordstream’s post for a more in-depth look at keyword intent here.

Finding Keywords That Leads To Sales

Now that we know how to filter visitors buying, researching or just being curious, we need keywords. This is where a lot of companies struggle. Most think that it’s simple, if I sell Sushi, then my keywords will all be Sushi with some variations. Close but not exactly, there’s a better, more efficient way than this and that’s by using tools such as Keyword Finder.

Generic terms, more often than not, will not lead to conversions such as sales or visits and therefore we need long-tail keywords to get them.Most users looking for generic terms might just be curious and usually do not lead to a conversion since they will be at the beginning of the conversion cycle.

Long-tail keywords are specific keywords that are more detailed and elaborate. And if visitors look for it, there’s a chance it could lead to conversion as the visitor has an objective in mind. This is because they are now further up the conversion cycle and is keen to buy, not just to look around anymore.

To use Keyword Finder, you’ll need a Google Analytics account and an Adwords account. Here are the links, straight from Google here and here. Anyways, look for the “Keyword Planner” tag within the tab that states “Tools” in Adwords and click on it. Setup the fields such as your site’s URL or whatever you are selling and click on the “Get Ideas” button. So, this will provide data such as recommended Cost Per Click (CPC) and Competition. The CPC is the recommended amount you should spend per visitor click and the Competition indicates how hot that keyword is. Competition only has three levels, Low, Medium and High. The higher the CPC and Competition, the more valuable it is to companies and businesses.

How it Works

For example, our Sushi shop is a physical one and you want to get customers in using ads online. So you use Adwords and through the Keyword Planner you typed in the keyword “Sushi Restaurant”. The results come in and you see that the keyword “Sushi Restaurant” has low Competition with a CPC of RM3.99. Not bad but this combination is troublesome as Google thinks each click is RM3.99 but the low competition indicates the chance visitors will head to your shop is low. If you do go along with this Keyword, I predict high impressions but no one will have the intention of going since they are at the beginning of the conversion cycle, they are just curious at this point.

Sushi_Restaurant_Avg._Search+CPC

So, taking a look at other ideas recommended by Google, we see results such as “Nearest Sushi Restaurant To Me”. It has a competition rating of Medium and the CPC or Recommended Bid is lower than that of the Keyword typed in. This is good, it means there’s a higher chance that this leads to a conversion, the visiting of your restaurant, and I’ll cost less than the default keyword.  Using the “Nearest Sushi Restaurant To Me” keyword will attract visitors that are at the end stages of the conversion cycle. It means they are actively looking for a Sushi shop to go to, thus converting in the cycle if they go.

Idea_Of_Sushi_restaurant

 

So the key is to target Long-tail Keywords that have a higher chance of conversion at the expense of Impressions for sales. And aim for less focused keywords to get your brand out there with impressions at the cost of sales. Depends on what your goal is for your business. Just stay away from generic terms. For an extremely detailed breakdown of Long-tail Keywords, I recommend checking out Backlinko’s site to know more.

DIY_Long_Short_Tail_Keywords

Adapting To What Your Customers Want

Alternatively, we let the keywords dictate what we create and what would sell. All we need to do is look for “Hot” keywords, so to say. The concept is simple, say we operate a cookie company and we are interested in making more variants of cookies to sell. But we have no idea what’s popular and what is not to customers, more traditional methods such as surveys are costly on a large scale so it’s not an option.

How We Do It

So what we can do is again, head to Keyword Planner. Entering in the item, in our case, “Cookie Flavour” into the product box, we can now find out what the most popular searches are through the “Competition” tab. Just click on the “Competition tab” until it is from High to Low ranking and there we go.  The highest competition ones indicate massive popularity and therefore we can possibly resolve the decision around it. Only thing is it means a lot of other companies are probably competing with the same type of product.

Cookie_Bid_Competition_Search

So if we use the example down below, we can see that the one flavour that pops up at the top is Oreos, and it has a high Competition rank, means its popular but there’s competition among other manufacturers trying to sell Oreo flavoured cookies.

Cookie_Ideas_3_ Alternatives

Alternatively, you can also check the “Average Monthly Searches”, again from high to low. This data might come in very handy, especially if the competition is low. This can be advantageous to us, as it tells us that visitors demands it but there no supply to fulfil it. This presents a chance to get ahead of the competition since its uncharted territories. But use your discretion when looking at the data, there could be a reason why no one is meeting the demand and the reasons are unlimited.

Chosen_based_On_Avg_Searches

Looking at the data I got, we can consider chocolate chip flavour since it has a fairly high number of users looking for it but with low competition. Means there is potential for a market right here. Butter cookies is not an option with competition being High, even if the monthly searches are very high. The market demand has most likely been met already, hence the high competition for the finite number of viewers.

So do it right and you will have a fine look at what your potential customers want and your business will be able to anticipate and meet future demands quickly and efficiently through the keywords.

Finding Keywords Others Might Use

What I mean in this case is this, say for example we reuse the sushi example, we create both our ad and our page to include a lot of  “Sushi” and its variations. Now while this is not exactly wrong, it can be further expanded. We have to understand that while we might call it “Sushi”, some might call it by some other name. Other examples would often include “Uramaki” or “Sashimi” and so on. Different people, different names and terms used. So if say we only focused on “Sushi”, we would be missing out on viewers looking at the other types of keywords people might use like “Sashimi”.

This would definitely cost you in terms of potential impressions, clicks or conversions, whatever your goal is. Now  I am going to tell you how you can find other keywords easily that you can use to get more viewers. The first method involves just going to Google. Google is pretty smart, when you look for certain items, say “Sushi”, it will give you the following recommendations down below:

Google_Sushi_Recomendations

Now the recommendation that Google usually gives us is popular search phrases visitors use and is to help visitors narrow down what they want. So looking at some of the recommendations, we see additional words getting tacked onto the original “Sushi”. Words such as “Sashimi” or “Maki” are pretty useful for pages because now Google organic search results will provide a higher listing as a wider net has been cast.

Same thing for ads as a wider spectrum of visitors will now see the ad when searching for more obscure terms. And if what you’re looking for doesn’t provide a list of recommendation, use sites like LSI Graph, these give suggestions and wider variations that would definitely come in handy.

Conclusion Time

In conclusion, finding keywords to strategically sell your products, whether online or offline, is not difficult. Targeting and converting your customers and visitors to buy your stuff is not particularly difficult. And finding out what potential visitors and customers want is pretty easy. All of this is doable when you have the willpower to sift through all that data that Google Analytics and Adwords has in store.

The trick is to find patterns and correlation within the data and to act on it strategically. Experiment with your keywords until you are satisfied with the results or your ROI on advertisements. And lastly, don’t take keyword research for granted like so many businesses and companies have done out there.Learn from them and their mistakes. There is value to keyword research and only you can unlock its potential.

The Techy Hub Annual Company Trip

All of us from the Techy Hub would like to travel out of Malaysia for a team building trip. While we want it to be fun, we decided that no team trip would be complete without us working on a project together. Hence why we want to build a work relationship with a company outside of Malaysia.

What we can offer:

Need a website designed from scratch or assistance with digital marketing? We have the right guys for you. Our talented team of eight will fly over to your office to work on the project for a few days (duration will depend on the complexity of the project).

The services we provide include:

  • Front and Back End Web development
  • Web design
  • Digital Marketing (Search Engine Optimisation & online ads)
  • Graphic design (company logo etc.)
  • Technical support (anything IT related)

For more information on the skill-set possessed by our team and the services we provide, please feel free to drop us a message.

The trade:

Ultimately this trip is meant for our team to get to know one another better and have a good time. Therefore, instead of a fee we would like your company to warmly host us during our stay in your country. We would like to barter our work with comfortable accommodation, good food from your country, travel costs and some leisure time.

Furthermore, we would also like the opportunity to connect with more people around the world and learn more about the working culture outside of Malaysia. Building this work relationship would help us to achieve this and broaden our experiences.

 

If interested, do leave us a message and we could negotiate terms of trade further.