KamaLabs

Wordpress

DFI

Loueva

Dikti

Mikalu

AsiaEngage

MIK

Nazwa Catering

Univind

Sejiwa Foundation

GeraiMobile

Loueva is a body care product to help minimize the effect of cellulite. It was a new product of PT Ratu Farmaka Prima. The company asked me to create a nice looking web page for this product as a powerful tool to spread the information about this new brand product. I helped them craft the information architecture of the web, design the site and code it altogether.

Project Challenge

Although it's actually quite a simple project (considering the specs), the project didn't run really well. The project didn't meet the quick deadline that I set. Normally, I could finish this kinds of website in a day or two. But it turns out to take about two months to finish it. Mostly because of I have to wait for the content to be available from the producer. loueva_screenshot
univind Univind, officially named Tunas Univindo Mandiri, was my very first startup. I started it on my freshman year (around 2006) back in college (Universtas Indonesia) along with 5 of my college friends. We're all from the same major back then, computer science. We positioned ourselves as a web design firm although back then, none of us had a clear idea of how to build a website. But we did it anyway, we went straightforward by promoting our new so-called business. We utilized any promotion channel that we had but after 6 month of aggressive promotion, we still hadn't got any project. Only on the edge of our desperation, the moment when we start thinking of giving up, we finally got a project. We pursue a client 800 km away from our home base in Depok. The client was located in Surabaya. All project negotiations were done remotely until we really close the deal. This first project really boosted back our spirit after 6 month of nothing. After that first project, our business life which inter-mingled with our college life, had been one hell of a roller coaster ride. We kept promoting aggressively, pursuing any slightest chance of project while dealing with our own course assignment. Sometimes we got a big project (for a college student standard), some other time we got zero.

Product Development

Knowing the fact that we couldn't rely on projects to survive, we started thinking about building a product. We began to do a lot of brainstorming to determine what kinds of product that we want to builld. We wanted to build something useful, sustainable and profitable in the long term. We came up with one idea: AnakUI.com. It is a campus online community, pretty much just like Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook as a campus online community for Harvard ;). We developed it, nurtured it until the community grows. When we were still in college, we run this business alongside with our college activity, we didn't have office of our own. Our college campus was our office. The college computer labs was our desk. We did the business while dealing with our own course. One couldn't really says that we are a professional company, we're just a bunch of college kid trying to make money. But despite that, I myself consider this phase of Univind as a training ground for a better future version of Univind. This is a phase where we learned to run the next phase of Univind.

The next phase of Univind

After we're all graduate from the college on 2009, we had a meeting to determine the future of Univind. Whether we want to continue this venture or not. Univind surely still unable to pay the roll for the whole 6 fresh graduate crews. 3 of us decided to quit to work on some "real" company. 1 still want to be Univind part time. The rest is just me and my best friend who strong-heartedly still really want to continue and even expand to a more serious, more professional business. Long story short, we decided to continue. We rented a small home near campus as our office. At this time, we started the next journey of Univind. We re-positioned ourselves to be more of an online marketing consultant instead of just web design firm. We realized that many of our old client couldn't really handle very well the website that we built for them. Most of their investment with us gone useless because they don't know how to utilize their newly created website to optimize the promotion of their business.

NeoHoster merging

Soon after we rented an office space, we merged with our friend's business, NeoHoster. You can see more detail about it here: http://kamalabs.com/2015/01/neohoster/

The dissolution

After two years running Univind with our own office, we felt stuck. The projects got monotonous, the product was unable to take off, NeoHoster stopped growing. I myself, to be honest, got bored. I need more challenges. But it seems like the team composition that we had couldn't really handle more challenges. We're all too similar, we're not complementing each other. And at that time, each owner have their own path for Univind. It's getting harder and harder to unite the mission. This is one of the reason why I finally decided to liquidate Univind. I thought it's best for each of us to start our own journey. So, we started the liquidation process. It turned out to be not that easy, especially with NeoHoster. At that time, Neohoster already had about 1500 clients. We couldn't just stop the service for those 1500 clients. We decided to sell Neohoster, it's really not that easy to find a buyer for this company. We offered NeoHoster to many people until we got one person interested. He was also owner of a webhosting company, he interested to acquire NeoHoster. From there, we started the acquisition process. This also took quite a long time considering all the negotiation, the legal aspect, the technical migration aspect etc.

Lesson Learned

To me personally, I never really see Univind as a failure. It's just another step that I took towards success. I got a huge amount of lesson learned from my experience with Univind. Here are some of it:
  • Don't start a startup with too many people. Apparently, 6 similar people is too much.
  • Try to diverge the skill set of each team member. In an IT startup, we need people who understand marketing, accounting etc as well as people who code stuff on the computer.
  • Define a clear mission from the very beginning and incorporate this mission as much as possible to the whole crews.
  • etc
Layanan Startup
20-sejiwaYayasan Semai Jiwa Aminin (SEJIWA) is non profit organization who works in education field. It main concern is to stop bullying in educational institution. Sejiwa want to emphasize the importance of self-actualization through some norms i.e integriry, empathy, respect, tolerancy and responsibility. Sejiwa foundation is empowered by experts in pshycology, education and many other professional. It has gather partnership with government agencies, schools, local & international NGO, education institution, mass media, companies and influential figure to achieve its mission. Its partner include: Exxon Indonesia, GE Indonesia, Plan Indonesia, CRC (Child Right Coalition) Asia. My job was to built a website for them. This website was meant to be the central power house of any of their social campaign. It was built using wordpress with custom built theme.
21-thaniaNazwa Catering is a company who works on catering service industry. Previously named Thania Catering, it changed its name on 2012. Thania Catering itself has been around since November 2000. It is a business unit of CV Kaser De Tanko which is a company who specialized in procurement industry. My job was to built a website for them. Something that could be a display of their experience in catering industry. The site was built using Wordpress CMS with custom built theme.
26-mik PT. Mitra Integrasi Komputindo (also known as “MIK“) is an Information Technology and Professional Services company based in Jakarta, INDONESIA. MIK was established in 1998 by experienced and skilled IT professionals that have served the industry for many years. Our responsibility here was to develop an online company profile for them. The site was built using Wordpress, we develop the theme by our own. It's custom built theme to match MIK's corporate branding.
FireShot capture #134 - 'PT Digital Fidusia Indonesia' - www_dfi_co_idDFI is an abbreviation of Digital Fidusia Indonesia. It is an information technology service provider focusing on insurance industry. DFI founded in 2006, it is inspired by the dynamic of the ever-flourishing insurance industry that requires information technology solutions & services to act as primary business enablers. The requirements for the extensive technology based systems and procedures supported by skilled and professional people are increasingly being felt, specifically in the area of technology based education industry. Our responsibility here was to develop an online company profile for them. The site was built using Wordpress, we develop the theme by our own. It's custom built theme to match DFI's corporate branding.
mikalu Mikalu.com is a bedding online shop. Mikalu sells bed sheet and bed cover throughout Indonesia. Most of the sales are done with dropshipping scheme. The dropshipping scheme works as follows: Reseller promote Mikalu's product as their own, when their customer order the product, the reseller purchase it from Mikalu. Mikalu would then process the order and ship the product directly to the reseller's customer. My job was to build a system for that dropship scheme. So, it is not just a basic usual traditional e-commerce system where they sell the products directly. It's more of an e-commerce with sales channeling system. The system was built using customized Wordpress + WP E-Commerce plugin. Beside the e-commerce system, I also designed the logo and developed the theme. I've make sure that the whole design pattern follows company's orientation. The logo design and color choice were chosen to reflect it's main target market, that is middle age woman. I made sure that the theme is search engine friendly enough to make it's content easily crawled and indexed by search engine bot.
geraimobile-frontpage-screenshotGeraiMobile is an e-commerce platform similar to Shopify. It's a web service for people who want to start their own online shop. GeraiMobile intend to be the Indonesian e-commerce software as a service (SAAS). It aims to be absolutely easy to use given the fact that many online seller in Indonesia doesn't have the time to learn complicated e-commerce system. It strive for as many automation as possible, letting the machine to do the work as much as possible instead of handing it over to the people. It has Android and Blackberry application alongside the main web application. The main web application was built with a heavily customized Wordpress to support a robust multisite e-commerce solution. The mobile applications were built using PhoneGap. We develop it as a web based mobile apps (with HTML, some fancy JS and all ;) ), PhoneGap deal with porting it as native app on Android and BlackBerry. Currently this project is still under intense testing and bugfixing.

Project Challenge

This project is done by a team of independent freelance developer. I am one of them. There were many hurdles in the middle of the project caused both by the client and also by us. Communication with the client was hard. The team itself was not so solid. We worked remotely with each other but we didn't coordinate very well as a team. I, as one of the team member, frequently reminded the team to evaluate our way of coordination. The usage of Git was often dismissed by the team member although I kept reinforcing it. To make it worse, one of our team member was mysteriously missing. His parents were looking for him until now. He left his task unfinished. This was the state of the project when everyone (either the clients and the developers) start to feel exhausted and hopeless. It was the darkest moment of the project. Fortunately, we didn't stop there. We kept running albeit all the problems. With constant evaluation and continuous communication, we managed to get the project running pretty well again.
asiaengageAsiaEngage is a regional platform formed to maximise the strengths of the Asia-Talloires Network of Industry and Community Engaged Universities (ATNEU), the ASEAN University Network (AUN) Thematic Network on University Social Responsibility and Sustainability (AUN-USR&S) and the ASEAN Youth Volunteer Programme (AYVP). My job with them was to build their latest conference website (AsiaEngage Conference 2014). They needed a website which have an e-ticketing system integrated with all the submission workflow. For this task, I used Wordpress as the core CMS and I developed a special plugin which can do exactly what they need: a submission workflow system integrated with e-ticketing system.

The Project Challenge

What's challenging about this project is how I have to deal with client. The client is basically an international organization with officials spread across Asia. It's a tough job to really gather a holistic requirement from them. One official from a certain country might know a thing or two about the requirement which I need to gather, but most of the time, I have to gather from as many official as possible from many different places to really get a complete view of the project requirement. There was no single PIC for me. Even with quite a lot of cross-countries requirement gathering, I still couldn't get a complete and solid requirement. As the project went by, It then turned out to be those projects with an ever-changing requirement. This was another challenge which I had to face. I had to greatly adapt my codes to all those new requirements.
TUT WURI HANDAYANIDIKTI is an abbreviation of "Direktorat Pendidikan Tinggi". In English, it means Higher Learning Directorate. It is a subordinate body of the ministry of education, Republic of Indonesia. This government institution deals with any occasion about higher learning education in Indonesia. Prior to my entrance, their website is somewhat mediocre and obsolete. It's slow, lousy, not well-organized and resource hogger. My job was to fix it all.   The first thing that I did was to give several suggestion regarding what kind of modernization needed for DIKTI's website. I, mainly highlighted on the information architecture. DIKTI has distinctive type of visitor to its website, those are:
  1. Student. They visit DIKTI's website mostly to look for scholarship opportunities, either domestic or foreign.
  2. Professor. They visit DIKTI's website to find information about lecturer certification, international conference opportunities etc.
  3. University officials. They visit DIKTI's website to check on new regulations, registering for a new field of study etc.
Old DIKTI's website didn't have easy to navigate information architecture to accommodate those 3 type of visitor. They simply just threw out any so-called "important pages" to the main menu. I fixed it by reformatting the navigational structure of the entire website along with the development of the new design template. Another thing that I emphasized is the performance. It was so slow that the connection dropped most of the time. They had problem with their obsolete CMS, conflicting plugins, and un-optimized server configuration. I dealt with all those issue. I upgraded the CMS, re-arranged all the plugins and optimized the server configuration. Beside rebuilding their main website, I also developed two subsite: the English version of the site and one other site to unify all of their public service under one roof (SatuLayanan Dikti). Those two subsite were built using the same engine: Wordpress. While upgrading their Wordpress installation, I also configured their old Wordpress to have multisite functionality. The English version of the site is using the same template as the main site for uniformity reason. While SatuLayanan Dikti use another metro-style theme design to facilitate easier finding of their public service information by the visitors.