Taking care of business !!

As promised, this company and this website is no joke. The provincial “individual enterprise” will become a country-wide corporation named :

Interprog inc.

That pretty much complete the process of actually launch some reals projects. Interprog can now grow as much as we want without being stopped by anything like the business structure.

To make accounting easier the actual Interprog entity should cease their operation at the end of 2017, Interprog inc. won’t do anything in 2017.

At the beginning of 2018 Interprog inc. will get ownership of everything which was built/acquired by Interprog.

Rough roadmap for Interprog Inc. has already begun. Quite a few things will need to be done in parallel. A website design will be drawn soon. A website will be programmed. Hardware infrastructure will be improved. A lot of paperwork and accounting needs to be done.

It will go as fast as possible but we’re limited by my own availability as a lot of stuff needs to be done by myself and I’m working out of the office for 10 hours / day for a 1 year contract. Cashflow will also slow down the project since we’re basically using what left from the income from the analyst-programmer contract to pay for everything needed for the project, designer labor, front-end programmer, hardware, licences, marketing, etc.

That being said…everything is pretty much planned already. Designer and front-end programmer are found. The first full time employee as well.

Stay tuned  !!

Jacques Langlois
Owner, Interprog, Canada
Soon to be, Director of the board and majority shareholder of Interprog inc.

 

 

Better safe than sorry

Hi everyone,

I know I know….there’s nothing in here…yet. But now, it’s a very secure website which should always show the padlock with the company name in your browser !!

interprog.com SSL
interprog.com SSL

That was an important step before even starting to build a website. Soon enough !!

Meanwhile we’re trying to register a federal corporation, Interprog Inc.

Why all those paperworks and work if we don’t sell anything you’re asking ??

#1 reason is just to learn and handle every aspect of the business. It takes some time. Once ready, if we want to grow, we will….if not, we’ll just be happy of the knowledge we acquired.

Stay tuned !!

Jacques

 

From Ebay to Amazon

Hey there !!

This is all over the news. My previous employer had nightmares about his business being challenged by Amazon….but why exactly ?

Why everyone fears Amazon right now ??

First of all, Interprog was founded in year 2000 and at the time it was all about Ebay regarding e-commerce. It was more or less the same challenge for everybody than today. You could walk in a store, talk to a sales guy for an hour until you really sure of what you want to buy….then walk out of the store and order it on Ebay. That suck for the brick & mortar business but that’s reality and it’s nothing new.

On Ebay I did well over 1000 transactions without even a single negative bad feedback. So I may be a little bit biased here though. I also probably receive a special service because my reputation is very very good but whatever.

Back to Amazon, they are sure a big player out there….the unique thing they have is a huge “farm” of distribution hubs to easily accomodate the customers quickly….but.

Yes, there’s a few “but”.

Well, multiples hubs or not….on Ebay you can choose where your seller is. You can read his ads, check his feedback rating, ask some questions. Or you can walk into a real store which is nearby as well if you wish. Amazon isn’t really stellar regarding the last mile delivery if you ask me…I’ll have a good example at the end of that text.

Unlike Ebay, with Amazon you don’t really deal with anybody. Someone with a reputation. Someone ready to do anything just to avoid that 1 negative feedback. They actually just ship product that they don’t own to customers they don’t really care….I don’t think anybody would do extra free overtime to get some box containing a 5$ item delivered just to make sure that the customer will be happy. An Ebay seller will. Any good company will also.

I’ve been there myself….being robbed by the son of some dad that stoled his credit card. I called the dad and asked him to just remove the bad feedback and I wouldn’t do anything about that 200$, which wasn’t peanuts for me at the time…but that’s business. I’m sure any good store out here write a ton of losses just to maintain their reputation of excellence. That’s how you become a market leader.

And now some examples….of course it’s a tiny sample, but still.

Recently I had to do a bit of special shopping for myself and a friend. Stuff a bit unusual to find so it was clear that Ebay or Amazon were the places to look at.

First of all, none of the 5 items were cheaper on Amazon. Some of them weren’t there at all, others had very poor descriptions, I wasn’t confident at all.

So all 5 were from Ebay. Hoping for the best !

You can probably see what I was doing there. I needed a small piece for a mobile phone that only China really have….5$ and really no promise on the shipping delay, I got it a while ago already. Easy game.

Then I had 3 components for a WIFI access point I need to install for a friend / customer. Those things are really expensive…unless they are used and on Ebay, of course. All of them were here the same day.

And since I broke my mobile phone well, I bought a new one. No problem there.

5 differents sellers, 5 differents points of origin, 5 differents expected delivery date….but guess what ?? Everything arrived with USPS -> Canada post, on time, without any issue at all !!

Now let’s take a look at the one everyone seems to be in love with….Amazon !!!

I made a new friend on internet and the guy wrote a book. I was curious so I bought it from Amazon. I’ve never had an amazon account so I had that “Prime member” trial good for 30 days that I had to cancel before they would charge me 100$ for it…..already it was a red alarm to me !! ( I just canceled it as we speak ).

So I was ready to order, july 12th, a wednesday at 14h00. Amazon showed that it would be here in 2-3 days. So I was expecting it on the following monday, at worst, right ?

I got an email on july 15th saying it was now shipped. Oh really, where I’m used to work we would ship in like 1 hour…not 3 days. Mind you the 15th is a saturday, I’m sure the book would be very very on track….but anyway. I also got not 1 but 3 emails saying that it was shipped. Last one showed this :

So, ordered on 12th, it said 2-3 days, we’re now expecting it on 19th….ok.

I know for a fact that the author is canadian, I was on amazon.ca also….so I wasn’t really expecting an “import fee” on that one. But whatever, it’s 1$.

But now what ??

On the 18th I received 2 identical emails. Guessing they like to spam people.

We’re on the 29th now, 10 days later….not a single update email. Mailbox is empty. I checked online 3 days ago and it showed the same thing as today.

So….

My package will arrive with my favorite carrier UPS this evening apparently… NOT, it’s saturday !! And I hate UPS. They just can’t do anything right.

And finally, our opinion regarding the future of Amazon

The behemoth of logistics wholesale distribution that everyone on the planet fear right now…..well I ordered I simple book from a canadian author and they manage to take 3 days to ship it, they got it from Ontario, Canada and shipped it to the US for some reason, then it went back to Canada at Mirabel for some painful customs cleareance probably at the UPS depot in Lachine, there’s a note saying that the delivery was rescheduled because someone asked for it….well, WHO asked for it…not the guy that paid for it which is myself

And now it’s just “out for delivery” since last tuesday….nothing change. I’m here all day almost. UPS being UPS probably.

So I’m probably done writing about this….but just for my friends that are into the supply chain business. That image should probably help you sleep better at night.

If you don’t get it. Amazon sure have a lot of cashflow to inject into those distribution hubs. But it’s pretty much all coming from their profit with the AWS service….the “cloud” thing most people don’t even understand the purpose yet.

One thing that’s important to note though. They were alone for a while. There’s a HUGE growth potential with cloud computing, it’s there and it will be huge very very soon.

But the thing is….Microsoft is currently crushing them with the cloud business, Azure. And when I say crushing them…I mean CRUSHING THEM !! Microsoft has taken the lead and nobody will catch up anytime soon.

You can always mark my words….it’s easy, it’s written here !!

Jacques Langlois
Waiting for his book, Interprog

Web site roadmap ? What’s on the menu ?

Web site roadmap ? What’s on the menu ? Où est-ce qu’on s’en va ?

1- Translation/traduction !!

Web site roadmap…. yes. But guys, please let me talk to my french friends for a bit…I’ll be back to you in a few sentences !

Oui, nous sommes au Québec et la vie de tous les jours se passe en français. Interprog n’est pas fermé à faire des affaires avec qui que ce soit, surtout pas le voisinage !!

Quoi qu’il en soit l’anglais est généralement compris par la plupart des internautes et il est donc logique d’écrire en premier en anglais. Ça ne va pas changer. Lorsque c’est possible nous allons intégrer les 2 langues. Facebook est un bon exemple, on peut maintenant écrire des statuts en plusieurs langues…mais sur un PC et une page personelle seulement. C’est un début.

Nous serons heureux de faire la traduction de quelque chose que vous ne comprenez pas. Nous sommes aussi ouvert à vos commentaires….l’anglais vous dérange ? Pas vraiment ? Vous le préférez ? Dites-le !! Bon…je retourne jaser avec les anglos….à plus tard !!

Back to you guys !!

What did he say ?? Basically I was just explainin that we’ll try to get things to work in both French and English around here. But meanwhile, we’ll continue to write mostly in English. People can use the language they want anyway, somebody will help to translate if it’s required.

So yeah, back to the web site roadmap, we now have a decent framework for a web site and blog. The real purpose is yet to be known but we can at least use it to learn some 2017 stuff….and write about it !! I think this is what a blog is all about, right ?

2- A project showcase page

Just a simple page/blog where we can display some projects we’re working on or a project that one of our partners wants to share with us. The first one will actually be about going back in time a little and it will basically be all about what you see right now. The process of starting a company, getting the name, the domain name, a server to manage it, pretty emails, a website such as this one, hosting it and securing it. We’re getting use to seeing this everywhere  and there are many solutions. But as an IT startup company you can’t really afford to throw money away and have people do this for you. If you don’t know how…well, you’ll have to learn !!

Just to give you an idea….

Back in 2000, I registered the Interprog name but didn’t want or care about a website. At some point, around a decade ago I was curious and looked into it. The domain name was registered and it was for sale. It’s a .com with a short and cool name, I think, so you can’t really expect to have it for free.

When I got back to business with Interprog last April I looked at it. Goddaddy  said it was for sale for 4000$. Way too much….but it’s so shiny, I wanted it !!

And after looking into it more carefully I realized that Goddaddy didn’t own it. They just want you to buy it from them, and once you do they simply attempt to acquire it cheaper from the actual owner !!

Now, the domain is mine, and maybe I will explain what the process was to get it later on…but the funny thing is, it’s still for sale on Godaddy !!

Before, when it was redirecting to a parked domain page, it was for sale for 4000$….although it may not yet be pretty, the domain is clearly being used now….however, the name is now for sale for less than before….only 1000$ !?

I don’t really care about the true value of the name….anyways, it most likely only has substantial value for one company, this one. With all the trouble related to acquiring it and setting all of this up…it won’t be sold for peanuts !

Holding the domain

Since I never really liked Godaddy, I looked into a different way of holding my domain name. Regarding hosting, I figured that I would do it myself. Since I now have a Business internet line, might as well use it a little bit.

Dyn.com is keeping the domain name for the next 2 years and while being there they also provide the DNS service.

Looking at the numbers I think that the Interprog.com website has room to grow there. Mind you we also have the .org and .ca…those 2 were almost free anyways.

We’ll obviously have a section displaying what services we offer and our contact information. But what else would you like to see on here ??

3- Use the “branding” properly

Interprog has had the unique opportunity of having a logo as well as very professional branding done by one of our friends. It’s a gift straight from the gods, because if there’s one thing I’m sure I can’t do myself, that’s it !!

The logo is has already been in use everywhere for a while, on FB, LinkedIn, and our previous ugly web page. On here I managed to changed the darkest color that was used, and replace it with the one you see now. There’s more to do here.

We will also need to get some business cards printed, create a letterhead and invoice templates.

The Interprog t-shirt and baseball hat can probably wait until 2018 though.

4- The site performance

It’s probably very obvious to anyone in the web development world, but I’m now using WordPress with the default theme for 2017.

What I really like is the fact that it remains programmer friendly. But, I have no problem “hacking” my way in, to change things and have them the way I want. This is something that would be nearly impossible if I had to do some code in a website built using Dreamweaver, for example.

If I think about Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever social media…well, yes I can change the logo and the banner of the page but that’s pretty much it. There’s nothing like the web site to show the branding correctly. Although this isn’t my specialty, I will do my best.

Right now there’s one single thing that really bugs me. I can’t explain the 1.5 seconds of loading time….yet.

The waterfall graphic shows it all.

Yeah, the first line. About 1.5 seconds just to deliver the first byte of payload. This is 1.5 seconds of displaying nothing at all. I’ve tried a few things so far. but haven’t found any real clues. Considering that I installed this about 2 days ago, I’ll need a bit of time to debug these things properly.

One thing to note. The website is running WordPress on Windows Server 2016 with IIS 10, even though most people are running Apache on Linux. I encountered a few issues with some templates that could enable some caching features but besides that I have nothing bad to say about Windows. I can’t tell where is that lost 1.5 seconds is just yet. MySQL delay to answer ?

6- SSL, https:// or the “little padlock”

Yes, we barely notice this nowadays, but we want to run a secure version of the web page as soon as possible. I don’t really know how to do this but I’m guessing that I have to…guess what….buy a certificate !! This is definitely on the web site roadmap.

I’ll have to install it properly, and once it’s done I’ll have to update a ton of stuff to make sure everybody is using https, as much as possible. Should be fun.

Bottom line, it’s one of the boring task to do. It will cost efforts and time to slowdown the website. But it has to be done.

7- Be SEO friendly

Yeah, that’s some fancy acronym just to say that it would make sense to have Interprog be the 1st result in Google when we ask for…Interprog !

Right now it’s showcasing my business with a picture of my house, the first results are from LinkedIn, Facebook, Yellow Pages….then there’s 4 pages of garbage and hooray, here’s the interprog.com web site !!

I’m not worried though, this is normal behavior, it’ll take some time then we’ll be there. The .com was owned by some Russian guys. There’s interprog.net which seems active and is also Russian. We already have some Russian friends in the blog spam folder.

All in all, a business needs some time to be recognized. We got the check mark from Facebook a few days ago. Microsoft has us on file since 2000, and it’s #1 on Bing for a reason. Papers are in the mail for Google.

What else does a business need ? I created an Instagram account, but I don’t see the point. Twitter ? Mehhhh.

Let’s say that managing a website with a blog, both Facebook and LinkedIn business profiles as well as personal ones….that’s enough social media for now.

We also need to have some time to actually work…and I mean work for customers. Because Interprog working for Interprog isn’t a bad thing at all….but that won’t pay the Bell bill forever.

8- Web site roadmap conclusion….for now

Anything else to talk about ? Fell free to register and comment. You can use a fake name and invalid email if you want, or not. Maybe Facebook/LinkedIn/Microsoft/Google login will be allowed at some point….but meanwhile we won’t use anything for any wrong behavior. We do have installed Google Analytics for now. This provide stats and nerds love stats.

You can reach us directly at the info listed at the bottom of the screen as well.

Talk to you soon !!

Jacques Langlois
Owner, Interprog

Web site construction

Hey there,

As you can see ( or not ), we’re trying to put together a decent looking web site.

Just like a lot of stuff that we do it’s mostly to learn because let’s be honest…we’re not good web developper.

So here’s the plan. We WILL code directly on the live server when we feel like it and we have some spare time.

We think that coding right in front of your eyes is entertaining and you’ll be able to see the site take shape, give advices, share experiences, have a good laugh, find some bugs and more….

Enjoy !!

Jacques Langlois, owner, Interprog