ArcBees wins!

We’re proud to announce that ArcBees won the first prize in the Technological and Technical Innovation category as well as the grand prize overall at the 13th edition of the Quebec Entrepreneurship Competition for the local edition at Université Laval. We were awarded 1000$ for winning the first prize in our category, as well as 1000$ in consulting services from Avocats BCF. For the BMO grand prize we received 4000$ as well as 1000$ in services from BMO Financial Group.

We’d like to thanks everybody who help us write and clean-up our business plan, in particular Yves Plourde from Entrepreneuriat LavalInno-Centre, Éric Matteau, Charles Simard, Frédéric Lavigne, Geneviève Doyle as well as Robert Beaudoin. Their comments greatly increased the quality of our document, and helped us express the technical details in layman terms (even if we still have work to do in that area ;)). We would also like to thanks the judges who believed in us and in our project.

We are now looking forward to the next phase of the competition: the regional final of the Quebec City area, where we are finalists in the Technological and technical innovation category.

Version française

C’est avec fierté que je vous annonce que ArcBees a remporté le premier prix de la catégorie Innovation technologique et technique ainsi que le grand prix toutes catégories de la treizième édition du Concours Québécois en Entrepreneuriatpour l’édition locale de l’Université Laval. Nous avons reçu une bourse de 1000 $ ainsi que 1000 $ en consultation chez Avocats BCF pour notre premier prix ainsi qu’une bourse de 4000 $ et 1000 $ en consultation et services chez BMO Groupe Financier pour le Grand prix BMO.

Nous tenons à remercier tous ceux qui nous ont aidés à rédiger et mettre en forme notre plan d’affaire, notamment Yves Plourde d’Entrepreneuriat LavalInno-Centre, Éric Matteau, Charles Simard, Frédéric Lavigne, Geneviève Doyle ainsi que Robert Beaudoin. Leur aide a grandement contribué à la qualité du document et nous a permis de vulgariser les détails techniques (même si du travail reste à faire à ce niveau ;)). Nous remercions aussi tous les juges qui ont cru en nous et en notre projet.

Nous passons donc maintenant à la prochaine étape du concours, la finale régionale de la région de la capitale nationale où nous sommes finalistes dans la catégorie Innovation technologique et technique.

If you think it’s obvious, think again, it’s probably wrong

In the past three months, we worked hard on our business plan and participated in various competitions for young entrepreneurs. While doing this, I learned a lot about the entrepreneurial world. One of those lessons is how easy it is to forget that the person reading your business plan might not be technically inclined, and as a consequence may not understand one word of what you’re saying. While I though I finally understood the lesson, it looks like the fourth iteration of our business plan is still too technical. I’m not saying the reader is dumb or anything, but it looks impossible to assess how technical the document is by ourselves, and even asking people around us to review it wasn’t enough. I should have asked even more people, people with no technical background, people like my grandfather who bought his first computer last year, people who hate technologies, people who don’t know me or that are not afraid to really say what they think.

There are many examples of obvious things that end up being wrong. For example, how many times did you finish an exam thinking you totally failed it, only to find out a week later that you got a really good mark ? How many times did you write some code thinking that it was perfect and then had to write it all again two weeks later ? How many times did you get out of a presentation thinking you nailed it, only to find out later that the audience was underwhelmed? Finally, how many times did you think you found something new just to realize that someone else had this idea long before you ? The lesson here is that there’s nothing obvious: always seek to make it better and, when you think you can’t go further, push it some more!

The last competition we participated in was Concours Québecois en Entrepreneuriat. While I already know the business plan was too technical, it doesn’t mean we didn’t win. We will only find out on April 14th for the regional competition and June 16th for the national. The thing that really matters is to remember that a Business Plan is a work in progress, it’s never final nor completed. You’ll have more than one version depending on who will read it. It has to be solid and simple. What’s left to do is to sell yourself, sell your team and, more importantly, sell your dream.

I’m a dreamer, I have the best associates in the world and we’re not afraid of loosing or winning because, no mater what, we will keep pushing forward. That’s obvious, isn’t it ?

My upcoming Google I/O talk on all the cool toys, including gwt-platform

As you probably know by now, we love the Google Web Toolkit, App Engine, Objectify, Gin, Guice and friends. ArcBee’s project, GWT-platform, has slowly crept up the ranks and is now a very popular tool for people who want to quickly develop solid GWT applications.

If you’re a GWTP user, or if you are considering it for your next project, you’ll be happy to learn that this year’s Google I/O will feature the talk: Highly Productive GWT: Rapid Development with App Engine, Objectify, RequestFactory, and gwt-platform. Given by David Chandler (of Google) and myself, this talk will briefly introduce the above technologies as well as recent additions to GWT such as Cell widgets and RequestFactory. We will take you in a live-coding journey starting from (almost) nothing and ending up with a fully usable webapp deployed on AppEngine.

I hope to see you in San Francisco… If you were not fortunate enough to get tickets, make sure to join us on the live video stream.

Google I/O 2011

We’re very excited to announce that ArcBees will be at Google I/O 2011 ! Some of us were lucky enough to be invited one week before the crazy registration day where tickets sold out in less than an hour! Out of the four members of ArcBees, only one wasn’t able to make it. Unfortunately for him, he went to grab a snack and when he came back, Google I/O was already sold out. Next time pal, don’t blink, just hit the refresh button endlessly. Kidding apart, I’m really sorry as I would have enjoyed to see him join us on our trip to San Francisco.

If you’re following one of our projects or if you just want to see how good-looking we are, let’s meet and have some fun at this incredible event! That is, if you were fortunate enough to snatch some tickets. For everyone who did not make it, we send you some love and lots of virtual drinks. We’ll blog/tweet about Google I/O and relay everything that we find interesting while participating. In the meantime, we will keep teasing our partner and try to make him cry.

EDIT
I won’t be able to pick on him anymore,  he finally found a ticket ! Many thanks to Kyle Baley !

PRAIRIE DEV CON 2011

It’s been a while since our last post, but don’t worry, it wasn’t because we were sick or because we broke every single fingers of our hands. We only worked more than ever on our upcoming projects. Well, one of the them is the speaks that Philippe Beaudoin will give at the Prairies Dev Con about GWT, GAE and Gwt-Platform on June 13th and 14th 2011. If you’re interested about the sessions or if you want to meet with the team, buzz us and we’ll get in touch at this incredible event. In the meanwhile, you can read the sessions description.

Google Web Toolkit and the Model View Presenter Architecture
This session will give you the opportunity to write a complete GWT application from scratch using the Model-View-Presenter architecture recommended by Google. Your app will be built on the GWT-Platform framework and will include all the latest feature of GWT including history management, a command pattern for RPC calls, a client-side event bus, code splitting, and dependency injection through Gin and Guice.

Attendees will need a laptop with Eclipse and the Google Plugin for eclipse. Other libraries can be downloaded from the web during the session.

Introduction to Google AppEngine Development in Java
Google AppEngine is a Platform-as-a-Service cloud solution that is widely recognized as a cost-effective way to deploy a scalable web application. However, making good use of the platform requires you to understand some of the design choices behind it. This talk will discuss the advantages and drawbacks of AppEngine. It will also introduce some of its most important features, including the datastore (based on Google’s BigTable NoSQL database), and task queues. The lecture will use the AppEngine Java API as well as the open-source Objectify API to access the datastore.

For more informations: http://www.prairiedevcon.com/

ArcBees birth

ArcBees provides consulting and development services to businesses looking to offer quality web applications to their clients.

Our mission is to be the top developers for cloud-based applications, to be active members of the open source community, to deliver quality web apps that goes way beyond the standard fare and to do that using the best practices of our industry. Our goal is to make sure your clients enjoy the best possible web-based experience, and to make it easy for your application to scale with the growing demand.

We will soon open source the development of our own web site. This blog will guide you through every step we take, letting you catch a glimpse of the subtle decisions and technical tricks needed when building a rich web portal.

There’s a lot of features and news coming up in the near future. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you informed !