Asi Mugrabi

Meet Asi Mugrabi, Android developer extraordinaire. Asi and a colleague were the first two employees of Nubo. In this interview, Asi gives you the inside scoop of working at Nubo. If you ever wondered what it’s like to work at a mobile startup, read on!

What was Nubo like when you started working here?There was a vision and not really any code. We had a proof of concept.

What was the proof of concept?Nubo’s proof of concept was a practical transfer of information from a server to a client.

What was the first app that you added to Nubo?The calculator of course! It let us test the Nubo client in real time.

How many people were you when you started working at Nubo?There were five of us – founder Israel Lifshitz, a CTO, a VP Product and two Android developers.

What was it like during those first few months at Nubo?In the beginning, everything we did was huge because there was no Nubo infrastructure like there is today. Every time we added something to Nubo, we felt like NASA engineers giving a standing ovation when a spaceship lands on Mars or the Moon.

What were your biggest challenges?Nothing like Nubo existed. Typically, developers Google their questions just like everyone else. In our case, Google offered no answers. No one was – or is – broadcasting data from Android on a server to a mobile device.

How did you solve problems?Just like in movies – we hunted for clues. Only in our case, the clues were buried under thousands of lines of code.

What have you learned from your colleagues at Nubo?Every one of us has his or her unique way of attacking a challenge. I learn by watching them go through the “problem to solution process.”

What makes Nubo different than other companies that you’ve worked at?Nubo is a small startup. We’ve never needed to schedule meetings with one another. I appreciate the immediate and easy access to my colleagues, and I assume they do as well. When one of us needs help, we can sit eye-to-eye without using a calendar. That’s the startup culture.

What can you tell us about secrecy at Nubo?When I was interviewed, I had no idea what Nubo was going to do. All I knew was that it involved Android on a server.

Finally, tell us about your “wow” moment at Nubo.I enjoy tough mental challenges. I didn’t feel this kind of satisfaction of solving difficult challenges at any of my previous jobs. I’ve climbed mountains of code at Nubo. We’re not done yet and I’m proud of our contribution to BYOD!

Kenny Sahr

Game over. Google is now the master of the consumer cloud. The knockout punch was the successful deployment of Google Drive. Barely two years old, Google Drive has revolutionized the consumer and small-business cloud beyond recognition.

The Dropbox Cloud

Dropbox was the first reigning champion of the consumer cloud. Launched in 2008, Dropbox was an incredible leap forward. Just this past November, Dropbox announced that it hit 200 million users. There will always be a need to store data files in the cloud, and Dropbox has a proven track record.

But Dropbox never took the consumer cloud to the next level. They never became a Software as a Service (SaaS); they remained a virtual drop box for most people, no matter what features they’ve recently added.

When I used Dropbox in my last job, I thought it was an advantage being able to use Microsoft Word in a shared environment, until two of us opened the same file at the same time and things got tricky. Even if Dropbox fixed this issue, it allowed tens of millions of people to check out Google Drive and see how things worked on the other side.

The Move To Google Drive

When I moved to Google Drive last summer, it was a bit of shock. I hadn’t used any word processor besides Word since WordPerfect in the 1980s. The Google Docs editor gets right to the point. It doesn’t pretend to be capable of servicing law firms and advertising agencies. To paraphrase the old Miller Lite commercial, Google Docs is everything you always wanted in an editor. And less.

My spreadsheet needs are even more basic than my document-editing needs, and Google Docs does it fine. I just don’t need 99 percent of Microsoft Excel’s features. Microsoft Office costs $69.99 to $99.99 for personal and family editions. With Google, $9.99 a month gets you 1 terabyte, and their SaaS software is free.

Every Road Leads To The Google Cloud

Every Gmail user is a potential Google consumer cloud user. Unless you live in a cave, you probably have a Gmail account. Gmail and every Google service are like items on display at a store window. In ancient times, every road led to Rome; in modern times, every online road leads to the Google cloud. Google offers too many free services to count, and they are all ways to hop onboard.

Eventually, Gmail might just woo you into other Google apps. I myself made the move from Dropbox to Google Drive. Sure, Dropbox uploads might be a little bit faster. But the appeal of having everything in the same ecosystem won out.

The GB Threshold For Cloud Moves

The more gigabytes of data you upload to the Google cloud, the higher your threshold for moving to another consumer cloud. That’s why Google recently raised the free limit from 5GB to 15GB. It’s one thing to re-upload 4GB of data to a competing cloud, and another to re-upload 15GB.

Think of the 20-minute form you fill out on a new social network. When you’re done, you can spend an evening uploading photos and filling out endless text boxes. When I read about “the next big social network,” I think of the time it will take me to migrate my life info to it, and I usually pass.

The Google marketing team knows exactly what they’re doing by giving away free cloud space. Expect them to raise it every so often. Like the Hotel California, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

Game, Set, Match: Google

There will always be competitors to the Google consumer cloud, but it will be nearly impossible to beat it. An investor with a few hundred million dollars will have an easier time building a fleet of cruise ships to compete with Carnival and Royal Caribbean. If you thought it was dangerous for Google to control our Internet search habits, today Google owns our online lives. And they will for the foreseeable future.

This article was written on an Acer C720 Chromebook.

Kenny Sahr

So you’ve just launched your company’s BYOD program and employees are starting to bring their personal devices to work. How do you ensure compliance? In a word, communication!

Do Your BYOD Homework

Before you even launch your BYOD program, introduce your IT team to your marketing writer. IT needs to express your company’s BYOD rules and procedures to your writer. A good writer will be able to write your rules in understandable English; a mix of technical terms with a bit of charm. If your BYOD rules read like a technical document, no one will understand it. Remember – the people reading your BYOD rules don’t all come from the tech side of your company.

Distribute Your BYOD Rules

Now that you have your BYOD rules, it is time to distribute them. The rule of thumb here is – “the more, the better.” Hand out printed copies, email a digital version, mention it on Yammer and your internal social media with a link to your company’s BYOD page. Make it hard for employees not to run into your BYOD rules and procedures!

A BYOD Meeting

Written rules just aren’t enough when the stakes are this high. Organize a BYOD meeting at your company. Your IT team can do the presentation, but make sure they are good communicators. If not, pass it onto marketing. A boring reading of the rules is a waste of time. Start off with the good news – “Starting next week, you are welcome to work at home and here in the office on your personal devices! There are important rules for you to follow, but if we all work together, you will have more freedom than ever when it comes to your smartphones and tablets.”

Allow BYOD Confessions

Finally, the most important BYOD compliance tip. Expect your employees to make mistakes, especially during the initial launch of your program. Make it very clear to them that you are more interested in learning about their mistakes and problems than you are reprimanding them. It won’t do you any good if they hide things from your IT department. You need to know of any security holes and you won’t discover them without open lines of communication with your employees. If someone brings a device to work and is able to connect it to your office wifi without going through procedures and IT doesn’t detect it, you can’t afford to scare employees into not informing you. A bit of tolerance towards both IT and employees will go a long way.

Good communication is no less important than smart security in a successful BYOD program. Plan and implement your communication and you will do wonders for BYOD compliance!