AR/VR, Robots, Drones… 6 Emerging Technologies and their Applications


As the saying goes, the only constant in life is change. As with technology, the landscape is constantly evolving too. It is amazing to see the speed at which technology has pushed its boundaries to create new value and transform experiences for both businesses and consumers.

Here’s a look at the top 6 technological trends we have observed to be transforming the way we work and live, along with some use-cases to help convey their applicability. For the entrepreneurs reading this, consider thinking about how you might leverage these technologies to super-charge your business.

1. Drones

Drones are unmanned aerial devices that can fly or move without an onboard human pilot. They can operate autonomously via inbuilt computers and travel on a predetermined flight plan that is controlled remotely or directed manually. The presence of drones can potentially impact a larger segment of the courier industry and support a new phase of digital business. Just Imagine receiving your Amazon delivery at your doorstep via this nifty flying vehicle.

Potential Industries: Precision farming, Cargo delivery, Railway safety, Construction site management

Use Case: Medical Supplies in Rwanda
The government of Rwanda partnered up with Silicon Valley startup, Zipline to deliver medical supplies to 5 of its hospitals. The drones can transport up to 150 deliveries per day and have reduced the duration of a single delivery from 4 hours to 15 mins.

2. blockchain

In layman’s terms, Blockchain is a system which functions as a self-auditing network of information. It uses a network of computing nodes to document the value of transactions sequentially in “blocks” across a database that can be shared among multiple parties simultaneously.

Rather than persisting a central system of record, the information is kept public and hosted concurrently by multiple computers, allowing it to be easily accessible and verifiable. This increase in transparency makes the Blockchain system more credible than other similar systems, and reduces business friction as a result. Another way to think of Blockchain is as a shared Google Document for digital transaction records.

Potential Industries: Peer to Peer transactions, Supply chain auditing, Governance, Data management, File storage, Stock trading

Use Case: Host and Guest Integrity on Airbnb
Guests can easily verify a host’s credibility by checking their ID number as r
epresentations of people’s online identities are stored on a Blockchain. Unlike Facebook, users cannot delete their accounts and re-register if they receive unfavorable reviews, as records on Blockchain cannot be tampered with.

3. Automation: Robots

Don’t worry, robots are not taking over the world (yet), but a world with robots automating human-exclusive tasks does not seem that far away. Robots are electro-mechanical machines or virtual agents that assist humans with their daily activities autonomously or through a set of instructions set by a computer program. As much as they have the ability to improve productivity, the implication of robots lowering the employment rate is also a cause for concern by some groups.

Potential Industries: Manufacturing, Service industry, Hazardous industries, Hotels and tourism, Automation of predictable tasks

Use case: Automated News in China
A publishing company in China, Southern Metropolis Daily, has published its first robot-written report that summarized the train transportation schedules during the Lunar New Year and advised readers on recommended routes to travel.​

4. IOT

IOT (Internet of Things) is a network of internet-connected objects, devices and vehicles that are able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors. This technology links all our devices together and makes them hum in a veritable technological harmony. As a result, we are able to collect and exchange data seamlessly across devices over the internet, control the devices and monitor them remotely.

Potential Industries: Inventory and material tracking, Real-time asset monitoring, Customer self service, Data integration and analytics, Real-time market insights, Dynamic billing and pricing application

Use Case: Smart Homes by Samsung
Samsung’s SmartThings system helps households automate their in-home devices. It allows users to control lights, locks, plugs, thermostats, cameras and speakers from a centralized location like your phone.

5. Augmented Reality and Virtual reality (AR/VR)

Most people first experienced the wonders of AR through Pokemon Go, which had over 100 million downloads. AR (Augmented Reality) enables blending of the real and virtual world via a graphic and/or audio overlay through a supplemental device. This is not to be confused with VR (Virtual Reality), which is a computer-generated simulation of a 3-dimensional image or a complete surrounding within an enclosed space, usually requiring tools such as a VR helmet or headset.

Both AR and VR create an immersive environment and are transforming the way individuals interact with each other. Although most devices are still in early-stage development, enterprises can anticipate targeted applications of VR and AR in the coming years.

Potential Industries: Immersive journalism, Virtual workplaces, Architecture/construction, education and training, Entertainment, Healthcare, Merchandising

Use Case: Physical to Digital Bridge for Brands by Blippar
Blippar has developed an Augmented Reality platform, pioneering a solution for brands to create augmented digital experiences through a scan of an image or a logo. More recently, it developed a ‘visual browser’ which allows users to scan the real world around them and receive a layer of information about objects and places in their surroundings.

6. AI and machine learning

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is an umbrella concept that is made up of numerous subfields such as machine learning and natural language processing. It encompasses a combination of extensive parallel processing power, massive data sets to feed its software algorithms and advanced systems that can teach themselves to become more intelligent.

By leveraging AI, providers can focus more on advanced analytics, streamline business processes and create more conversational interfaces. Gartner predicts by 2018, the world’s largest 200 companies will be leveraging intelligent apps for their various offerings.

Potential Industries: Managing personal finances, Automated virtual assistance, Real time fraud and risk management, Data analytics and advanced analytics, Customer support, Transactions and helpdesks.

Use case: Intelligent Routing for Uber and Lyft
These ride-sharing applications use machine learning to predict rider demand and arrival times of rides, and optimally plan routes across passengers to minimize detours.

The tech industry is constantly progressing and making predictions about the course of its future is no trivial task. Disruptive technologies and their application can sometimes gain rapid recognition and acceleration, making it a moving target. However it is important to be aware of the state of the industry and attempt to foresee the most likely technologies to be adopted next.  This could prove pivotal in helping to catch the wave of the next billion dollar business opportunity.


For someone with limited experience in User Experience (UX) or User Interface (UI) design (yes, they are vastly different), you can get started on UX easily by taking an online UX course – usually the easiest and most affordable way of kickstarting your UX journey. Every course claims to have the best mentors, the highest employment rate for students who have completed the course, the largest amount of resources available for you and thus, it can get confusing when it comes to choosing a course that is most suited to meeting your learning goals.
We understand your pain-points and hence, we have curated 10 online UI/UX courses with all the information you need to know to help make an informed decision when choosing an online UI/UX course. We have also compiled the following list within a UI/UX courses chart for you to make an easier comparison.

1. UX Training

Price: $280 for 1 year unlimited access
​Hours: 7 hours (90+ videos)
Example of courses: UX Theory – What is UX, Research – Usability Testing, Design – Design Principle
Differentiator: Members-only forum that allows you to share your projects to gain feedbacks

2. Interaction foundation design

Price: $8 per month, paid yearly (for students)
$13 per month, paid yearly (for professional)

Hours: Between 1 to 7 hours per week
Example of courses: Become a UX designer from scratch, Human-Computer Interaction, The Practical Guide to Usability
Differentiator: Limited participants for each course, free articles and books from authors such as Clayton M. Christensen (He coined the term Disruptive Innovation!)

3. Design lab

Price: $299 per course
Hours: 10 hours per week for 4 weeks
​Example of courses: UX Research and Strategy, Interaction Design, Prototyping and Testing
Differentiators: Limited participants for each course, Skype session with industry leaders and feedbacks from mentors

4. Edx – university of michigan

Price: Free
Hours: 3 to 4 hours per week
Examples of courses: Evaluating Designs with Users, UX Design from Wireframe to Prototype, User Experience Research and Design
Differentiator: Reviews available for each course

5. Treehouse

Price: $25 per month (basic plan)
           $49 per month (pro plan)
Hours: 30 mins to 17 hours per course
Examples of courses: UX Basics, HTML Email Design, Mockups for Responsive Design
Differentiator: Offers access to UX-related Conference resources

6. Udemy

Price: $10 to $195 per course
Hours: 1.5 hours to 23.5 hours per course
Examples of courses: UX & Web Design Master Course: Strategy, Design, Development, Mobile App Design from scratch with Sketch 3, UX Strategy Fundamentals
Differentiator: Offers both full-stack UX courses and specific UX topics courses, reviews available for each course

7. Coursera

Price: Free
Hours: 4 to 5 weeks per course
Examples of courses: Interaction Design, Introduction to User Experience Design, User Interface Design
Differentiator: Offers courses from well-known universities such as Georgia Institute of Technology, reviews available for each course

8. Lynda

Price: $19.99 per month (basic plan)
           $29.99 per month (pro plan)
Hours: 13mins 48 secs – 6 hours 1 min per course
​Examples of courses: Planning a career in User Experience, Foundations of UX: Multidevice Design, UX Design Techniques: Creating Personas
Differentiator: Transcripts for video feature

9. skillshare

Price: For premium videos
          $8 per month (Annual payment)
$12 per month (Monthly payment)
          Includes free videos
Hours: 14mins to 12hrs 4mins
Examples of courses: iOS Design I: Getting Started with UX, UX Design Fundamentals: Everything You Need to Know, Intro to UX: Fundamentals of Usability
Differentiator: Members-only forum that allows you to share your projects to gain feedbacks, reviews available for each course

10. Envato tuts+

Price: $15 per month
           $9 per course
Includes free videos
Hours: 10mins to 5.9 hours
Examples of courses: Fundamentals of UX Design, A/B testing for Web Designers, UX Prototyping for Mobile Devices with InVision
Differentiator: Members-only forum that allows you to share your projects to gain feedbacks


Apart from the online classes, here are some additional reading materials we find useful for UI/UX beginners as well. These are perfect for those who would like to read up on fundamentals of UI/UX in bite-sizes!

1. UX Apprentice

A website that provides you with book recommendations to improve your understanding of various UX topics and quizzes to test your UX knowledge.

2. ux crash course: 31 fundamentals

A UX crash course that splits your learning process into 31 lessons. It is suitable for people who are looking to gain a generic overview of UX topics.

3. HackDesign

Gain a better understanding of UX through HackDesign’s 50 lessons course. Each lesson features different web articles about specific UX topics, curated by various UX experts.  

4. 52 weeks of ux

We love the simplicity of this interactive online lesson. It features a short write up on various UX topics and after 52 weeks, you will get to have a better comprehension of the fundamentals of UX.
Having taken some of these UX courses as part of Perpetual’s UX training curriculum, we recommend the courses offered by UX Training and EdX-University of Michigan. Both of these courses not only offers a wide variety of hands-on exercises but are also comprehensive, specific and easy to follow.
Remember, before you embark on your UX journey, it is always advisable to practice with UI/UX tools such as Sketch and InVision to apply what you have learnt. 


Our review of 10 UI/UX courses worth taking

10 Classic Resources we find useful for UI/UX designers

#TriedandTested – At Perpetual, we like to keep things simple. There will always be discovery of new UX tools but here are the top 10 resources we turn to when it comes to UX design. We hope that they will be as useful for you,

as they are for us.

1. UX Checklist

As UX designers, we understand that there are many tasks we need to oversee at once. The UX Checklist is a useful tool to help you check if you have completed all your necessary steps – from competitive analysis to your A/B test plan.

2. xScope

Created by designers, for designers – xScope is a tool that is useful for measuring, inspecting and testing on-screen graphics and layouts. It features a Loupe tool that allows you to quickly measure the size of anything on your window without you having to take a screenshot and transfer it to your preferred software.


3. Craft

Created by InVision, Craft is a suite of plugins that allows us to include real unique content from live websites in our prototypes. Yes, we no longer need to waste time coming up with placeholder content or dummy profile descriptions. #smallvictories

4. Colllor

A color palette generator tool that allows you to view different variations of one color. After all, modifying one base color is essentially the fundamental skill of coloring interface designs.

5. pttrns

A website filled with UI resources and mobile design kits for anyone in need of some last-minute inspiration.

6. Font Awesome

Font Awesome provides you with scalable vector icons that can be instantly customized by size, color, drop shadow and anything that can be done within the scope of CSS.


7. Freebiesbug

A free web design resources page that allows you to browse through multiple illustrator, PSD and Sketch freebies needed for UI, template or plug-in design.

8. Usertesting

To be a great designer, one must dive deeper into how users think and act. A product that appears easy for us to navigate may not be as easy for users to comprehend. We need to test our products with real users and this is where comes in, to help you test your products with users from your target market.


9. CSSmatic

The ultimate tool for CSS designers. We like it because it is a reliable and interactive tool that generates CSS codes for gradients, borders, shadows and noise textures.

10. Nielsen norman

We subscribe to Nielsen Norman’s newsletter for research-based UX articles and reports. We like it simply because most of their articles are based on extensive data research and user analysis.
Hope you have enjoyed our top 10 favorites. Comment below if you have any other recommendations! We’ll  compile them and share with designers in the UX community.

100 Venture Capitalists You Can Trust


Venture Capital has its pros and cons–raise money and you give part of your company away and depending on the VC, this can often lead to them subjecting your company to scrutiny and outside oversight, not to mention a board seat or two. While these cons are indeed daunting, they give you money to grow your team, build your product, scale up sales and operations and more.

So while it’s tempting to accept any money that comes your way, it’s important to think heavily about these five concepts first:

1. Does the VC bring domain expertise in your type of business

  • Finding a VC that’s skilled and knowledgeable in your area of expertise and industry is always beneficial.

2. Does the VC respect your startup timeline

  • While communication with your investors is always important, respecting the need to be patient and for time to focus on building your startup over managing VC stakeholders is a good quality for VCs to have. Patience is indeed a virtue here.

3. What’s the caliber and expertise of the VC’s network

  • Getting a well-known venture capitalist with great connections is always a bonus.”It’s not just what you know, but who you know” holds very true in this case, and social capital is key along with cash Having great connections can often attract brilliant individuals as partners, customers, investors or employees.

4. Understanding that they won’t be the only ones coming through your door

  • If the VC understands and respects your equity resources, then they’re definitely a keeper. Often times startups reserve shares for later rounds of funding, so finding a VC that acknowledges your drive for further growth is beneficial.

5. Types of startups funded and success rate

  • A track record investing in successful reputed startups with favorable exits is key.

With this in mind, our team has formulated a list of 100 VC’s you can trust. While not each one will be a good fit for your startup, each of these VC’s carry a respectable reputation within their industries. With several years of experience each, the number of successful startups they have invested in are staggering, with a combined $250B in funds managed.

Essential Tools for New Startups

We work with a variety of startups across Product, User Experience, Design, Development, Architecture, QA, Operations and more. We partner with them from the early stages of

a founder with an idea to scaling and supporting millions of users. After many years of immersing ourselves in the startup environment, we’ve got a good idea of the most suitable tools and services to create a successful startup.

Here are some tools across Analytics, Marketing, Billing, Careers, System/Tech and Operations that we have found to be most useful for technology oriented startups i.e startups who have an in-house technology team developing products and services.

Metrics are a key part of any business; a way to keep a check on the health of your product and startup as a whole. The key analytic tools we found helpful to startups are as follows. Note that these do not include broader business analytics metrics since these are more suited for product analytics and performance. (Which in the case of most tech startups is the key metric to track).


Google Analytics: A great way to keep track of general performance of your web and mobile sites in the form of unique visitor numbers and provides traffic sources and paths through your product. While it might not be ideal for individual event tracking, it has gotten great for cross device tracking including native mobile apps. Besides these, it also lets you track the performance of your paid advertising channels, outside of Google Adwords own analytics .

FlurryAn irreplaceable product for mobile event analytics that lets you segment your user analytics and chase down the best user acquisition channels. Startups tend to use this alongside Google Analytics for in-depth mobile app tracking and optimization.

MixpanelThe best product for real time event tracking and easy for tracking events you really care about. While also letting you set-up paths and goals, Mixpanel is nice for big picture analytics and super easy to use for non-tech savvy stakeholders. Note that usage can become addictive in terms of observing how your product is being used in real-time; save the analysis for when you have data from more clickstreams..


KissMetricsIf you’re doing any kind of A/B testing, Kissmetrics is your go-to option. It provides several options to monitor a variety of tests with a focus on actual users, user cohorts, and user behavior across your product.

App FiguresThis lets you track key app metrics including installs and active users and has a nice alert feature to send you periodic emails with this information.

Chartbeat: Nothing quite like seeing a dashboard of your key metrics in one place and in one tab. Chartbeat makes this happen.

CrazyEgg: If you want to know where your users are clicking on your site Crazy Egg is the answer. Equipped with the finest such tracking and several visualization options from heatmaps to ‘click dots’, CrazyEgg is one of the most advanced products in its industry.


Facebook: Ideal channel to target a B2C audience and enables phenomenal reach with limited cost. Has the ability to heavily target by demographic and if integrated, we recommend making use of pages specific to your business.

Twitter: Ideal for B2B and B2B engagement, a must for any startup.

Instagram Suitable if your business has something visual to portray e.g product shots. Mostly used if your business is related to travel, events, or you conduct business at a venue your customers visit e.g a restaurant or a store.

Hootsuite: Lets you post and track performance across multiple social channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. An invaluable timesaver and among other such tools we’ve evaluated, Hootsuite is the best place to start.

Vimeo: Great for promotional videos you want to embed on your website or blog. It provides a nice clean white-labeled player and lets you customize the theme. 

YouTube: Great place to put up video content and have it be discovered organically and shared directly on Youtube and other social channels.

DisqusIf you have a blog or a comments section on your website, Disqus is a great solution to use. With their user count already in astounding numbers, it can be used to pull in other relevant content.

Yelp (Business Owner): Highly recommended to set up an account if you are a local business and local discovery is important to you.

Google AdWordsThis is the Go-To tool for online paid advertising since the majority of internet users use and absorb content through Google. If you are looking to enter the world of paid online advertising, Google Adwords is the place to start.

WordPressIf you’re looking for a platform to start a great blog, look no further because WordPress is the Go-To Solution. Easy to use with several pre-existing themes and templates, as well as several plugins for things like SEO, visual elements, payments and more.

Survey MonkeyAmong the various survey tools out there, Survey Monkey is a great tool to run periodic surveys with your users and prospective users. A close second is Survey Gizmo, followed by Google Forms if you like to keep things simple.

Shutterstock: We all need stock images once in awhile, Shutterstock being one of the best places to go for this. With high quality shots and reasonable prices, this company certainly has every type of picture you need.  

MailchimpAmong email marketing tools out there, this is the most popular and recommended email marketing tool. With well rounded sets of features in all respects, Mailchimp is designed to be user-friendly and is a great tool to start your email marketing adventures with.

Hasoffers: A great way to offer your product or service to several affiliate marketers and networks. In other words, let other networks market for you, grow your audience, and create new revenue opportunities. You should only consider this if you were looking to distribute your services via affiliate marketing.

123rfA good source of royalty-free images as well as non standard stock photography.

If you are collecting any kind of money directly online from your users, then you need a variety of billing solutions besides your main bank of course.

First DataThe de-facto Payment Processor, with several settlement options and competitive rates.

Paypal: A service that enables you to pay, send money, and accept payments. If you plan to collect money via Paypal, you will need their business account. 

​BraintreeAmong modern credit card gateways out there, (eg Stripe, Braintree etc) we find Braintree to be the most user-friendly and competitive. They also provide end to end solutions from payment gateways to payment processors. They recently have become the only solution to support all types of payments including Paypal via one solution, which makes it a clear winner above the rest.

Freshbooks: Collecting and tracking invoices? Freshbooks is ideal.

If you need something shipped, these two top-of-the-line delivery services provide fast and easy
​transportation. Sorry if we sound like Captain Obvious here.


Freshdirect: A New York City specific company that delivers fresh groceries right to your doorstep. If your startup is in New York and you like to keep a stocked fridge with fresh food for your employees, look no further.

Seamless: Working late or don’t want to step outside in horrendous weather?  Seamless is an online food ordering service that brings lunch right to your doorstep.

Bluebottle: We and many startups we work with are not huge fans of some of the standard corporate office choices. Instead, we prefer drip coffee, specifically of the Single Source variety. The best choice for this in our opinion is Blue Bottle Coffee.

CDC Coffee: Refreshment distribution company. Recommended brews: Flavia/Alterra

Starbucks: An American coffee company and coffeehouse chain.

Bulk Purchasing

BestBuy:  An all encompassing electronics store that has just about everything a startup could need. Helps to get an account with the to avail of various discounts and points for your miscellaneous electronics.

Amazon Store: If you don’t want to get up from your chair to buy supplies or pretty much anything your office needs, Amazon store is the answer. They have occasional deals like Amazon Prime day which will help further prove your frugal characteristics to your investors.

Office Supplies

Staples: In regards to bulk office supplies, Staples provides a huge variety in every category that any office could possibly need.

​Quill: For competitive prices and a New York native office supply solution, try this supply store.

Looksharp: A job search site specifically for the intern level where you can find your ideal internship from their large database.

Indeed: Indeed provides millions of jobs to searches around the world, and lets you easily list job postings and find suitable talent

System/ Tech
Amazon S3
Standing for Simple Storage System, Amazon S3 provides developers and IT teams with secure, durable, and highly-scalable cloud storage; great for every startup.

Apple has long since been a provider for phones and other technical mediums for years. Whether it be a new iPhone or iMac, Apple products have been the standard for tech companies due to the low learning curves and myriad of exclusive programs available. Also critical to have an account here if you’re developing an iPhone or iPad application.

Adobe Creative Cloud
A must-have for every designer out there, the Adobe Creative Cloud contains essential design programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere that have been used in countless creative products that constantly shifts the design world we know today.  

This service exists to enable developers to build and run applications entirely in the cloud with easy in-built tools that save you from getting your hands dirty with devops or the like. Some products that Heroku provides out of the box Heroku Platform, Redis, Postgres, and many more. 

Engine Yard
This one is for all of the engineers developing critical Rail apps out there. This is a logical next jump from Heroku for hosting your Ruby on Rails applications.

GoDaddy is a reliable and affordable no-frills web hosting company. Use it as a one-stop-shop for your domains and simple websites. While it provides affordable WordPress and PHP hosting options, its in-house website creation templates are not the most aesthetic.  

DynDNS (Secondary DNS)
Great alternative to GoDaddy for cheap domains and some flexible options to manage sub domains and certificates.

This tool is key to analyzing exceptions in your code. As soon as any crash, exception or error is detected, an alert with detailed information about the error and suggestions to address the issue is sent to you.

Often considered to be every software engineer’s best friend. As one of the most popular code hosting platforms out there, Github brings people from all over the world to collaborate on millions of projects, and gives your startup a place to host and collaborate on your code securely. 

In regards to website monitoring, this platform makes it easy to track the uptime, downtime, and performance of websites.

Pivotal Tracker
This platform enables users to manage their projects, collaborate efficiently, and develop better projects. As an agile project management tool, it’s lightweight, easy to use, and our personal favorite for agile software development teams of 6 or less. For bigger teams and projects, JIRA does the trick.

All developers share the same knowledge that fixing bugs and performance issues are never fun to do. This program offers the very solution to that: A performance management solution that enables developers to fix these problems in real time.  An equivalent but more cost effective option is DataDog.

If your website or apps are slow due to excess data, this company specializes in making them faster by replicating, purging and provisioning content instantly.

Usability Hub
If you need instant user experience testers for your product, UsabilityHub is the place to go. With multiple tests such as the Five Second Test or Questions Test, UsabilityHub captures design feedback quickly and easily with these.

This proxy is really great for web developers who need to watch and manipulate network traffic for their AJAX applications. This free proxy provides a multitude of services including capturing performance data, manipulating browser behavior and traffic, simulating network traffic latency, and many more.

This program enables developers to test their website across various browsers on different operating systems and mobile devices without requiring users to install virtual machines, devices, or emulators; often the cause of a huge headache.

If you’re sending emails to hundreds or more, it can often get pretty overwhelming. This service is the one platform that your email desperately needs. Providing services like transactional delivery and email marketing campaign assistance, Sengrid provides world-class technology and personal attention from their experts.

Assuming your startup is using Rails, this is a useful tool. Railscast is designed for intermediate rail learners (although you can still get something out of it if you’re a beginner or expert) and is a website hosting various videos on tips and tricks to learning Rails as a developer. The screencasts are short and sweet specifically focusing on one technique so you can quickly move on to applying it to your own project. The Pro option to this contains more screencasts each week.

Ruby Gems:
This service is the Ruby community’s gem hosting site where you can instantly publish gems and install them. Easy to interact with and an invaluable tool for all Ruby developers out there. No wonder that an oft-quoted maxim in the RoR world is “There’s a Gem for that”.

Calico DeskStanding Desks have taken over the startup hub with its change of pace from sitting down for nine hours to being provided a whole array of positions. Our personal favorite is the Calico Designs 51230 Sierra Height Adjustable Desk that can be bought off of Amazon. Why do we love it? It’s the most sturdy, right sized instantly adjustable standing desk at less than $200.

Solano Labs:
This company provides powerful, scalable systems that increases efficiency and quality. For a software engineer, the services provided here truly are your best friend.

Test Flight:
As Apple’s own beta testing software, Test Flight allows developers to test their apps with a group of internal servers. This is an extremely valuable asset to developers since receiving feedback is critical to the design process before uploading to the App Store.

Communication is key for every startup, this cloud communications platform specializing specifically in this. This can include embedding messaging, voice, video, authentication in your apps with simple and powerful API, and other aspects that improve your communications on your platform significantly.  


Dropbox: As one of the most popular online file storage systems out there, it enables you to share and collaborate online better than any other file sharing solution. It has high limits on storage at low cost and constantly keeps getting better.

Gmail: A classic email platform that has been on the Internet since 2004, Gmail is a web-based email that provides users 1GB of free storage. When used as part of Google Apps for Work, it performs as a full service email solution eliminating the need for an email server like Microsoft Exchange.

Google Apps For WorkIf Google made an all encompassing product that provided every Google app that’s beneficial for businesses, it would be this one. Some of these apps includes Google Hangouts, Documents, Calendar, Forms, and many more, again eliminating the need for your business to maintain infrastructure to support these tools.

Microsoft Office Business Account: A true classic when it comes to online business products especially in the enterprise B2B world if you’re working with corporate clients. Sometimes Google Apps won’t load those crazy Excel macros.

Jive: As a large scale Cloud-based phone service, Jive works best for business-grade companies who want reliable, powerful, and economical hosted communication service.

Hipchat: If you’re looking for a group and video chat that works well for teams, Hipchat is definitely your fix. Designed to liberate working individuals from their desks, this system provides a variety of goodies such as video calling, screen and file sharing, and the security that every company craves.

GoToMyPc: If your employees need to work remotely, this tool enables easy remote access to your work computer anywhere and anytime.

Mapbox:  Mapbox is an open source mapping platform that lets you create beautiful custom designed maps. It’s a provider of maps for several huge companies such as Foursquare, Pinterest, Evernote, and the Financial Times.  We love the visual options it has over Google maps but is not ideal cost-wise if you have massive volumes.

Olark: Armed with incredible features including the knowledge of who’s visiting your website and where they’re looking, Olark is one of the most advanced and yet easy-to-use live chat systems available. A good way to get instant engagement with your site visitors.

Salesforce: The leading CRM platform that employees can access entirely over the Internet and truly prioritizes the customer by putting them at the center of everything that you do. Great benefits of using Salesforce include improvement in these areas: Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Community, Analytics, Apps, and the IoT Cloud. For lighter alternatives, we recommend Pipedrive, Highrise and Base CRM.

Better Business Burea: You’ll need an account here if your startup is related to a traditional business that is tracked by the BBB. Hopefully you start and stay with that A+ rating.

Behance: As the leading online creative platform, Behance is great for discovering hidden and raw talent.  Use it to seek inspiration or find that visual designer your startup needs. Note that it’s known to have outlandish/experimental designs compared to the more level dribbble. 

MyFax: Fax machines have since gone and left with this new tool that let’s you send and receive faxes through multiple mediums such as phone, email, or the web.

Vistaprint: If you’re looking for customized and personally designed marketing material for your business, Vistaprint is a great solution. This company provides 100% customization in an array products such as business cards, posters, signs, stationery, and many more. The best part is when you sign up with them they send you a free pack of swag including a T-Shirt with your branding on it.

Vonage: Provides quality phone service for home, small business, and business phone systems. This is a good option if you plan to do a lot of international calling. 

TrelloThis platform enables you to visually collaborate with teammates on boards and other aspects of the creative process. This is an especially powerful product for designers since communicating visually is very effective and also provides a light way to get organized about any kind of project.

SlackThis is undoubtedly the tool of choice for office collaboration, replacing email, IM and file sharing tools.

SpotifyOne of the top music streaming platforms available, Spotify enables free access to millions of songs all on the tips of your fingers. Getting a company account can help if you like to play music in common areas. We found that many development teams at startups like to have this benefit.

Idea Kit: A Good Place To Start

​​Even the best have humble beginnings. Brilliant companies with amazing user interfaces, in-genius advertisements, beautiful animations of the big screen, have all found themselves in one situation: Staring down at a blank piece of paper with a pencil in hand. With technology becoming more integrated with our lives and staring at computer screens for nine hours a day is no longer abnormal, it’s hard to come up with ideas when our processes have become this mechanical. The ability to come up with fresh and new ideas often occurs not in front of a screen, but when you revert back to the more humble and basic methods.

Here are three key benefits for using our template:

  • Easier to understand your design process
  • Enables clearer thinking
  • More flexible way to layout your ideas

In order to express this importance of integrating paper and pencil into your design process, we made a simple idea kit in hopes of enabling lots of wonderful ideas to come to life. Happy creating!​

File Size: 129 kb
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File Size: 126 kb
File Type: pdf

Download File

Effective Web App Monitoring at Low Cost

Possibly the worst part about running an online service is when it crashes, or worse, being unaware that it crashed. This post pertains to how to monitor your service effectively at a low cost. The key things to know about your service includes three critical questions, and our suggested effective solutions to them.

AppBeat is a service that monitors the ports and their latency from external servers from different locations on the globe and reports the analysis results on your dashboard; every day and every hour. Some benefits of using this service include the comforting knowledge that your apps are constantly being monitored and watched over, the high availability of services which often equates to high customer satisfaction, the detection of slow response times, and the critical prevention of unexpected outages. What’s more, it can integrate with other services like Slack and Pagerduty to report alerts on these.

Datadog on the other hand is a service that monitors various parameters on the server including CPU load, memory consumption, network I/O, disk IO, temperature, and many more. Benefits of this service include aspects in Integrations, Dashboards, Correlations, Collaborations, Metric Alerts, and Developer API. While there is a lot of information regarding all of these aspects, one of the main distinguished features include the fact that it sends data to the dashboard where the user can see it and configure/trigger alerts if anything goes wrong.

Regarding the low cost part mentioned above, another advantage of both Datadog and Appbeat is that they have free plans, so the setup cost for monitoring solutions is zero. This is a great alternative to paid services like Pingdom and Newrelic (which are fine services in their own right), making it a good option for startups with tighter budgets.

Before we start the set-up process for the monitoring system we have to identify a few things first, such as the email and mobile number you want to send alerts to and a credit card to sign up for Twilio (you only pay per-user at a nominal cost). We will first start off for cases with a use-purpose like running a blog, where just using Appbeat is good enough. We’ll cover Datadog and Twilio in a future posts.

​How to setup Appbeat

  • Create an account with
  • Verify your email address
  • Following this, go to “Services & Checks” on the left panel in your dashboard.
    • There you’ll see an option to add a new service. Click on it and your screen should look like the one below,
    • Fill out the following form and click “Save”.

Once you’ve added the new service, the next step involves adding checks that are to be grouped under that service.

  • Click on the tab labeled “Checks”
  • Click on “Add a new Check”. You’ll get a screen that asks for information about the check
  • Fill it out and click “Next”.
    • There it will ask you to input the URL that’s to be monitored and the time interval at which it is monitored. (suggested interval time: 5 mins)​
After this, you will see many unfamiliar elements on the main dashboard appearing such as the status of the website, its average latency, and monitoring log. It will alert you on your registered email if any of your sites or services go down. ​

If you want the public to see if the services are operational or not, you can create a Public Status page. This can be easily made in the “Public Status” section in the side panel. Simply:

  • Enable the public status page
  • Click on the “Services” tab on the same page to select the services you want to display to the public. ​

If you want to add new users to the site, where they can also look at the data received, they can be added through the “Contacts” section in the side panel.

  • Click on “add new user”
  • Input the email address and mobile number
  • Click whether Email or SMS is the more preferred way to be notified. ​

To see the monitor logs and service statistics, you can access this in the Reports section in the side panel.

  • Click on “show log” on one of the categories i.e. error, undefined, warning, good to see the logs. ​

​Concluding thoughts

​With that, your AppBeat service set-up is completed and you can successfully answer the question “Is my service alive?”. Additionally, for more information regarding this topic, check out Hacker News, it’s a solid information resource and we highly recommend taking a look. Stay tuned for our next few blog posts which will talk more about service vital signs and notifications.

A UX designer’s toolkit

While the bulk of the credit when creating a product goes to the vision and innovation of the designer, the execution or the translation of the vision to a palpable product is equally as important. For years, Adobe products such as Photoshop and Illustrator have dominated the design-driven market. However, with the demand for designers rising and the outlets and opportunities expanding into different industries, the number of tools at a designer’s disposal are also increasing.

“Process = Progress”

-Matt, UX Designer at Perpetual

Out of the hundreds of possible tools that a designer can use to design websites and apps, here are the ones that Matt prefers.

Podcast Talk: Is Wearable The Future?

Our CEO Amish Gandhi sat down with Creative Intellect Consulting to discuss his thoughts on the design, development, and market of wearable technology and how it’s shaping the entire mobile ecosystem. With Perpetual being the first company to really focus on app development for the Glass, Amish covered the technical and design aspects of developing apps for such a sophisticated wearable product. To discover more about their talk, refer to the comprehensive article written by Clive Howard and the link to the podcast itself. 

Dr. Glass: Google Glass For The Medical Vertical

A lot has been said about the applications of Google to the health and medicine vertical. This concept outlines some concepts for this vertical including First Aid, Physician Finder and Doctor-Patient Communication. It shows layouts and interactions that are achievable on Google Glass using the Google Glass mirror API. See the full concept here: