Monday, February 16, 2015

There are only 5 jobs in this world

As someone who has worked from everything to start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations in leadership roles, I have learned that anyone can do anyone's job for the most part.

Some positions that require specialized licensing such as medicine or law may be limited just by those limitations. Barring that, almost any job can be done by anyone and can be learned in 2 years.

There are only 5 real jobs in the modern business world:

1) Building - Build processes, technology, gadgets, machines, policies, medicinal drugs, or service offerings

2) Selling - The ability to sell the items built.

3) Operations - Running the day-to-day businesses of those items built, whether it be legal or HR.

4) Managing money - Accounting and planning of monies that are acquired, distributed, and/or repurposed.

5) Support - Supporting the specialized product or service offering, whether it be customer service, marketing, advertising management, and/or fixing issues.

Those that start their careers over time find a place where they want to be in one of the categories above. This is where they stay and grow their careers, for the most part. Sometimes, mid-career, individuals transition to other core functions.

As we go higher in our careers, even though we specialize in one specific function, we also learn to navigate the other functions due to needs to understand those functions for effective management.

Those that can open their minds to understanding and playing a part in multiple functions will generally be able to grow into a larger role.

There are exceptions to these based on a person's personality, such as if they are introverted (support, managing money, or building) or extrovert (selling or operations). It does not mean they will not be successful, it just takes some folks a little longer to navigate into other roles then others.

As someone who started in engineering and is generally an introvert, and now running his own company, it is as important for me to pursue my core interest (building) as it is to put my shoes on for the other roles.

So, if you have a perception of importance or do not have the confidence, don't worry. No one is important and everyone is going through the same experiences.

None of this is a hard and fast rule, but a conceptualized view of today's world.

Where do you want to be? Feel free to comment below.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy 2015-updates and goals

Happy New Year.

Every year, we at put updates on product and engineering goals and measure our organization against them.

In the beginning of 2014, we stated goals for the year. Let's see how we did.

- Redesign of File Apartment ( that will encompass a stronger foothold in the filesharing space providing features and functionality that will increase the tracking, storage, and sharing of files with accounts and plans. (Don't worry, we will still provide our a-la-carte option for those who want to just simply upload and share.) - Done. (We decided to not offer the la-carte option after rethinking to prevent brand dilution).

- Feature enhancements for to support attributes and sub categories.- 80% done - The basic system is completed. We have to fill out the actual attributes.

- A new classifieds site based on the classifieds engine/system.  -  Postponed in favor of another project.

- Refresh of the All Vineyards app. - Not prioritized

- A potential new utility app for Android. - Postponed in favor of another project

Overall, we ended up not doing bad, however, due to other priorities, some items were reprioritized. The biggest project, redesign of has been completed and launched. The other projects completed in 2014 include:

1) Build out of a new network and servers.
2) Migrating all our existing applications to the latest version of Rails. Up until recently, our applications were still on Rails 2.1. Now we are on Rails 4.2. This includes,,,, and (our ad engine>
3) Advertising and marketing initiatives to help increase our sales.
4) Addition of promotions and events sections on
5) Product planning for a dating site

These activities have resulted in the following:
1) Faster site load times, which helps with SEO and user engagement.
2) Increasing revenue through
3) Higher awareness of and

In the spirit of continuous transparency and improvements, we commit to the following for 2015:

1) Release of a dating site
2) New classifieds site based on classifieds engine/system
3) Complete enhancements for to support attributes and subcategories
4) Continue increasing marketing/advertising initiatives for awareness
5) Android and iOS app launchers for and dating site
6) Enhancement of wine details page on
7) Enhancements for
8) A new analytics tool that is not currently available which we will use internally and may launch publicly.
9) Our stretch goal is a new online chat concept, however it is very early to tell if this is feasible in 2015.

Yes, this seems aggressive, but given some positive internal organizational changes, we believe we are in a position to be more nimble and faster then ever before. We will keep ourselves committed to not only product excellence, but execution as well.


Manish M. Shah
AcceleWeb, Inc.

Friday, November 14, 2014

New File Apartment launched

Since 2008, File Apartment has been a leader in file sharing services. Due to the increasing demand for security, rich features and functionality, seamless mobile/web transition, and simplicity, File Apartment has been redesigned from the bottom up, with brand new servers, software and systems.

We are proud to announce that the new File Apartment is now live and ready to be used.

The site is feature rich with collaboration, versioning, permissions, speed and premium customer support. Best of all, File Apartment provides unlimited storage starting at the low price of $3.99/mo. All new users get a 30-day free trial without obligation.

Friday, October 24, 2014

2015 Internship openings

AcceleWeb, Inc. has openings for our highly coveted web (Ruby on Rails, Javascript, HTML/CSS, database), developer (iOS and Android), and QA internships for 2015.

Given we are a start-up, we cannot compensate, but you will work on interesting, real-world problems and gain tremendous experience about technology and product development. Positions are limited and demand is high, so apply as soon as you can.

Furthermore, if you in a university program that supports it, the positions qualify for credit.

The company is based in New York, but the position is remote and can be worked from anywhere.

If interested, please send resumes to

Friday, October 10, 2014

AcceleWeb growing up

After 9 years of running AcceleWeb, Inc from the couch, laying on the bed, sitting at my little desk at home, and coffee shops on a part-time basis, I'm happy to announce that we have acquired a space in Manhattan, near West Village.

The space is in a beautiful office owned by a realtor ( thank you, Urban Dwellers NYC) with plenty of natural light and a comfortable setting. This will allow us to work on our initiatives on a full-time basis and accelerate delivery of amazing new web and mobile products.

Pictures are attached to this post.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Disrupt, pivot, stealth - What?!

In my career, I have heard many terms used to basically define the same thing over and over. The terms do not really line up with what it is, and there is usually a more exact, simpler way of saying it. Unfortunately, verbiage is caught on and spreads life wildfire, and the core meaning of what that term is, is lost.

These days, the terms that are predominant are - disrupt, pivot, stealth. In a given week, I encounter these terms at least 6-12 times, and that is if I am lucky. To be clear, these terms are relevant in the right context, unfortunately, they are not stated as such.

So, what does one mean when they say "We are a disruptive organization that is pivoting in stealth mode?" To me, it sounds like a business with no focus or direction, somewhat like a car lost in a desert with no GPS.

Now, if I were to redefine that statement into more simpler terms, I would say "We are trying a new business model." This makes more sense to me. Everything else is just fluff.

Here's how I came to that conclusion:

1) Disruptive - Any organization that "claims" to be disruptive is not. Disruption happens, it is not stated that it will happen. Some examples of these organizations today are Tesla Motors, Amazon, Apple, and Google. None of these organizations began with a bold statement saying "We will be disruptive." Instead, they built fantastic products and services that the market caught on to, and then claim what is disruptive about it. In my opinion, building products or services that are differentiated in certain ways to gain market share is a core tenement of business. I do not see how it is "disruptive" to do what you are supposed to do.

2) Pivot - Pivot is nothing more then trying new things. Any organization should always try and experiment with different ideas to see what works and what does not. If a certain path is not working, try a new one, even if means doing a 180. Trying new things is nothing new and has been done for centuries.

3) Stealth - This is generally looked at as fast as you can go to market. Firstly, all organizations, especially when starting up, should try to get to market as fast as possible.  Secondly, this is somewhat of a dangerous term gives a certain visual of speed that is not accurate. An example, stealth does not mean killing your staff to get something out by having them work unbalanced hours. This is actually contradictory to stealth since the organization will still have longer-term issues trying to fix quality issues from speed of the current efforts and employee morale.

I would be weary of any company that uses these terms. To me, that signals a yellow flag of a company that is all sizzle and no steak.

Finally, these terms are used very cavalierly in general conversation. They do have truer meanings then their usage today, and should not be used so lightly.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Unprofessionalism in a professional world

In the course of a professional career, there are a certain set of expectations from individuals or parties that you interact with. Whether at the office, with customers, or meeting vendors, we expect they work with you in a way you would want to work with them.

However ideal this is, it is not reality. The reality is there are situations with individuals or parties that are unprofessional. They tend to be poor in following up, not clear in communications, or, in some cases, just screaming like a child. Whatever the core motivation around this behavior, fear, lack of ability to understand, or poor attention to details, it is a behavior that was learned and, probably engrained, since childhood to “get their way”. The ethical dilemma is how do you deal with those who do not speak the same professional language that you do, but instead are bullies?

When having to deal with these situations, it’s good to step back, evaluate and determine if you want to be a part of it or not. There are certain situations that you do not have this option and there are certain situations that you do.

The times you do not have to deal with are situations are if you are dependent on an employee, customer/vendor for your business or require some level of funding to continue. If this is the case, it’s a risk assessment to continue or not until the status quo has changed. For the status quo to change, that change has to come from you – switch vendors, change customer or customer’s agent, or find alternative forms of funding, replace employees. However, it has to be in a way that risk is managed.

In other situations, you do not have to deal with this. You can try to fix it or work with the party, but if it is not getting better, you have a few options:
  • Ignore the person. No contact is sometimes the best way to get them to stop communicating.
  •  Continue to calmly and clearly set your boundaries. It is not unfair to say statements such as “Your email is unprofessional and unless it becomes more professional, I have a right to not respond.” Or “Your communications is unprofessional and not acceptable.”
  • Quit/walk away/remove yourself. Although there may be a tendency to feel a certain sense of failure if you quit, there may be situations where this is the only option you have to get away from certain negative behaviors or time-wasting situations. Walking away should not be considered a sign of failure on yourself, but the party you are dealing with. Finally, it sends an unsaid signal of  strength to others.

The world of business is not just marketing, finance, tech, product, or sales. These are categories created by humans, but business existed before these categories existed. The world of business is dealing with different types of people that have different priorities, values, approaches, and options. Your best option is to use your knowledge and instinct to act upon those you interact with. Finally, learn as much as you can about the situations you are dealing with. Knowledge is power.