iNovia’s New Web Site: Practicing what we preach – Go to market fast; iterate often!

23Aug10

We had a great opportunity last week to practice what we preach to Entrepreneurs – “Go to market fast; iterate often!” In our case, it wasn’t a product launch, but rather a situation that required a rapid reaction followed by loads of iterations.

We’ve been planning to re-launch our web site (www.inoviacapital.com) over the coming few months. As a firm, we really believed that it was time to finally upgrade our Web 1.0 online presence to a more interactive environment for our partners, collaborators and entrepreneurs alike. But, we’ve been a little busy lately and just weren’t ready…

However, on Tuesday morning, someone realized that the iNovia Capital web site was down. We checked with our Web Hosting Company (whose name shall remain confidential in order not to tarnish their reputation), and they informed us that they were working on a solution and would get back to us by noon. Guest what? Noon comes around, and we still have no solution. Meanwhile, nextMontreal launches with great fanfare and sees an amazing peak in traffic – and one of the articles on the site is an article on the C100 that links back to our site! First message we get form our Web Hosting Company:

Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 10:56 AM “…Hi we are currently restoring service, we will have the issue resolved shortly. We are sorry for the inconvenience…”

Plan A: We get back to the web hosting company and apply some serious PRESSURE – “We NEED the site back online NOW!!!” Well, that didn’t generate any results. So, within a few Tweets and a URL redirect to my personal blog (with a nice little message saying: “Duh! The site is offline, please come back later”), we get a new hosting company ready, and all that is needed is a copy of our old web site. We contacted the original Web Hosting Company with our request, and they get back to us with this message:

Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 2:40 PM “…We are working as quickly as possible to restore the service. Unfortunately, what controls the redundancy is what failed. Our RAID-5 controller has failed and data recovery is what is taking up our downtime. If this does not get resolved in time, we will be moving your account over to one of our other servers. I apologize once again for the inconvenience…”

Plan B: So now the Web site has been down for 24 hours, and for the last 12 we’ve been redirecting the URL to nothing but a little message. At this point, after consulting with our new Web Designer Extraordinaire, Damien Doherty of Doc&Tee Ltd, we decided (in between flights, meetings and conference calls) that we have to go live and launch a new site from scratch. We did this with the expectation that the content of our old site would still be sent over to us shortly. In the meantime, the team sent in new text, comments, and updated bios, while Damien set up the basic framework of a new site. Well, the day goes by and our original Web Hosting Company gets back to us with the following message:

Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 7:41 PM “…the data recovery team has begun working on our hard disks and backup drives. They have notified that they will need 3 business days in order to complete this process. Again I apologize for this inconvenience and I will keep you informed of any new developments…”

By Thursday morning, 48 hours after the crash, we have a rather basic new web site, including some confusing messages, but at least we are ready to publish the new release regarding our most recent investment in Oggifinogi. We see a new wave of traffic flowing back to the web site, and we’re thankful that we at least have some sort of half decent web presence.

Plan C: We need fresh new content and we need our web site to look better than half decent. So again, in a rush of multiple iterations, the Web site evolves in design, structure and content, to the point where on Friday (72 hours after the crash) we have a viable web site that fits our liking and meets our objectives. Ok, we still have some old press releases to update to the site and some fine tuning to do, but we are live and have a fully functional online presence.

Over a three and a half day period, the team re-launched the Web site three times and provided over 32 iterations to get to the version we now have online. The team was responsive and our new best friend, Damien, has been amazing. And guess what? As of Monday, August the 23rd, we still haven’t gotten our data back from the WHCTMNBN (Web Hosting Company That Must Not Be Named). We are now moving forward with adding a specific section with regards to our healthcare venture activities, and will continue to fine tune and update our information technologies activities and team info.

We hope that you will enjoy our new design and join the conversation with us via comments, feedback and insights as we share our thoughts, vision and ideas.

The iNovia Team



3 Responses to “iNovia’s New Web Site: Practicing what we preach – Go to market fast; iterate often!”

  1. There are lots of sites comparing hosting companies with star ratings or number ratings or whatever else. Most of those sites generally are pushing the hosting company with the best referral fees and many times they haven’t actually used that hosting company.

  2. We have quickly evaluated a few hosting Companies over the last week, we will be going with one that is highly recommended by portfolio companies and co-investors alike. Nothing better than references.

  3. Thanks for making this post – I was a little confused when visiting your site this morning and found the empty WordPress installation.

    Best of luck with the update/upgrade! It sounds like it’s been one heck of a ride.


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