Bernat Fages

I like to build products. Engineer. Still learning how to hustle.

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Helpbot, Slack bots and the future of work

Yesterday we officially announced our newest product, which is a Slack bot for interacting with Zendesk called Helpbot. It’s another realization of our efforts for innovating in the Customer Service space.

Our reasoning for building Helpbot went like this:

Most Zendesk users only use its very core functionality. This is a great example of the Pareto principle. This core functionality can easily be replicated, and probably explains why there are so many Help Desk SaaS competitors out there.

These are what we call casual users, meaning Customer Service is not their main responsibility. Casual users don’t spend much time on Zendesk and they don’t even keep it open. They just log in from time to time to check it. All in all, they’re not Zendesk power users and would be just fine using a much simpler support system. One that’s less complex, less cluttered with functionality and easier to...

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The Future of Customer Service

The rise of the Internet has brought many changes to how companies operate. Because companies can offer their services online worldwide, the size of the pie that they can get has increased dramatically. However, each market has turned to be more of a winner-takes-all market, where the leader can take the whole pie because it can sell anywhere with virtually no additional cost. This translates to having more competition and being at more risk of becoming a commodity.

In order to subsist, or ideally win the market, companies need to be great at everything they do. And one of the parts where they need to be great at is customer service. In a world where users are, if anything, more demanding and more lazy, companies know that they need to provide excellent customer service, otherwise customers will leave to another competitor.

Now, with increasing numbers of customer queries there is a...

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Content, content and more content… Introducing Precious

One of the wonderful things about the Internet is that we get to access so many sources of knowledge and information. All of them provide us with way more content than we can actually absorb or process. Most users can’t keep up with this massive influx of content, but fear of missing out makes us want to catch up with all this information, usually at the expense of something else we enjoy doing as well. But not even this way can we cover all sources we’d like to keep track of.

In the blogs era the most common solution was to use an RSS reader. RSS readers are a very interesting solution to the problem because they operate on a standard that most content generation platforms (or arguably, used to) support. However, while RSS readers solve the problem of fetching all these articles scattered along many different sources and presenting them to the user in a consistent way within a single...

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A new journey

Four weeks after releasing Calloud, and now that the most immediate post-release issues have been sorted out, here’s a retrospective on why I’ve decided to start it.

Calloud is a SaaS that sells calling software for businesses with a strong Internet presence who want to increase their inbound calls, usually to grow their sales or improve their customer service. Businesses can use it to create call widgets that can be placed on their website, emails or online ads in order to be reached easily. The cool thing about these call widgets is that they let anybody to start a call from their computer without using their phone and for free (wherever they are located). It just takes one click.

All in all, Calloud makes it dead easy for website owners to be contacted by their visits. Basically, like Olark but for voice.

There are many solutions for instant, written communications for websites...

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It’s practically impossible to buy Bitcoin (if you don’t try hard)

I’ve recently heard many people say that it is very hard to buy Bitcoin (or Litecoin, Namecoin, Peercoin…). I’m already used to hearing many people claim that Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme and that it’s a massive bubble which is going to burst very hard in the same way I’m used to hear many people say they wanted to buy but that they couldn’t.

I can stand haters, but I can’t stand whiners. And I’ve heard people too many times say it’s impossible for X to do Y, especially with Bitcoin. When a new technology/solution/product comes up, don’t expect it to be easy to use. Anything new and revolutionary that’s released will only be adopted by people who really trust in it. Thus, those who really believe in it will make the effort to get it no matter what it takes. As that product becomes more widespread, it will also be easier to reach. That’s how it goes.


It’s very easy to watch Bitcoin grow...

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Exhibiting at trade shows sucks

Going to trade shows as a visitor is always fun. You get to see lots of different products, you can get many freebies and you can always end the day by going sightseeing, or hanging out in some parties that the staff or some exhibitors are organizing. Personally you’ll probably enjoy it, but the expense associated with exhibiting in a trade fair usually doesn’t compensate for the value it can bring to your business.

Last month, I attended the Web Summit, one of those startup/tech conferences, as an exhibitor. I had been to trade fairs many times, but I had never had the chance to exhibit at one of these before. My cofounders and I were very excited since it was the first time we’d had a booth to show Joiner to all the attendees who would supposedly come in hordes to hear about the next hot products. Yet, of all the visitors who walked by, I noticed how seldom people actually paid...

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It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.

Mark Twain

When I received the invitation to start writing on Svbtle I was very surprised.

Frankly, I didn’t expect to be invited to write here. I could enumerate many reasons for not being invited to this awesome network of writers and startup superstars:

  • I don’t have the habit of writing. Aside from publishing occasional 140-character fragments of text and a few answers on Quora.
  • English isn’t my mother tongue (these are Catalan and Spanish in my case) and my English level is still far from proficient.
  • I am not one of these popular guys in the startup community.
  • I have indeed (co)founded a startup, but we are still far away from having real traction and being known.

But the truth is that I have wanted to start writing for a long time. Writing is a good mental exercise. It helps...

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