Author Archives: Arshad Khan


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Arshad Khan

About Arshad Khan

Arshad Khan is an entrepreneur, a management consultant and a professional director. Arshad has extensive experience in Payments, eCommerce, Change Management, Social Web and Internet Technologies. Arshad is the founder and CEO of Club Intimate, a Social Dating service. Club Intimate brings a fresh approach to online dating industry by combining traditional features with new interactive features of social networks, providing better user experience. As a founding director of Channel321, Arshad undertook various business and technology related projects. He focuses on value creation and over the years has provided advisory services to the management of Australia’s best-known companies on the issues that impact their performance and long-term value. Arshad is the Founder & Managing Director of Treats4us, a start-up social commerce company. Arshad is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), fully equipped in bringing best practices to the role of the board and the practice of directorship. Expertise include strategy formulation, governance, legal, compliance and risk issues and driving financial performance for a long term sustainable growth of the company.

Club Intimate Wins the 2010 Red Herring Asia Top 100 Tech Startup Award

Melbourne, Australia – 24 November 2010 – Club Intimate announced today it has won the 2010 Red Herring Asia Top 100 Tech Startup Award. Club Intimate was initially selected as a finalist for this award in October 2010. Following the presentation by Club Intimate’s Founder & CEO, Arshad Khan in Shanghai, Red Herring announced its Top 100 Asia Award in recognition of the leading private companies from Asia, celebrating these startups’ innovations and technologies across their respective industries.

“We are quite thrilled and proud of our accomplishment”, said Arshad Khan. “Winning of this ward was no easy task; Club Intimate was selected as a winner from hundreds of companies across Asia. Attending the event also gave me the opportunity to meet the brightest and smartest entrepreneurs from Asia”.

Red Herring’s Top 100 Asia list has become a mark of distinction for identifying promising new companies and entrepreneurs. Red Herring editors were among the first to recognize that companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Skype, Salesforce.com, YouTube, and eBay would change the way we live and work.

“Choosing the companies with the strongest potential was by no means a small feat,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “After rigorous contemplation and discussion, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of candidates from across Asia to the Top 100 Winners. We believe Club Intimate embodies the vision, drive and innovation that define a successful entrepreneurial venture. Club Intimate should be proud of its accomplishment, as the competition was very strong.”

Red Herring’s editorial staff evaluated the companies on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, technology innovation, management quality, strategy, and market penetration. This assessment of potential is complemented by a review of the track record and standing of startups relative to their sector peers, allowing Red Herring to see past the “buzz” and make the list a valuable instrument of discovery and advocacy for the most promising new business models in Asia.

Club Intimate is a Finalist for the 2010 Red Herring 100 Asia Award

Melbourne, Australia – 25 October 2010 – Club Intimate announced today it has been selected as a Finalist for Red Herring’s top 100 Asia award, a prestigious list honouring the year’s most promising private technology ventures from the Asia business region.

“This is an amazing milestone for us. We are quite exited and humbled by this experience”, said Arshad Khan, Founder & CEO of Club Intimate. “This achievement further reinforces our resolve to continue to innovate and become a leading social dating service in 2011 and beyond”.

People are passionate about the things they do and it’s often hard to find people with whom they can share those passions, Club Intimate’s interactive features bring people together into communities of shared interests.

The Red Herring editorial team selected the most innovative companies from a pool of hundreds from across Asia. The nominees are evaluated on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, technology innovation, quality of management, execution of strategy, and integration into their respective industries.

This unique assessment of potential is complemented by a review of the actual track record and standing of a company, which allows Red Herring to see past the “buzz” and make the list an invaluable instrument for discovering and advocating the greatest business opportunities in the industry.

“This year was especially difficult,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “Despite the global economic situation, there were many great companies producing really innovative and amazing products that we had a difficult time narrowing the pool and selecting the finalists. Club Intimate shows great promise therefore deserves to be among the Finalists. Now we’re faced with the difficult task of selecting the Winners of the Top 100 Asia Award.

Finalists for the award are selected based upon their technological innovation, management strength, market size, investor record, customer acquisition, and financial health. During the several months leading up to the announcement, hundreds of companies in the mobile, security, Web 2.0, software, hardware, biotech, and clean tech industries sent in their submissions to qualify for the award.

The Finalists are invited to present their winning strategies at the Red Herring Asia forum in Shanghai, November 15-16, 2010. The Top 100 winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on November 16 at the event.

About Club Intimate
Club Intimate is a global social dating service that caters for people seeking serious or casual relationships or just looking to make some new friends. Club Intimate brings a fresh approach to online dating industry by combining traditional features with new interactive features of social networks providing better user experience.

Club Intimate currently operates localised websites in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States.

About Red Herring
Red Herring is a global media company which unites the world’s best high technology innovators, venture investors and business decision makers in a variety of forums: a leading innovation magazine, an online daily technology news service, technology newsletters and major events for technology leaders around the globe. Red Herring provides an insider’s access to the global innovation economy, featuring unparalleled insights on the emerging technologies driving the economy. More information about Red Herring is available http://www.redherring.com.

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Twitter’s Success was Predicted in 2006

TwitterIn 2006, 747 Media conducted a feasibility study for Twitter, asking people in the streets if they would use it. They were shown the Twitter website, and were given a basic rundown of the text-to-phone and text-to-website options.

See the video below for what people have to say if they would use such a service and how they would use it.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/10508963[/vimeo]

How Much Information? A Report on American Consumers.

Global Information Industry Center, University of California, San Diego has just released a very interesting report entitled ‘How Much Information? A Report on American Consumers.’ This report looks at how much information Americans consume across all forms of media.

The report says, ‘In 2008, Americans consumed information for about 1.3 trillion hours, an average of almost 12 hours per day. Consumption totalled 3.6 zettabytes and 10,845 trillion words, corresponding to 100,500 words and 34 gigabytes for an average person on an average day. A zettabyte is 10 to the 21st power bytes, a million gigabytes. These estimates are from an analysis of more than 20 different sources of information, from very old (newspapers and books) to very new (portable computer games, satellite radio, and Internet video). Information at work is not included.’

Information Flows in a Home

The report also says that:

  • Bytes of information consumed by U.S. individuals have grown at 5.4 percent annually since 1980, far less than the growth rate of computer and information technology performance
  • Roughly 3.6 zettabytes (or 3,600 exabytes) of information were consumed in American homes in 2008. Americans spend 41 percent of our information time watching television, but TV accounts for less than 35 percent of information bytes consumed
  • Computer and video games account for 55 percent of all information bytes consumed in the home, because modern game consoles and PCs create huge streams of graphics.

Club Intimate wasn’t mentioned, may be next time :)

You can read the whole report here.

How to use Skype on Club Intimate?

Skype LogoSkype is a little piece of software that lets you make free calls to anyone else on Skype, anywhere in the world. Even though the calls are free, they are really excellent in quality. If you and your friends are using webcams, you can also make free video calls. Millions of individuals and businesses use Skype today. Every day, people everywhere also use Skype to make low-cost calls to landlines and mobiles.

Since recently, eBay had controlling interest in Skype. On 19 November 2009, eBay announced the sale of Skype in a deal valuing the business at $2.75 billion. The buyer, who will control an approximately 70 percent stake, is an investor group led by Silver Lake and includes Joltid Limited and certain affiliated parties, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Andreessen Horowitz.

We decided to use Skype at Club Intimate due to its superior quality of voice and video calls and because of the fact that one could maintain their privacy by not giving away their email address to other Skype users. Skype uses usernames to connect to other Skype users.

We have integrated Skype API to provide a seamless communication tool to Club Intimate users who use this service as instant messenger, for webcam chat and for sharing files.

Instructions below will help Club Intimate users download, install and use Skype on Club Intimate.

How do I download and install Skype on my computer?
Go to Skype.com. Click on the ‘Download’ button in the header menu, Skype will automatically detect your operating system and prompt you to download Skype. Click on the ‘Download Now’ button and then chose ‘Run’ to download Skype. You will be asked to select ‘Run’ button again and then follow the instructions provided on the application to install Skype.

My Skype SettingsHow do I use Skype with Club Intimate?
Start by clicking on ‘My Home’ in the top navigation menu from any Club Intimate web page. On your personal home page, click the ‘My Skype Settings’ link found on the right hand side of your primary photo. On the ‘My Skype Settings’ page, enter your Skype Name and Password. Select appropriate Skype Privacy Settings and then click the ‘Update’ button to save your new settings.

Skype MeHow do I Skype with other Club Intimate members?
You can initiate a Skype session with other members directly from their profile pages or from other pages such as ‘My Friends’, ‘My Favourites’ and ‘My Private Pass List’. Just click the ‘Skype Me’ link. This will launch the Skype session between you and the other member.

Happy Skyping!

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Fall of Google

google-logoSean Parker, Managing Partner of Founder’s Fund, gave a presentation entitled “The New Era of The Network Service” at Web 2.0 Summit 2009. In his presentation, Sean tries to prove the point that in the next decade ‘network services’ like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin will dominate the World Wide Web as compare to ‘information services’ like Google, Yahoo and MSN.

I totally agree with Sean on this. Whilst there will always bee a need for information and data, the real value is provided to people by providing platforms that help connect people and build relationships. This is the core value of Club Intimate as well.

Below is the full slide deck of Sean’s presentation.

Sean Parker’s Web 2.0 Summit Presentation

Ping.fm is not Playing Friendly with Club Intimate

Ping.fm“Ping.fm is a simple and FREE service that makes updating your social networks a snap!” This is how Ping.fm promotes its services on its front page of their website. So about ten days ago I decided to take up the offer and signed up. Anyone who uses services like Ping.fm or Hellotxt will understand the value of updating their social profiles on various different social networks and bookmarking services with one click. This is exactly the outcome I was hoping to achieve.

So on the day I signed up, I set-up my social profiles at Linkedin, Facebook and Plaxo with Ping.fm. Setting up these networks with Ping.fm was a breeze.  I also tested the service by sending one status update and a blog post. To send RSS feed of my blog, I first created an account with Twitterfeed to push the feed to Ping.fm. In turn, Ping.fm sends my feed to the social networks that I have linked. Everything has worked as it should and I was very pleased with the fifteen minutes I spent setting up these services.

To my surprise however, last week I could not login to my account at Ping.fm. Initially I thought that I may have forgotten password or may be using an incorrect email address to login. Well, this wasn’t the case, Ping.fm has either deleted or suspended my account and they have done this without sending me any notification. Needless to say I was pretty upset. One would understand if I were to abuse their services or didn’t comply with their terms of services then they would have all the rights to suspend my account but this is not the case. By the way, Ping.fm does not have any terms of service document on their website. One would think that a large service like this would tell their users how their services are meant to be used. This beats me!

Feeling upset and dejected, I decided to contact Ping.fm through their contact page and asked if they have suspended or deleted my account and if they could provide a reason for doing so. One week on and I am yet to receive a reply from them.

So all in all, my experience with Ping.fm has been very poor. Well if you ask me, I am not totally surprised of the service levels I have received. This is what happens when a couple of developers set-up a successful web service who has no experience in customer service or understanding the value of a having a customers’ charter. They are probably good programmers but have no idea how to service their clients. This is probably one of the reasons why there is no terms of service document found on their website.

For me, there is always Hellotxt.

Join Club Intimate today!

MySpace Banned in Turkey

myspace-logoA Turkish court recently blocked access to MySpace and Last.fm, according to a Turkish blog. Internet users are already prevented in accessing Facebook and YouTube. This latest ban may be as a result of a case filed by Turkish Union of Music Producers.

The Turkish blog site Webrazzi has reported this on their website.

Access to MySpace and Last.fm is banned by Turkish court. We are currently not fully informed about the reason of the ban, but it may be due to music copyright violations.

We believe the “web site bans” have a big negative effect on Turkish economy while Turkey has 7th largest and most engaged online audience in Europe with its 27 million Internet users. As comScore stated in the report published in May 2009, internet users in Turkey spend more time online and consume more pages than users in other European countries.

Join Club Intimate today!

Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation remains a key element of internal marketing strategies for any organisation who wish to have a decent web presence. In fact, organisations spend thousands of dollars hiring SEO experts so that the volume and quality of traffic to their web site from search engines can be improved. But most of you would already know the importance of SEO optimised web sites.

In the last few days, I have been working on optimising Club Intimate pages. Whilst I could have outsourced this task to the experts, I decided to this myself. And the reason for this is, in my view,  if one wants to learn the ins and outs of a technique or a method then one must get their hands dirty by doing it themselves.

Given that Club Intimate has presence in four different geographies, all fours websites need to be optimised individually. So far I have been able to optimise two sites, Club Intimate Global and Australia. Websites for New Zealand and United Kingdom are still needing be done.

It is suffice to say that a SEO expert could have optimised Club Intimates sites quickly and perhaps with better results however I would have missed the opportunity of learning something new.

Club Intimate Launches New Website

Club IntimateThe new website is now launched. It was launched yesterday (8 September) at around 8:00pm AEST. It took about 3 hours to complete the launch process, this also included migration of user data from the existing site to the new site. No major issues were encountered. Users were able to login and use Club Intimate as they usually do.

Since the launch however, we have been engaged in the quality control process to make sure that all functionalities are working as they should. There are some known minor issues which we think will be resolved this week.

The engineering team was working till late last night and I thank them for all their efforts. This has been a long road but a major milestone has been achieved.

In my view this is the start of the journey. From next week we will start working on marketing and promotion of Club Intimate. Over time I have come up with some unique marketing concepts and will put them into practice soon.

I would also like to thank you Club Intimate members for their support and well wishes. Without their support this major milestone wasn’t possible.