Posted by & filed under News.

The year is coming to a close. I probably am doing this too late. But hanging on to things is in our nature I guess.
Our app launched in October 2013, and we were in development for over a year before that. So it will be about 6 years for the whole adventure from begging to end.
There may not be life changing gold nuggets here, but this is my journey and I felt it was necessary to put a neat end by at least having a list of the things I learned from it.
Needless to say, we didn’t go viral, we did not secure any funding, we didn’t break any ‘paradigms’ and we obviously didn’t make a gazzillion of cash.
So, in no particular order (and some of them overlapping):

1. Know your tech. We sub contracted the first development of the mobile app to a third party coding firm. It was easy as we only handled ‘the big idea’ but there is nothing like knowing your technology. If the solution involves computers, then learn to code, like pronto. Stop reading this and go and get a ‘code for dummies’ book. You will arguably get more out of that.
2. Don’t start with Apple. I should have started with Android first, so much faster, easier to modify and upgrade and much more transparent. Apple as the first launch platform was a mistake.
3. Forget about marketing. It is about the solution, no amount of cash burned in marketing will be able to go and make it float in this sea of apps, all trying to break through. It doesn’t matter what the marketing gurus tell you, nobody knows what is going on. Unless you are the GOOG or something like that, then stick to your guns and focus on the product.
4. Related to No.3: Apps will never go viral. I say it again, they WILL NEVER go viral in future sense. All apps can do is GO VIRAL as in ‘That app WENT VIRAL’. It is always, invariably and indubitably in the past. An app has the capacity of ‘that went viral and nobody knows why’, but it does not have, and we can’t infuse it with ‘virality’ as in ‘I can make this app go viral three days from now’… never, ever. So this is another way to say ‘Forget about Marketing’… again.
5. Be transparent with your partners. This is probably the only thing we did right. Always report back to your financing people, always keep them in the loop, always inform inform inform. They still talk to me and this start up is bust. That’s gotta mean something… right?
6. Stick to one platform. We got distracted with Apple and Android and even toyed with the idea of Microsoft mobile OS. Stick to ONE and do it amazingly.
7. You don’t need accelerators, incubators and any other new name for it. That is just slavery. If the product is awesome then it will get there. Otherwise is not like you are doing it wrong, it is that you need to find a better problem to solve.
8. Again get the tech in-house. I was very lucky (and very very late) that in the end I got my brother in with us. He re-coded everything on a different language -Python- and it works beautifully, and it opened up tons of possibilities and for a fleeting moment we thought we were catching a second wind. But alas we didn’t. It was way too late for that.
9. If you rely on third party APIs, know the back and front of them and know what to do if they go nite nite. We thought very naively that the Yahoo interface that was publishing financial info key for our solution will stay there. Well it didn’t and the alternatives way way too pricey, so that was that.
10. You don’t need a swanky awesome business plan. There is nothing awesome about business plans. Forget about that slide deck of emptiness. It will only distract you and suck uncontrollable amounts of time. And don’t even think on sub-contracting that. Do it but I advice not to spend one second more than absolute necessity.
11. Don’t get too cocky when you have good investor calls. All (most) investors will treat you nicely because they just don’t know if the idiot at the other end of the line may turn out to be the next Zuckerberg. Good reviews mean nothing, revenue means everything. One of those guys actually told me “You know… your product looks great, why don’t you call us when you are clocking 1 million downloads?”… I replied that at 1 million downloads I probably wont need any help. He thought about it for a second and finally said “Yeah, you may be right!”
12. Never pay for a review of your product.
13. You may or may not need a blog. You need a website, that is a given. But the blog is a bit undecided for me. It is easy to get content at the start, and then it gets harder and harder. And the amount of admin just to keep bots at bay!!! Wow!
14. Know when to nip it. I would say that the sooner the better but I really don’t know. End of year feels OK to do it though.
15. Call a failure a failure. Everybody loves the winning underdog or the established franchise. But there will be blood. This one was mine.
16. Know the tax law. Apply to be the one that is preparing things for your accountant so that things are clear.
17. Related to 16, know the Trademark laws applicable and also Patent. Trademark is a nasty environment and expect surprises.
16. Try to stay positive and think of the next one.

All for now
A.S. from Oz

Posted by & filed under News.

We have released the Vira Fiance update in Android. The app is now getting the historical data for US markets. Unfortunately we have not been able to get all the other markets to the deadline for this release. We are placing this one out now and we will get back to work on sources. If we can crack this then we will get a new release ASAP.

Posted by & filed under News.

Please find the download here

Vira fix download

Some instructions
1. Download the zip folder
2. Extract to the C drive, so you will have a ViraApp folder in C
3. Run the application ‘the one with our Viracocha logo’ from the ViraApp folder
4. It will then show a simple window where you can write the ticker
5. American tickers seem to work without market ‘last name’
6. Other markets can be found too, but it may take a bit of jiggery pokery-ing around with the ticker name
7. We’ve found that using the Yahoo convention works most of the time. For instance an Australian stock will be RIO.AX
8. The software does not have lost of bells and whistles, this is a fix we did quickly as we are working through some of the same issues that crashed our app as ichart was part of our data source (darnitt!). So you only see the little ‘loading’ icon from your computer, and after 20 secs or so it will finish loading
9. The data will be stored in your C:\Users\Public\Documents as a comma separated file

Thats it!

I know there is a lot of cynicism out there but there is no hidden agenda here. We only want to provide this (because we are a bit cheesed about the failure actually) and we hope to get some attention and traffic to our app. That is the truth. So the app has no hidden magical big brother anything, it just does what it does… most of the time.

We hope it helps. We are working through some workarounds for our apps and tech tools. So for any of the users that have the Vira Finance app please bear with us. We will issue a release asap.

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We have been working with design firm UX Fix to have a face lift of our Vira Finance app.

The re-design came after user feedback and also internal improvements we wanted to achieve.

It looks like our Android version will probably be the first one out there.  We will keep you in the loop.

Ux Fix are a great and very creative bunch and we are really happy with the progress so far.

You can check UX Fix here



Posted by & filed under How to use Vira.

Chess_for_Three_-_Hexagonal_BoardA friend has asked the quintessential question again.  Which is actually a good thing don’t get us wrong.  We love to dive into new data and discuss the uses and abuses of financial tech tools.  So here we go.  By the way, the quintessential question is:  ‘How do I know that your Vira stuff is good for anything anyway?  I have this tool, and that tool, and that other one over there’… ‘Go give me proof proof proof!’

It is important to reiterate that we believe Vira is great to read what is going on in the markets.  But also it is no substitute for whatever decision making you use.  It is valuable added information that will help reducing risk.  So we come in peace, we are not questioning your decision making process… really we aren’t.  That being said, here are the three amigos.  Three stocks that were given to me with specific time frames to put through the Vira glass.  At the moment, our flagship (by flagship I mean only) product does not have the functionality to go ‘back in time’ within the published app.  But we have our ways here at the office.

I thought I’d use this opportunity to get away from the threaded path that I have been using so far in the Crash Courses.  The following is a very quick glance at the way I look at Vira when trying to conclude insights from squiggly lines.  There may be better ways to do it, but this one is mine.  As always, hindsight is a big benefit, that is to say that some of this conclusions can only be drawn by looking back.

These are just my quick hand notes as I looked at the outcome.  Sometimes it is just ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ when it is obvious, if it deems more explanation then I did it.


LUV – Southwest Airlines Co


Event 1. Very very into the past, but this spike is a buy signal where volume was higher than price.
Event 2. All this is a sell zone, then in
Event 3 we can see some run to floor.
Event 4. This is an unusual signal to buy it is a 1,1 test with both price and volume low. Not very often I have seen this one
Event 5. Clear buy again with volume going up and price being maintained, then price climbed in
Event 6 to have a get out signal and a violent price drop after the ‘streams crossed’
Event 7. All this is typical buy zone.
Event 8. Sell zone and then run to floor
Event 9. Buy zone.


JWN – Nordstorm Inc



This one is the curliest one:
One way to look at the graphical outcome of Vira is in zones. But keep in mind that we want ‘extreme’ interaction where the variability is away from the value of 2, anything hovering around 2 is just normal variability. I will here describe how to read the outcome in a quick birds-eye view… its relationship to price.

Event 1 – The stats are based on one year of data, and as with any time based tool, the closest to the present, the best alignment. I normally don’t even look at things past 6 months. The best way to look at that is to go into the past and make those 6 months the last part of the dataset… I hope that is making sense. In any case Event 1 is a Yellow Zone. When yellow is above red it could be considered a buy scenario. In this case the red (price) variability is still within value of 2 so my interpretation is that the volume of trades exchanged because the market thought the price was still valuable, even decreasing a bit.

Event 2 – This is a clear sell zone. The problem is that coming out of Even 1 is not very clear when looked at it at the first glance. What was really happening is a ‘race to the floor’ where both yellow and red were very close and in a downward trend. the trick is to time it correctly. Here my only metaphor is to do the ‘Ghostbusters thing’ when the streams cross then pay attention!

Event 3 – Clear buy spike with a total correlation to low price. Then a run to the floor again with yellow and red following each other. The buy signal here is when the red crosses to go high.

Event 4 – All this is a sell zone, the stock price even though it was going up to same levels as during Event 1, it was not under the same circumstances. This time the price variability was moving up, with the volume remaining steady. The clear ‘get out’ on this one is at the end of Event 5, when you have a run to the floor again. Even thought you don’t see it in price, the stats suggest that a lower price will be experienced not short after.


FCX – Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold



Event 1. After the run to floor, we have a clear buy zone with a peak correlating with a low spot in price.
Event 2. This is a sell zone, albeit it is only relating to that up and down ‘shoulder if you will’ bump, had you bought at the end of the run to floor then this would be a good sell.
Event 3. Buy signal at the start of a climb of price.
Event 4. Sell Zone and run to floor with
Event 5 being a very quick get in signal. But a very valuable one, it seems (with the obvious benefit of hindsight) that the events leading up to Event 6 were just preparations for a steep recovery.
Event 6. All a sell zone but the more extreme it is (when yellow is lower than 2) the more attention needs to be paid to sudden changes.

Posted by & filed under How to use Vira, News.

We have added two new features to the VIRA FINANCE application.  These features deal with the Power of Intentionality, and with Prestige Points.

Ok, I will grant that Intentionality is a word associated with cognitive sciences, psychology and also with the philosopher Edmund Husserl.  But I thought it had a nice ring to it.  But what we are dealing with here is with the sharing of users’ intentions to buy or sell stock, not with the science of phenomenology or the birth of consciousness.

Here is a question for you:  Have you ever hoped that you were able to invest -and test your knowledge- in a different stock, different to those you own now?  Yes, imagine if we could test the probabilities and learn from that exercise, and that we could do it over and over.  And also without risking your hard earned cash!

Enter the feature – Share Intentions.  This is a simple feature that allows user to share on social media (Ok…you don’t have to share it out if you are shy, but we encourage you to do so – put it where your mouth is sort of speak)  So VIRA will allow users to share if they are ‘Thinking on Buying’ or ‘Thinking of Selling’ a particular stock.

‘So, What is the relevance of this?’ – some may ask.  Well, by sharing the intention (to buy or sell)  VIRA will then note the date and price of that stock, and then calculate Prestige Points based on how well was that market prediction.

The more points, the better the user to predict the market.  That simple.

I will place a separate post to explain the details behind the Prestige Points calculations.


Posted by & filed under How to use Vira, News.

Cigar1We have been extremely busy here at Viracocha adding two new features to the application.  These have to do with sharing the intentions of users and with prestige points.

This post gives the details behind how points are calculated.  The idea, in general, is to have a bit of fun and also learn from our dealings with the share markets (and in this case also without hurting our pocket).  So we devised this points game, and as any other game it has its rules.  I grant that they could have been different, but these are the ones we came up with.

Rules on how to calculate VIRA Prestige Points:

If users share an intention to sell or buy, then VIRA will make a note of the price (P0) and date of the intention.  It then calculates the delta at days P+1,P+2, P+3, P+5, P+8, P+13, P+21.  Yes, this is the Fibonacci sequence, or part of it anyway.

Then VIRA calculates prestige accordingly.  For example lets say that shares in GOOGLE are 100 dlls per share today (to keep it simple)
So at Day 1 (today) I post on Tweeter that ‘I am thinking on buying shares of GOOGLE’ at today’s price (Price A)
Then Vira Finance starts running prestige calculations
Day 1+1 = If price of day 2 is greater than Price A then assign 1 point
Day 1+2 = if price of day 3 is greater than Price A then assign 2 points
Day 1+5 = if price of day 6 is greater than Price A then assign 5 points
Day 1+8 = if price of day 9 is greater than Price A then assign 8 points
Day 1+13 = if price of day 14 is greater than Price A then assign 13 points
Day 1+21 = if price of day 22 is greater than Price A then assign 21 points

Same thing, but in reverse if it is ‘I am thinking on selling shares of GOOGLE’ at today’s price (Price A)
Day 1+1 = If price of day 2 is less than Price A then assign 1 point
Day 1+2 = if price of day 3 is less than Price A then assign 2 points
Day 1+5 = if price of day 6 is less than Price A then assign 5 points
Day 1+8 = if price of day 9 is less than Price A then assign 8 points
Day 1+13 = if price of day 14 is less than Price A then assign 13 points
Day 1+21 = if price of day 22 is less than Price A then assign 21 points

As you can see, these prestige points are more a hint of what the market could do than an actual calculation of portfolio value (for that we already have tons of apps!).  The points are just indicative and it is just a simple higher-than/lower-than decision.  VIRA will place more emphasis on how much into the future an intention lasts.  And the points have to do with how well users are at predicting the market.  So the more points a user has, the better she is at crystal-ball gazing -so to speak-

I will do another post with some of the idiosyncrasies of this new feature.  But for now – Game on!

Posted by & filed under General.



This is kind of a rant.  But it is one that is justified, I think.  Over the past two weeks we have been doing lots of swapping, switching and modifying.  Our website had to move hosts for a number of reasons.  And we embarked in one of the most convoluted exercises that I would’ve imagined.  We learnt that the web-hosting we were using here in Oz was triangulating with one in the US and then that the WordPress was late and the database this and the SQL that.  In the end we are here, back up and running again!  Thanks to Stephane, which is a bit of a networking web-deplyong database-upgrading wizard if you ask me.  Merci!



Posted by & filed under General, News.

android1And we are out!  Today has been the release of Vira Finance for Android.  It has been a long journey to get here.  Up to this point we had been an iOS only application.  But now things have scaled.  We are also working on a suite of new features that we think will really complement the experience for our users, but more on that later.  Today we celebrate the release of 1.0 for the lil droid.

This is the Google Play link