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Solve a Problem, Turn it into a Business: A One Man Show

Every programmer's dream: Solve a problem which sucks, turn it into a business, make some money. Bogdan did it. Nicely...

Last June, I, my wife, my friend and business partner, Tolga and his wife, Farah made a short trip to Sibu, SeaGipsy Village Resort. The objective was to have an offsite work sprint and rest a little bit. Despite the nice atmosphere, there was only satellite Internet which effectively wasn't there.

I usually maintain an offline copy of documentation of most technologies which I often refer to. Still I felt a bit insecure and wished that I had a software which would hold all the documentation I might need and allow me to search what I would look for.

After I arrived back in Singapore, I decided to setup such a software, and even implement one if there wasn't any. For your information: There are many online and ugly looking software. But then...

I bumped into Dash, which describes itself as:

Dash is an API Documentation Browser and Code Snippet Manager. Dash stores snippets of code and instantly searches offline documentation sets for 150+ APIs (for a full list, see below). You can even generate your own docsets or request docsets to be included.

It works on Mac OSX and iOS (Sorry for GNU/Linux Users). It has more documentation sets than I would need. But one functionality might give you a clue about how serious Dash is: It can download the entire Stackoverflow database and allow you to search it (My Macbook has only 128GB of disk space, so I didn't attempt it yet). Code snippets, user contributed documentations, cheat-sheets... Beautiful interface and user experience!

Paul Graham describes a valuable technology startup idea as a problem which sucks. In this case, maintaining a variety of documentation for offline use and serving it to users for a good experience is such a problem. Bogdan, the sole developer of Dash, managed to nail it down.

I admire Bogdan, although I have never met or chat with him. Not only because that he delivered Dash, but also because of his transparency for sharing his new year's resolution as a blog post. In this post, he shares his business revenue and costs in detail. He even gives the breakdown of his average daily working hours. Cool, right?

I wish him and all of you a successful new year.