We started with a problem close

Mark McDermott
Mark McDermott
In Codegent News, Online Innovation, Apps
15th February 2010

"Build software for yourself

A great way to build software is to start out by solving your own problems. You'll be the target audience and you'll know what's important and what's not. That gives you a great head start on delivering a breakout product.”
Excerpt from Getting Real by 37 Signals

It’s not exactly a tough concept to get your head around but the best businesses are usually born from a problem rather than a brainstorm on “What the World needs now” (is love sweet love?)

At Codegent we have worked with a lot of start-up companies and without fail their first task is to setup email services (we use Google Apps like everyone with a sane mind should), a holding webpage with sign-up form, Blog, Twitter account, Facebook page etc. so that the client can start pimping their hot new idea. Gary Vaynerchuk discusses the need for this in his fantastic book Crush It! 

Recently I had done this work for Tepilo & BIMA and I was moaning to Luke, our technical director, that it takes me ages to do, is a bit fiddly and that surely there should be a faster way of doing it? With all the DNS tweaks, server config & testing it can easily be a day and a half before we are all sorted.

Fast forward a few 4am-ers later and Luke invented DASH – Steamlined Online Business Setup.

What is DASH then?

DASH is a Web Application that facilitates the registration, setup and integration of all the online services you would typically want when launching a new venture. Of course you can choose to use as much or as little of it as you want – one size certainly does not fit all. The process ends with the generation of a basic but fully integrated website (Gallery powered by Flickr, Videos courtesy of YouTube, Subscriptions via Mail Chimp etc.) that you can content manage and manipulate as much as you like.

How long does it take? 10 minutes

Cost? $90

Here is a handy list of (some) initial features in DASH

  • Domain Registration (or configuration of existing domain)
  • Google Apps Core Services – Email, Calendar, Docs
  • Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
  • Rich Media – Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo
  • Content Managed Website & Blog – Wordpress, Tumblr, Posterous
  • Email Subscription & Mailshots – Mail Chimp, Camapaign Monitor
  • Monitoring & Optimisation – Google Analytics, Alerts, Twilert, Feedburner

I could go on telling you about storage, backup, surveys, e-commerce, event management, accounting… but I hope you get the picture.

If you want to be one of the first users to use DASH (we will be giving away some free accounts) then please sign up on getdash.com. I will be launching the product as part of the Digital Mission to SXSWi in Texas this March. Email me if you want to hook up for a coffee, chat and sneak preview.

“When you solve your own problem, you create a tool that you're passionate about. And passion is key. Passion means you'll truly use it and care about it. And that's the best way to get others to feel passionate about it too.” (another one from Getting Real by 37 Signals)