I came up with the idea to make an app to drive a dashboard ages ago. I’m a fan of awareness of information; whether you are a developer and it’s your continuous integration, devops and it’s the state of your servers, a salesperson and it’s the monthly sales target and how close you are to them or well anything else, such as analytics for your website, monthly revenue, etc. For years I kept this idea on the back burner because I was too busy to tackle it.
This changed when my previous startup, Carousel Apps, was looking for a new product, a new market, a pivot. We gave it a try and build an app with the name Screensaver Ninja aiming at small startups, freelancers, professionals, investors, etc. We found the sales process really hard: the name, brand and marketing was all wrong. The audience was much harder to interact with than I expected. Meanwhile, bigger more enterprise-like companies showed an interest: banks, universities, governments, Fortune 500 companies, etc. But the branding was even worst for that target market and we failed to get any traction.
The project was shelved when we decided to completely restructure that startup to re-focus on the original product: Watu. Because Carousel Apps was very unlikely to ever pick up projects such as Screensaver Ninja and some other open source projects, I made the deal to walk away with that IP, so, I could keep them alive. I did that for the open source projects, such as Free Form, but Screensaver Ninja was, for all intents and purposes, discontinued.
I moved on to other projects but I kept receiving emails “The Screensaver Ninja website is down!”, “I cannot find it in the app store”, “What happened?”… Then the emails turned into Facebook messages and someone even tracked me down on Reddit (not hard, but surprising). All of these messages were hard for me to process, so, I set a landing page explaining what happened to the project and a lead generation form. I thought that was the end of it, but leads starting to pile up, higher and higher and one day I decided I couldn’t ignore them anymore.
And that’s when the product was born as Dashman. It’s an entirely new product, rewritten from scratch, with an entirely new marketing, all following the lessons learned in the past and with the goal of serve customers much better than before.