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Collaborative mind mapping!

5 semesters over, 3 to go. I wanted to build a nice app that I would fetch me some money before I get out of college. So I brainstormed with a lot of my connections, did some market research, finally landed up at one.

Collaboration was (is) the in thing. Even Google (wave) was into it. And one of my mentors suggested I do a collaborative mind mapping tool. Sounded pretty interesting, something I could sell. So we collaborated and charted out the features and I started with the development. Step one of every project; you got to choose the technology you are going to use to implement the idea. I asked a lot of people, social networks, friends, geeks. Didn't get many suggestions. Ended up with a couple of libraries, stuck to one. Learnt it for a week. Then had no clue how to use it to develop what I wanted, felt like I was stuck with too ambitious a project. This is where it really helps having a mentor, he broke it down, and I finally got going.

It was full code now, after like 3-4 days of coding, I just finished connecting a couple of rectangles and stuff. I realized that I had chosen a very low level technology, which meant that I had to write a lot of code and in-return I get a lot of power. For instances I had to code even a simple textbox and trust me it’s not that easy to code a textbox, loads of events have to be taken care of at such a low level . And so I continued and had a lot of fun. I was able to appreciate computer graphics; so much of code goes into them, browsers, desktop interfaces and stuff ... Lovely.

After sometime with development, I reached the crucial collaborative part. I had a naive idea about how to go about this, again googling, Wikipedia, only made things worse. The more I read about them, the more I got confused. Fortunately I landed on some code and I got the concept in like minutes. It’s so weird theory is always confusing, but it is actually meant to make things simpler.

So now my working prototype was almost ready, I just had to test for a few bugs, and I was ready to go. I made a screen cast and showed it to a few people and got some feedbacks. Eventually I attended Barcamp Chennai, a few of the people whom I had shown the idea to, were present there and they really egged me on to demo my prototype there. Thanks to them I did speak at Barcamp and I demoed the product, got some nice supportive positive encouragement from the people there. They gave good suggestions and I really felt like I should do more to this product, because so many people like it, Felt great. I was wondering how Steve Jobs would feel when he shows off a product like iPad to the whole world and have them jaw drop .

So this where I am now , I am looking at developing the UI , adding more features , making an alpha version , then beta , then release . I'm also looking for people who can work along with me. If you are interested mail me at anandnarayan891@gmail.com

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Anand Narayan
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