I started my solo startup journey by launching InfoCaptor. It was built using Java and I am so proud of it. I learnt Java as I was building the app. I had no idea I was building a dashboard software. I had no specs and no release date. I just started learning Java and building it. I was from the database and business intelligence background. I had little to no experience on designing user interfaces.
But when I saw Balsamiq Mockups, I realized that there is so much improvement needed for my dashboard product. I wished so deeply that my product could be so fluid. My software was Desktop based and written in Java and part of the bulkiness in my dashboard tool could be blamed on Java so I was leaning towards re-writing the product in html.
So the first thing I wrote was a web based viewer for my dashboard. The desktop app can publish php files that can be deployed on any web server and viewed as a dynamic web dashboard. This was a huge achievement and felt so great. This was the second time I learnt completely new thing like PHP in order to create the web dashboard. So now my customers had a way to build dashboards on the desktop and publish and view on the web.
During the research, I realized that my users should be able to start building the dashboard by just sketching it. That would be the holy grail of developing dashboards!
There was lot of other brain storming that went in before I embarked on a mockup tool. I was aware that Peldi has done a great job with his product and there are so many other prototyping tools that pops every month. I just did not want to build another mockup clone. But my goal is to build a better dashboard tool and mockup is a stepping stone towards that goal. Developing a dashboard software is tough and building a better dashboard tool is going to take a long time for a single person. I know this first hand as it took nearly 2 and half years to finish InfoCaptor.
So I decided to release each part of it as modules that act like products themselves. Since sketching is the first part, I decided to release it as a separate tool under the brand name of MockupTiger.