The beginning of DCDR

DCDR has been an idea for a long time. A very long time, if I’m honest. As far back as 2004 I was trying to speed up, simplify and streamline the risk assessment process. Initially, this was nothing more than spreadsheets and formulas but over time, these became more sophisticated, cleaner, tighter and more efficient. Eventually I was building clean, simple assessment tools for clients to use in-house. Success!

Then I stopped for almost a decade.

There were lots of reasons for this, primarily my inability to code meant I couldn’t take things farther, but the upshot was that I let the idea languish.

However, in 2017 two important things happened. Firstly, my company was acquired. This was a great outcome for a fantastic little firm but the downside was that the international part of the business (where I worked) wasn’t part of the deal. Secondly, while I had been researching risk management software, I still wasn’t seeing a ‘killer app’ – a real market leader that stood out. Worst of all, many of the bigger players were offering tools which looked a lot like spreadsheets, just web-hosted spreadsheets. It didn’t feel as though things had moved along very much in the intervening decade.

I now had time on my hands, a clearer idea of what I wanted to do and a very supportive wife who was happy (or at least pretended to be happy) that I start calling myself a ‘software entrepreneur’ instead of ‘unemployed’.

So DCDR began in earnest back in early 2016. The need was still there and, more importantly from my perspective, the tools were available to allow a non-coder like myself to build software prototypes.

This blog isn’t going to recount what DCDR’s development in 2016 looked like. It was a slow, ugly and frustrating process and I didn’t really document what was happening in any meaningful detail so there’s not a lot to learn from recounting that. (But if you want to hear a fantastic ‘warts and all’ story of building a startup I recommend startup podcast.)

However, it was a period of learning and education and I have to acknowledge the particular value and insight I gained from Y Combinator and the Startup podcast from a technical perspective and Seth Godin’s Bootstrap course which helped me focus my thoughts. Each of these and a lot of long runs helped me scope, develop and refine my ideas until, by the end of 2016, there was a working prototype, several potential users and a very rough roadmap to take something to market.

This blog is the story of what happens with that prototype.

I have carried this idea around for over 12 years and really want it to be a success but, as I write this in January 2017, I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen. However, if you are interested in the product, or just curious about what building and launching an app looks like, I hope that you enjoy following along. In addition to this development diary, this blog is also where I will share product updates, company news and any tips or tricks that you might find useful.

I look forward to finding out with you!

Good? Bad? Ugly? Tell me what you think.