How a bucket list bootcamp helped me start a company

the bucket list movie image

I had lots of ideas with me to solve various interesting business problems but the lack of knowledge to code posed as a huge entry barrier. I was not able to give shape to my ideas not to mention develop a proof of concept. This is when I heard about a bucket list bootcamp organised by Kiruba. It was mid 2013. To this day I’m not sure why I attended it. At the time I did not know what good, a bucket list bootcamp could do to me?

The day came. It was finalised that I will be travelling with two other people whom I befriended in a facebook group created to introduce all the participants with each other. The venue was a farmhouse, in a village called Rettanai near Pondicherry.

We started off from Chennai at 4 AM and in the next 15 minutes I realised that among the three I was the only one who could drive and that made me the designated chauffeur for the to and fro journey. We had to exit the highway after crossing the exit to Pondicherry. We entered the village road and the entire stretch was beautiful. We reached the farmhouse and after some breakfast the workshop started.

bucket list bootcamp image

It went on for two days. Two main things happened in this bootcamp that changed my life forever. Everyone had to share their lists with each other (atleast most of it) and there would be regular meetings for the next six months in which we would help each other achieve their goals. My list had 10 items and out of that there was one task, “build a web app”.

bucket list bootcamp activity

The regular monthly meetings forced everyone to progress on their respective bucket lists and that made me take programming seriously as that was the starting point in accomplishing one item from my list. I learnt PHP and Javascript to start with and started building simple web apps. Once I had these web apps built I needed to host them to showcase and that made me learn Google App Engine. Armed with the knowledge of Google App Engine and PHP / JS programming my nascent web apps saw daylight.

The first one was a simple todo list app (I have disabled the database). Though it was not a lot, it was enough for me to strike one thing off my list. I have now built a web app. This small stint made me realise the fun behind programming and the thrill and satisfaction you get when users start using your application (software). I started from their and built multiple web apps. In the beginning I mostly wrote procedural code but then progressed to a framework (for mvc pattern). I kept the writing more and more code and this helped me in launching Geedesk.

geedesk dashboard

In Jan 2017, when the idea of Geedesk came knocking, I decided to sit and code during an extended weekend and launched the first version before the next working day which was Tuesday. Once I had the first version I showed it to some prospective customers and they liked it and were willing to pay for it. We got some initial signups and a SaaS product was born. Soon Geedesk became a startup and we started helping hotels manage their guests’ complaints and requests better.

Geedesk could see daylight because of the the bucket list bootcamp that I attended 4 years ago, and thanks to Kiruba for organising it.

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