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Bloozle – the Startup that never was

This is the story of a startup that never was. It’s a story which I want to document to crystallize learning which I myself have had from this experience and also for several wannabe innovators/entrepreneurs to read and take lesson from.

The Story
In the heady days of 2004 when me and Hemant were incubating MastishK, our talk sessions lasting into the wee hours of the morning often threw open many revolutionary ideas which we canned and kept at the back of our minds for future use.

One such idea was to create a newspaper out of blog content – essentially as we realized later, we wanted to build an intelligent aggregator of user generated content. Fast forward to 2006, when I conceptualized the idea in words and posted a prelude to it on my blog. The idea then developed further on in discussions with Aurko, Shubham and Manish.

I developed a very basic prototype of the idea (I learnt Ajax during this development phase) but it was looking very amateurish. About the same time, I got hooked on to using Google Reader and following increasing number of blogs and the realization that information overload was a potent problem also started taking root in my mind.

Finally in the summer of 2006 when I was in London and Hemant in Geneva, we met for a 5 day long Swiss tour and during the journey we finalized what we were looking for. Thoughts on our Google Reader habits, information overload (which both of us were experiencing), our canned idea of newspaper-of-blogs amalgamated into the first product spec for bloozle (a name which we came up with over the GChat brainstorming session soon after).

Soon after I came back from London and Hemant back from Geneva, we recruited* Manpreet – one of my engg college juniors – to do the core development. Manpreet, the amazing programming brain he was, created the complete website from scratch – including a basic set of JavaScript libraries with cross-browser compatibility, the core PHP based API engine for the feed reader and aggregation routines, and the front-end in HTML+JavaScript including the webpage designing in Photoshop.

... to be continued

Index of all posts in the series: Bloozle – the Startup that never was
*We recruited Manpreet as a volunteer. We never paid him in cash for his work – the idea as you will read later was to get funded and reward him big time through a joining bonus! We will now always be indebted to Manpreet though for helping convert our thoughts into flesh-and-blood (or should I say design-and-code).

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