Every product or idea has a story behind it. Some event that acted as a trigger point. Some trivial some more serious. This here is the story behind QQDEN.
Back in March 2013, our founder, Hari Mahadevan, had the harrowing experience of spending a month in a Taipei hospital owing to his 1 year old daughter being seriously ill. So ill that he was spending more time at the hospital than at home. Almost to the point that the hospital room became the home and the real home a place to shower and change.
Coincidentally, it was just over a year ago that he had moved into their own newly built home in Taipei. And as luck would have it, his apartment unit was elected to be a member of the management committee in the 2nd committee election.
Being a small building community (21 units), the residents had decided to manage the property themselves rather than engaging the services of a professional property management company. However, spending a month at the hospital soon after the elections made it hard to attend the committee meetings. It was at this moment that the initial idea of a web based platform for collecting and distributing information pertaining to managing the building & its community was born.
Thankfully the hospital hiatus came to an end. His daughter recovered and was discharged. Though the ensuing months were spent nourishing the little thing back to full health, the embers of the original idea were kept alive by occasional research, to the extent possible within the constraints of holding a fulltime job.
Then in February 2016, after considerable deliberation, Hari decided to quit his lucrative job and pursue the idea full time. According to his own admission, without really knowing the expanse of the vision and complexities that it had in store. Initial efforts, which lasted about a year, revolved around domain & technology research -- so as to develop a set of requirements and at the same time evaluate the technical landscape to identify potential software frameworks to implement a solution that meets the requirements.
Another 6 to 8 months down the road an initial version was ready. If not to sell, at least to test the viability of the idea. Like a proof of concept. It was a pure web based solution, where community members could login and discuss. Much more like a discussion board rather than a cutting edge SaaS platform specifically designed with the needs of a building management.
Moreover, it was felt that the output could not match the vision or the requirements identified earlier. So not being satisfied with the results, the idea was briefly shelved and focus shifted to other priorities.
After a gap of another year or so, circa 2018, after working on various other projects with intermittent efforts in between to address some of the shortcomings of the earlier version, there was another a-ha moment. The idea of a mobile app as the primary front end for end users along with a dedicated administration portal for the management was born.
Within months, a mobile app was released for the Android platform. To be precise the first version was uploaded to Play Store on May 25, 2018.
Unsurprisingly, there were many issues. And we were making steady progress addressing them one by one. However after a few months of intensive efforts, we felt that the solution architecture still does not address the original vision as identified in the early days. So once again, the project was shelved and focus shifted to other priorities.
And then at about the end of 2021, while still reeling from the frustration of cancellation of a project into which considerable effort had been put in, we had the transformative eureka moment. Like an alcoholic’s moment of clarity. Immediately, all other priorities were quickly wrapped up and focus once again shifted in full swing to QQDEN.
App was rewritten and so was the administration portal. An iOS version of the app was developed and released in the App Store (anyone who has released a cloud based multi-user app in the App Store should know how hard it is to get approval). So was the website(you can check the Internet Archive for the progress).
What you see now is the result of hundreds of iterations of continuous improvement cycles since then. Cycles that has resulted in a simple software which attempts to hide the complexities of a multi-user cloud solution.