First year as an independent business owner

It has been a wild and fun trip. Year ago I established a company called Hedgehog Solutions. Soon after that I quit my day job and asked Sasha, a friend of mine, who also happens to be badass graphic designer, to join me. After 6 months he quit his day job too and we joined our forces together to build awesome software.

Before Sasha was able to join, I created an online SSL certificate store called, mostly because I was tired of cumbersome experience with other SSL stores and the price always seemed too high. The goal was to build a place where anyone could get cheap SSL certificate – fast and easy. And I think that we managed to achieve this goal. Top months were really fun and exciting for us. We received a ton of great feedback, half a ton of not so great feedback and even got some angry customers. Currently I spend almost zero effort on this project and monthly orders are quickly decreasing. However this is not really an issue for me, because was never meant to be a full time gig.

The next milestone was when Sasha joined our team. We started rapidly building a team management app – Hiburo. Initially it was built just for our own needs, but eventually we decided to create a product out of it. A complete code rewrite and design enhancements were needed, because the initial version was built long time ago and wasn’t suitable for any public exposure. From PHP to Python/Django in just few weeks and we had an early version ready and waiting. We announced a public beta test in October, 2013 and Hiburo gathered around 300 active beta testers until official launch in January, 2014. The launch itself was pretty chill and we are just starting to work on extending the user base. Our biggest problem still is marketing and sales (and native English), but we are learning on the go.

While Hiburo was still in late stage development, we started to move our focus towards Datazenit. Datazenit is something I strongly believe in and we are working hard to make it a tool that will have a great impact on how people work with databases. After the launch of Hiburo, we moved almost all of the development and design time to Datazenit. We are still working on Hiburo, but currently it is in feature freeze stage. Datazenit has come really close to a public beta test and the excitement is growing every day. People are curious and interested, twitter following is growing really fast.

Overall this year was absolutely amazing and I am looking forward to the next one with a big smile.