Thwarting the Hidden Time Thief

Thwarting the Hidden Time ThiefWhat is the name of your business and URL?

The name of the business is Blinkdash, and it can be found at http://www.blinkdash.com.

A brief synopsis of the website / application?

Blinkdash is a customizable start page that allows you to have your favorite links and search tools in one place. Its advantages are versatility, speed, and a lack of distractions.

Why did you start this company?

I had an annoying experience that has probably happened to most people who have used the internet. I went online to look up one fact, but then I got distracted by some interesting-looking links. I don’t remember anything I read from those links, but I do remember one thing: I had been on the internet for several hours, and I still hadn’t looked up the one thing I went online for in the first place.

I saw that this was happening a lot, and I realized that the culprit was often my browser’s start page. I had one of those pages that took forever to load and had a ton of distracting links. I considered switching to a customizable start page, but most of the ones that are available have so many widgets and feeds that they end up loading slowly while still being distracting. I also considered changing to a basic search page, but that seemed too limited for what I wanted.

I just wanted a customizable start page that had my favorite links and search tools without any distractions or slow loading times. I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I created it.

Was your company started on a shoestring budget or funded?

The only cost for Blinkdash is the web hosting, which means it runs on about 5 dollars a month. I did all the coding so I wouldn’t have to pay anyone. For any developers who might be curious, it runs on PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (including a bit of JQuery).

Who is your competition, and what do you do better?

My competition includes any internet start pages. Blinkdash has more versatility than a basic search page, and it has fewer distractions and faster loading times than the more robust start pages. Below are some comparisons.

Blinkdash vs. other customizable start pages:

Here’s something that’s actually counterintuitive. Most other customizable start pages seem like they would save a lot of time, but they end up wasting more. Here’s why. When you use a page like that, you’ll have news feeds, social plug-ins, calendar tools, and more. What that means is that you now have a page that has everything that might interest you in one place. Every time you go on the internet, you’ll be bombarded with precisely the things most likely to distract you, and it’s because you picked them yourself. Of course, this will happen after you’ve waited for all those plug-ins to load.

The difference with Blinkdash is that the links and search tools act as shortcuts to the places you want to go rather than distractions that send you elsewhere.

Blinkdash vs. basic search, browser speed-dial, or a blank page:

Blinkdash gives you more options without sacrificing speed. Also, for people who are afraid of missing the Google doodles, Google keeps an archive of them, so you can see them whenever you want.

Blinkdash vs. start pages that include news:

Blinkdash won’t stop you from reading the news when you want to. It will however, stop you from clicking on ten different articles about Charlie Sheen when you originally wanted to do something else.

Why would a small business, entrepreneur, freelancer, etc use your product?

For entrepreneurs and freelancers, time is everything. Because normal start pages are responsible for lots of wasted time during the day, Blinkdash can be an effective tool for staying on task.

How could you effectively use these tools?

I do use Blinkdash on a daily basis. It’s convenient, and it saves me time.

Do you offer free online or offline tools?

Blinkdash is a free service.

Does Blinkdash have a Facebook page?

Yes. It’s facebook.com/blinkdash

How long have you been in business?

I’ve been in business since around April 2011.

Number of current users? Estimated yearly growth?

There are about 300 current users. Yearly growth will depend on how fast the word gets out, but there’s not enough data to project that.

How do you see your company in the next 2-5 years (more products or services?)

Now that the technical side is running smoothly, the real push will be in the marketing department.

How many employees do you currently have working with you and/or freelance contractors?

It’s just me.

Are you looking to hire more people or contractors? If so, what positions and skills are you looking for?

At this time, I don’t have the budget to hire anyone, but if I did, it would be in the marketing department.

 

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