Everybody dreams of doing something that changes the world. It’s built into our human nature a desire to make our mark, our legacy upon the world and the community of which we are a part of. Today, I want to tell you about a legacy, a dream that I have started and built from scratch. From a whiteboard, to pitching it at the National TSA Conference and winning best idea in the nation. From a dream, to getting the name trademarked. From an idea, a problem, to Alpha Launch. This is my story of Biblink: From Idea to Alpha.
Biblink began one day in November 2017. As I drove to my youth group’s worship band practice, I began to let my mind wander and a simple thought came up. Why not make an app for my Bible study, something that I hold dear to my heart. Giving a little background, my Bible study often meets every Tuesdays to discuss and to commune and even cook together (though my cooking skills are still terrible). It’s often difficult for us to continue conversations that we had on Tuesday throughout the week. So that’s what I wanted to solve. I walked into youth group deeply in thought. And as band practice came to an end, I picked up an expo marker and started diagraming.
A simple, but straightforward diagram is all you need to take the first step in achieving your dreams. Don’t be afraid, map it out, change it, erase, repeat.
And so I diagramed-shaping up the features, the ideas, just plopping them on the whiteboard. After that night, I began to design. I designed page by page, word by word, button by button, making sure all the components and aspects were meticulously and purposefully placed. “Simple, but intuitive”, that was the goal.
From Prototype to Reality
As a developer by heart, I knew I had the skills to make this dream into reality. From writing code necessary to handle user authentication, the code necessary to display the proper content in a fast and beautiful manner. Every single aspect was done in front of a laptop and a mouse. With a ton of late nights searching for documentation, writing code during classes, and ultimately spending months on the project, I knew I could do it.
Oftentimes, learning the skills necessary to achieve one’s dream is more important than the dream itself
It’s so easy for all of us to be shortsighted and to give up on our dreams that seem to be so distant and so far. We all have that initial motivation, that “first wind” that keeps us going for just a while. Prototyping, diagraming, planning your idea is so fun and glamorous. But making your dream into reality is where many falter.
We all must be ready for this time: the time where all we wish is to call it quits. But it’s in these moments where we truly realize our true selves, our true character, who we are meant to be and who we want to be. Our vision, our horizon must be farther and larger than our shortcomings below. In these times we must look back on how far we have come and not think about how far we still have left to go.
Each late night that I stood up writing code paid off day by day. As the changes began to rack up, a product began to form. A team began to develop, a dream began to come to life. An idea began to sprout.
Create, Evaluate, Iterate, Repeat
Coding is not easy. It takes patience and thought combined with logic and understanding. But coding is beautiful in the essence that it’s rewarding. It’s a simple process: you create something, you evaluate the design, you iterate and make it better, and then you repeat with the next thing. Code is a machine; a tool that we all can use to make our dreams come true.
Biblink came through iteration. We all have to iterate through our dreams and ideas, nothing comes perfectly the first time. Biblink’s design itself changed more than 5 times over the course of one week! Create, Evaluate, Iterate, Repeat. And every cycle that the team went through, Biblink became even better and it slowly but surely crawled towards Alpha Launch.
Alpha launch was exciting, the team gathered around and met on a Friday afternoon to make sure that everything was ready to take to the next stage. I saw my idea come to life that Friday afternoon, the feeling of accomplishment, of reaching a milestone, is something that I will forever carry. We didn’t just make a product for ourselves, we made a product for other people to use, to share, and to communicate with. From a simple idea that came by sitting in a car right before youth group, to an alpha launched product for people to use in their daily lives. Biblink had made it to the first milestone, Biblink had hit alpha launch.
A Wakeup Call
As I reflect upon the time and effort spent on getting Biblink to Alpha release, I see the potential and the inherent beauty that came of it. A simple but complex series of events and days. Days of hard work, grit, perseverance, hope, trust, and faith. But the biggest thing that I have learned from just these few months is that anyone can achieve their dreams. Anyone and everyone.
Whatever background you come from, whatever dream that you have, if you believe in your dream, you work at it, you find the right resources, you take the risk, and you take the leap, you can make it.
Trials and failures will come, but success and joy are waiting on the other side.
To all the dreamers, innovators, believers, entrepreneurs, engineers out there, don’t ever give up; don’t ever give in; never settle for the status quo. Keep pushing through your hardships and keep believing in your ability and in your dream. Because that’s what we all have at the end of our lives, a dream or a legacy. Which one will you leave?