On this day ten years ago I released MindNode to the public. Like so many things it was born out of my own need and my own struggle with linear thinking.
This Is Why
I've struggled with focus and successful completion of a project my entire life. Over the years I've dreamed up many ideas for products, or projects, but I've always had a hard time when it came to actually developing the idea into something concrete. I tried collecting my ideas in Moleskine notebooks, outlines, text documents, and many more, but the challenge of forming my thoughts into a fully developed idea, and then into a real thing, was hardly ever met. I never seemed to be able to grasp the big picture and forgot important details along the way. You can say I was - and still am - a very unstructured person.
Enter Mind Mapping
What helped was when I discovered mind mapping, more than ten years ago. For the first time I had a concept that allowed me to collect thoughts in an unstructured way and process them visually in a way that is so much more how my brain works, than everything else I tried previously.
I started to use pen and paper to visualize my thoughts and this is what started my path towards developing MindNode. So for me, MindNode, at first, wasn't the product I was ultimately aiming for, but a tool to enable me to clear my thoughts for other ventures.
Today I start almost everything with a mind map - even this post. At first I collect every single thought. This includes thoughts that initially seem completely unrelated, thoughts that contradict previous thoughts, or thoughts that are seemingly only a different way to phrase a previous thought. I even mix and match German and English words in the same thought. My initial brainstorming mind maps are always a "mess", but this is how my brain works. I learned to accept it. Even better, I discovered that writing down literally every single thought frees my mind to discover new connections. As MindNode has grown from a simple thought, to a small app, to a business, this initial brainstorming step is still the core of MindNode.
Becoming a Team
When I last wrote about how MindNode came to be (The road to MindNode 1.0), a few freelancer helped me with certain aspects of the app like design and coding. Then almost five years ago I hired my first employee and the company has grown ever since. Only last year we doubled the number of employees to six and we are currently looking into hiring a backend developer to help us bring brainstorming to teams.
MindNode is no longer my baby, but the combined effort of a motivated team of people who share a common passion: helping you, our users, develop your thoughts into something alive in the world.