I read the following anecdote in an Albert Einstein biography back in the day. A reporter asked Einstein about the value of some physical constant and Einstein replied that he didn't know. The reporter was flabbergasted but Einstein replied that he didn't want to bother memorizing something that he could easily look up.
This anecdote has always stuck with me because we live in a world where everything can be "looked up.” In such a world, what does it even mean to know something? And how do you apply that knowledge when there's just so much of it?
It was trying to answer these questions that led me to experiment and ultimately built my own system for note-taking. Much like ML, the insight I had is that general knowledge, once cleaned up and structured, becomes orders of magnitude more useful.
A year ago, I launched Dendron to see if this system I developed would work for anyone else - now 3000 commits and 27,000 downloads later, I'm happy to say that it does. I get a thrill every time someone messages me about how they're using Dendron - whether it's planning out their next Dungeons and Dragons game or it's using Dendron as the central knowledge base for both work and home.
What makes Dendron powerful is our ability to let users organize their information in a way that's most useful to them. Dendron takes many of the affordances developers are used to in code, like abstractions (note references, refactoring, and symbol lookup) and applying it to general knowledge.
These capabilities combined with our model of working over plaintext markdown and our open source license means that your knowledge is always yours, available instantly and in any way you want it.
Moving forward, we will further expand on Dendron's capabilities to make it a full-blown IDE for general knowledge. To pursue this goal, we've raised $2 million in seed capital from FUSE, Founders’ Co-Op, First Rays, Altair Capital and some incredible angels to build up our team. This money will ensure that issues and bugs can be addressed on time and take on more ambitious features.
Rest assured that nothing is changing about the way we do things - Dendron will remain open source and the client will always be local first and free. We plan to make money by charging teams and enterprises who want access to additional features like single sign-on, private registries and fine-grained access control.
As part of our growth from a project to a company, we are also publishing the Dendron Handbook. This is heavily inspired from the Gitlab Handbook and will document our mission, values, and roadmap as a company.
From day one, the words of Vannevar Bush, originator of the memex, has been our north star
"We are overwhelmed with information and we don't have the tools to properly index and filter through it. [The development of these tools, which] will give society access to and command over the inherited knowledge of the ages [should] be the first objective of our scientist" - Vannevar Bush, 1945
Our goal is to help humans take command over the inherited knowledge of the ages. We welcome you to be part of our journey :)
(and we are hiring)
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Interested in creating your own knowledge base using markdown, git, and VSCode? Get started with Dendron today.