We are Dozuki, the software team behind iFixit. If you're not already familiar with iFixit, go check it out—it's the popular, free repair manual for every thing. Our user-friendly repair manuals have been used by millions of people to fix their own electronics. Pretty cool, huh? Fixing things is win-win—people save money and the planet benefits because less stuff ends up in landfills.
Even more impressive, regular people have written thousands of repair guides just like ours. So we don't just help people fix things, we help people help people fix things. Our success has far surpassed our original plans—which were simply to solve a problem.
Every solution starts with a problem
Let's back up a bit and talk about that problem, and the reason iFixit got started. This story is about me (I'm Kyle—that's me in the photo) and a very dear friend: my first laptop (an iBook, like the one in the photo). Once upon a time, on a college campus not so very far away, I had an incident. Settling into bed after a late night coding session, I bumped my beloved iBook off the bed, hurtling it onto the concrete floor. The power plug struck with a sickening thunk. Bye bye DC-in board. Visions of getting a job to pay for a new computer danced through my head.
But wait, I said to myself—I bet I can fix this! So I Googled 'iBook service manual'—no dice. 'Apple service manual'—nothing! Evidently the internet didn't know how to fix my problem. Undeterred, I managed the repair on my own; pushing and prodding, pulling and poking my way through it. And I got it working. Eventually. But my, that was difficult! Why did it have to be so hard?
There is a striking lack of information online that teaches practical, real-world skills. Our desire to develop a solution to this was the genesis of iFixit. We realized that there was a huge opportunity to teach people real-world know-how—and sell them the tools and parts they needed to accomplish the task. We started writing service manuals for every laptop we could get our hands on.
In the process, we tested dozens of formats and different approaches to teaching, settling on a time-honored approach: one step—with a bit of text and a photo. Follow that step with another. Repeat as necessary.
Our manuals make it easy for people to get things done–whether they’re end-users, technicians, or recyclers. We write detailed, photographic step-by-step instructions that communicate how to perform a wide variety of tasks.
As our production of repair manuals ramped up, we realized that existing documentation software wasn't anywhere close to good enough for our needs. We needed to display tutorials in an intuitive format that appealed to regular people and made editing easy enough that we could let anyone contribute suggestions. Leading collaborative tools like Mediawiki were so far off the mark that adapting them was hopeless. Business documentation software completely lacked the social structure we needed to empower a community.
Software that teaches action
So, like the engineers we are, we knuckled down and wrote our own—building it on open standards like XML and carefully crafting an information architecture. The new software dramatically improved our team's productivity, enabling us to write thousands of repair guides in a fraction of the time that legacy software would have required. The result of our work—Guidebook—is the most effective how-to authoring software available. It excels at conveying procedural instructions to technical and non-technical audiences alike. Millions of people have followed procedures to perform complex technical tasks they would have never dreamed possible. Thousands more have used it to write their own manuals.
In fact, the software was so effective that we kept getting requests from companies who wanted to use it! We realized that we couldn't keep it to ourselves. We started using Guidebook to build content communities for businesses that see the world the same way we do, and want to empower people to do amazing things.
So that's Dozuki. We make software that empowers communities to teach people to do real things and solve real problems—to go out there in the world and grab life by the horns. We teach people to make real change.
We're building the future of commerce
We have a vision of information communities centered around companies and their products. Retail commerce and publishing are intersecting. People are demanding more from their products. Companies that embrace this DIY spirit will see consumers flock to brands that support the community.
We write software that solves problems we care deeply about. We're using it ourselves to change the repair industry. And we're constantly integrating the lessons we learn from working with our own community back into our software.
Great software, like great community, is a continual work in progress. And an absolute joy to make.
— Kyle Wiens
Dozuki Chief Architect, iFixit Co-founder
Great! We'll be in touch soon.
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