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About us

The project

Why build yet another note-taking app?

Like the cliché goes, we started Obsidian because Erica couldn't find anything that can satisfy her need to build a personal knowledge base. She has tried all kinds of software from TiddlyWiki to TheBrain; nothing felt right though.

Quarantine finally gave us the chance to start making it. After thinking about it some more, we decided on the three most fundamental directions of Obsidian:

Although we call it a personal knowledge base or your "second brain", we also like to think of it as an IDE for your notes. You can think of an IDE as a powerful frontend that tries to understand your code, such as where are functions and variables stored, what are their types, and by doing so make it super easy to navigate code and get suggestions as you type.

In this sense, with most of the current note-taking apps, working with notes feels like writing code without syntax highlighting, code autocomplete or Git integration. All the things that programmers have been taken for granted for decades. That's pretty sad, don't you think? Today's knowledge workers are facing new challenges all the time, and they deserve better tools.

Yep, that's why we're building "yet another note-taking app".

The team

Before Obsidian, we have been working on Dynalist since 2015, and have worked on 10+ side projects together before that.

Shida Li


Shida does all the backend work and makes the magic happen.

Before Obsidian and Dynalist, Shida worked at Dropbox and LinkedIn, and made a few quite popular Minecraft mods.

University of Waterloo 17' Software Engineering.

Erica Xu


Erica does frontend and UI. Previously worked at Quizlet.

University of Waterloo 16' Computer Science.

Liam Cain


Long-time user of the app; big fan! Not sure how I wound up on the About page 🤔



Office cat. Docile and vocal, has a very soft meow.