One app in four weeks: kickoff

When I woke up this morning I heard the sound of the Mediterranean sea and saw palm trees out the window. Yesterday night I arrived in Malaga, Spain. I’ll be slowly travelling around the area for the next few weeks. I probably won’t be working full days, as it’s very beautiful here, and there are a lot of things to see and do.

Originally, I had a nice plan for my work-related time during these weeks: build four apps in four weeks. I really liked the idea: build a simple app and get it out as quickly as I can. While I still like the idea, Jay Fuerstenberg had a great comment on that: @chriseidhof I’d rather see you think for 1 week on a great app and make it in 3 weeks. #AppStore has enough junk apps. Very true.

Therefore, I’ll do things differently: I’ll make an app in four weeks. This week, I’m going to evaluate three ideas and draw out sketches and interface prototypes. I’ll try to post an update almost daily.

I’ll try to document the whole process of building an app on this blog: choosing an idea, going from sketches to a prototype to a working version, and polishing the app. I’ll talk about the branding and marketing, and I would really appreciate your comments on everything.

My first idea is an app for learning how to do something: like an ebook, but designed for iPad from the ground up: way more interactive, with something to do for almost every page. Writing, design and coding will go hand in hand. I’m not sure what the topic should be: learning HTML 5, learning to negotiate, learning a part of math interactively (for example, differentiation) or learning basic iPhone programming.

The second idea is an iPad app for building interactive iPhone prototypes. A friend of mine asked me why there is no decent one yet, they are all too complicated. I haven’t researched this area yet, so maybe it already exists.

The third idea is an iPhone app for making notes about people. I meet a lot of people, and I would like to start making notes about them. After meeting them, I’ll jot down a few notes, and the next time I meet a person I can see a history of the meetings we had, and maybe also quickly browse his social profiles (in a similar way to Rapportive). I can also imagine a “check-in” like function, where you only record that you met the person, including the place and time.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Which of these apps would you like to see? Please leave a comment, and I’ll try to pick the right idea tomorrow or the day after that.

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