Reasons to Build Your Own App

I’m working on a very small To-Do iOS app and I’m sharing my process and my thoughts candidly through the process in a new YouTube playlist affectionately titled “Let’s Build an App.

As you already know, I’m heavily involved with my startup and that’s where 99% of my time goes, but, in the 1% I’m sloooooooooowly putting this thing together.

And, for the first time ever, I have a new medium through which I can share the process which is my YouTube channel.

Although I’ve been pretty candid and honest historically about these indie projects, I’ve always done it through blog posts and not through any video content.

So, in that way, I’m having a good time with it and it’s a bit of a different feel, which is something that keeps it fresh for me. These are truly candid captures of my thoughts and there’s no established framework of my thoughts. It’s rough, off-the-cuff, and fairly disorganized, but, it captures authentically the process for these side projects, that’s for sure.

Today, I shared a few thoughts on why one might put together yet-another-app, especially a To-Do List app that’s been done 1,000,000 times (and counting).

I’ve listed them out here for you as well:

  1. Design – I may simply not like the design of existing apps and for that reason I want to put together one that’s better designed.
  2. Simplicity – The apps that are currently available are far too complex for my own taste. I’m in the business of creating super-simple, almost single-serve type of apps. This is my own development preference, by the way, especially for smaller projects like these.
  3. Focused Utility – Very much similar to #2, I just want to be able to solve a single and specific problem area, not much more than that. This will help me understand if I’m really solving the problem or only hitting surface-level results.
  4. Name – Perhaps I don’t like the names of existing apps. Yes, this is highly superficial, but, it’s a real emotional trigger.
  5. Brand – Sometimes, for whatever reason, you just don’t like the brand of the product. It is what it is.
  6. Accessibility – There are some very legitimate reasons why you need engagement in one system and not in the other (or that you need them in multiple locations). For instance, some people only want certain types of apps available on their Apple Watch while others want it on that and the iPhone (and iPad).
  7. Because It’s Not Mine – Sometimes you just want to build your own and that’s the driving force behind you spending any time on the project. It might just be the very thing that gets you to start building in the first place.

Knowing my own behavior over the years I know that I have always first tried to solve my own problems and secondly tried to keep things as simple as humanly possible.

The To-Do list app is almost an exercise for my own self in those two principles and I’m enjoying the challenge of thinking through it when I have the time.


Also published on Medium.