Yesterday, on one of my favorite news sites, hacker news; Someone asked "What does my twitter app need to be successful in 8 days". It was in reference to a twitter mashup made for the two teams playing in the Super Bowl next weekend. You can see it here.
The responses were mostly negative, 'get a less obnixous design', 'solve a problem people have', 'cleveland isn't even in the superbowl'<--which you have to look pretty closely to even notice why this is criticism.
All of the criticism was unfounded. What exists is a niche app with a limited lifespan. Spending money on a professional designer or photography you didn't take yourself seems exorbitent.
Lots of apps 'don't solve a problem people have'. Many of the iPhone app store apps don't solve any real problems, honestly, who needs an application to make fart noises?
So, if you're into football and social media, see what other people are saying about Arizona and Pittsburgh for the next week or so. If not, don't worry about it.
When it comes down to it, what an application needs to be successful isn't design, or solving problems, it's usually just getting in front of people. Lots of beautiful utilitarian tools get underutilized, and lots of ugly useless crap gets lots of attention, money, and users; the difference is people.
What's your favorite ugly or uselsess app? Mine is minesweeper.
24th January 2009
I won't ever give out your email address. I don't publish comments but if you'd like to write to me then you could use this form.
I'm Issac. I live in Oakland. I make things for fun and money. I use electronics and computers and software. I manage teams and projects top to bottom. I've worked as a consultant, software engineer, hardware designer, artist, technology director and team lead. I do occasional fabrication in wood and plastic and metal. I run a boutique interactive agency with my brother Kasey and a roving cast of experts at Kelly Creative Tech. I was the Director of Technology for Nonchalance during the The Latitude Society project. I was the Lead Web Developer and then Technical Marketing Engineer at Nebula, which made an OpenStack Appliance. I've been building things on the web and in person since leaving Ohio State University's Electrical and Computer engineering program in 2007. Lots of other really dorky things happened to me before that, like dropping out of high school to go to university, getting an Eagle Scout award, and getting 6th in a state-wide algebra competition. I have an affinity for hopscotch.