I'm building a new app

When Apple showed us the Apple watch I decided I wanted to build an app for two reasons:

  1. I want to make something for it and see how it fares in an environment not as overcrowded as the iPhone App Store.

    I don’t think the Apple Watch will produce the same gold rush era like the one the iPhone produced. Or at least it won’t be as long. That’s why I want ot try to get an app in before it gets overcrowded.

  2. I want one.

    I’ve been considering getting a Fitbit for a while to track steps and see if I can get myself to walk and exercise more. But with the recall of the Fitbit force I put a hold on the purchase and waited to see what Apple did.

The app I’m building is not a new concept, especially not in the App Store: a shopping list app. But the idea I have on how to integrate it into the Apple Watch may be innovative and if I have it ready for launch day I’m sure it will be interesting.

Exactly the day I started working, Justin Jackson posted this tweet . It was very good timing!

The cold months are coming:

So that leaves three months. If you want to build your side-project, this is your window.

Here are a few steps you can take:

  1. It’s September 20th today, that means launch day would be December 20th. Envision what you’d like to launch on that day.
  1. Now open up your calendar. Work backwards from December 20th and schedule all the times you’ll work on your project. It’s best if you can make it regular weekly times: ie. Saturday mornings from 6am-10am, and Friday nights from 8pm-11pm.
  1. Create a landing page. Put only 4 things on it: a headline (that says who this is for, and what their pain is), a sub-headline (describing what you’re offering), an email sign-up box (for folks to get updates), and a launch date (December 20th!).

I’ve done the calendar part and and have split the work over the three months and I plan to publish a post a week describing some of the things I’m learning and doing. Which brings me to the next point…

I haven’t done the landing page yet and to be frank it intimidates me to do that. Maybe I will create it just for the sake of having a reference for people reading this posts documenting my progress.

For now, I’m sorry if the following is too vague.

Week 1

Week 1 was all about two things:

  1. Setting up the data model for creating lists, registering products and then marking products as picked in the store. I used Marco Arment’s FCModel which made things super simple. A lot easier than Core Data.
  2. Analyzing that data to estimate which products you should be buying soon. I didn’t get too far into this. Partly because I got busy mid week1 and mostly because I’m still developing the idea of what data I want exactly.

There’s also a non product related goals I wanted to hit which was starting to write some of the code in Apple’s new Swift language.

I’d say I hit 80% of what I wanted to achieve.

I’m not sure if the app will be successful2 or not but I’m committed to getting it done.

  1. I started to work out in the mornings before going in to my “J.O.B. job” which just made working in the evenings a harder choice to make. I’m also studying for my Canadian citizenship test so that’s taken some priority.

  2. For some people a million dollars a year business is a failure so that’s all relative.