On Building a Mobile App

It’s crazy to think that in the timeline of technological innovations, mobile apps are just a baby. To consider how many apps have been built compared to how many will be built (and the million others that should be built), it can be daunting to formalize what will be the best idea to pursue for the next few months.¬†Even within my own mind, it seems like every day I think of an app or website that should exist but doesn’t.

But with any business or idea, the number one thing you can do is focus. Focus your marketing message, focus your product, focus your time. We will all be lucky if we can do one thing really well and to get there we need to dedicate most of our time and attention to that singular end. With only a few hours a week dedicated to building this thing, I wanted to make sure I chose the right path.

I want to build on app that can be feasibly built and have an impact right away. This would rule out some of the dream apps that would take a full time commitment to do well.

I also wanted to remove ‘informational’ apps from the conversation because that seems pretty easily done and just as well done through a regular mobile website.

I also wanted something that could be very powerful with minimal time investment moving forward by leaning on the people (crowdsourced information) and experts willing to invest a very small amount of their time.

With that, my focus for an app will be one that was kicked around with a friend of mine while we were both at work in jobs that we had lost a passion for. The main concept: what if every developer and development project was rated on 4 major concepts: preservation, architecture/design, financial impact and community?

Based on these 4 factors being rated by the public and by professionals, we could keep developers accountable for the projects they work in. The longterm dream would be that this rating would become something powerful such that an investor or public official could look at any developer’s history and say, for example, that a certain developer has done a great job of investing money but an abysmal job of designing good buildings and impacting the community positively. This could then, in theory, impact the projects we support and invest in.

Done well, this app could be a powerful tool to improve development in Cincinnati.