So much to do, so little time.

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This blog will soon be flooded with posts from my former tumblr blog, and also random thoughts of the App development progress and process.

I have one more eBook in the works and am thinking of writing a followup to Creating Apps. There is much to add and I wouldn’t mind sharing some of my experiences these last two years, especially where I failed to take my own advice.

Working full-time and developing part-time has meant that I don’t have much time for writing, so I let the tumblr blog dry up. So much to do, so little time.

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Begin and begin again, and again and again.

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“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.

A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have.

We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile.

You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” — Ira Glass

This is a great find I’ve blogged from Bits and binary by Josh Valdez.

Begin and begin again, and again and again. The first pancake is not always the best.

 

 

On Planning – a word for non-developers

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In all software development, whether it’s for websites, in banking or any industry, there is what is commonly called a development life cycle. If a company has an idea of how to improve their business by enhancing their computer software systems, they will discuss and document the idea and hand it over to a technical team who will build it, give it back to them for testing and, on approval, release it to the rest of the company.

The development life cycle is just a series of actions performed to develop a software application according to decided objectives and specifications. The application is just one of many related software programs that fulfill a desired function.

For you, this is your app, and if you are not a programmer, you will have to document your idea and hand it over to someone develop. You will do the testing and on approval, they will release it to the App Store for you.

Feature creep

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It is natural that, as a project progresses, new ideas come to mind. One idea spawns another. You will be tempted to add flourishes or entirely rework your original concept. My finished project was nothing like the original design. “Feature creep” in application development refers to uncontrolled changes in a project’s scope. Feature creep happens when the boundaries are not set, that is, if a project is not properly defined, documented or controlled. It is generally considered a negative occurrence because it can wreck the timeline and the budget and, thus, should be avoided. If feature creep occurs during the development stage, it can keep you from actually finishing your project and it can make your budget spiral out of control. The difficulty is that people are very visually oriented. Seeing a prototype of a product will give you many more ideas than just reading or hearing the concept. Even people who have been doing development for years can be guilty of changing requirements at the last minute.

Why this obsession with app store numbers?

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This is such a moving target, or more like a revolving door given that apps are also pulled from the store. In any case, Apple is so far ahead of the pack that their numbers never mattered much.

Smartphones are definitely the new addiction.

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I made a game with my friends once of naming all the things we would give up before we give up our smartphones. Many prized possessions have now taken a back seat to our new ‘connection to the world’. The phone was on the top of the list of things to grab when running from a burning building. Sad, but true.
I think we’ve reached the point of no return. Most people, even those who would never admit addiction, feel a loss and disconnect when we misplace our phones. When spotting a phone accidentally left in a rest room or restaurant, we give a collective groan. Smartphones have become family members.

Why do creative plans fail?

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I think a lot of plans fail from lack of preparation, or only minimal prep work. We have great ideas and want to rush towards the finish line. The fastest path usually isn’t the most efficient. A little homework can keep us from being blindsided.

Imagine it

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Imagine it

   What is the first thing you sould do with an app idea ?

One of the first things should be to visualize it and exactly who would be using it.

• Can you identify potential customers?
• Are you following a trend?

Obviously, the app you create is one you would have on your own phone, but do you see a real benefit for others? Does it satisfy an existing need in a clear market?
I think answering these questions will help you to focus on your market in every single step of your project and prepare you to plan the development.
Imagine it!

While on the subject of risk-taking and failure …

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I have seen talented people drag their feet and cause delays simply because they become frozen with fear at certain moments. We all have these moments. I take a deep breath and say to myself: whatever happens this is part of the process.  I have to go through this to get to that.

Stumbling, bumbling, embarrassment and failure teaches us what not to do, which is a more valuable lesson than the ones we learn when everything goes right. Take the leap. Succeed or fail. Celebrate or lick your wounds and recover fast!

Getting started

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Moving from the idea stage to the starting line is sometimes harder than getting to the finish line. Not knowing what’s ahead can keep you from starting. Gather information, do some planning, then tackle one task at a time.