To all the lamers who want to share ideas for apps

3 min read
Oct 13, 2022 10:27:19 AM

To all the lamers who want to share ideas for apps as soon as they learn I'm a developer

 
Imagine this: you’re having a drink or at a party with friends, or you’re at the dinner table with family—it could be any situation where you might run into a new person.

You exchange small talk and mention your line of work: developer. Now you're faced with one of two scenarios:
1. The person you're talking to knows absolutely nothing about tech. Often, it's someone from your parents' generation. Their eyes light up because they think they’ve finally found the geek who can fix their malware-infested computer.
2. This person thinks they have a brilliant idea for an app. In this case, it's more likely to be someone from your generation (and by long shot). Now you’re in a heated conversation that you would have done without...

Here's what you'd like to be able to say to all those future startuppers—those creators of the next Facebook: Whoah. Lay off it with your app idea, because...
 
 

Because I wouldn’t dare tell you that it’s lame…

 
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The title speaks for itself. The project you've been offered is bonkers. And after all, why do you have to be the one to break the bad news to this person you've known for what... a glass or two of beer? And while you're just a developer (an off-duty one at that), you find yourself walking on eggshells and trying to help this person see reality.

Maybe the business plan wouldn’t hold water (you know that before creating an app, you think a bit about the market you are positioning yourself in). Or perhaps the idea has already been seen and reviewed (you know that before making plans, you do a quick Google search to analyze the competition). Or, it's simply the basic concept that stinks. Well, in this situation, the easiest thing to do is to turn away and pretend you heard someone calling you in the next room. Don't hesitate to use and re-use this technique as many times as necessary.
 
 

Because it's not all that bad, but…


 

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Let's say that 80% of the time, we find ourselves in the situation described above. But sometimes, in the course of a conversation, you come across a person who has a real stroke of genius. And when that person turns to you at the family dinner table, she already has a little idea in mind, because she heard about you from her cousin. She knows you're a developer. And she intends to take you on board in her project—whether you want to or not. After all, family, right?

Her idea for an app might come with good intentions, but you just don't know how to decline the invitation without hurting her. You're already swamped with your full-time job. You already have a few advanced side projects that take up your “free” time. Besides, this weekend, you had planned to geek out. And then, maybe you just don't have the motivation to take on such a demanding project. (Let's face it, you're just a slacker).

Rrrrright, where should I begin...

 

Because it's just too good to be true.

 

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Final scenario (and a rare one indeed): the person you’ve met shares a great app idea—one that could surely take off with the right support. And, by chance? A friend of a friend tells you about it at the end of the evening. And you're pretty sure he won't remember anything about your conversation the next day...

But not you. You, the idea is already taking shape in your head, and a few days later, here you are with your hands in the code, piecing together an app largely inspired by this friend of a friend. Too bad for him, he didn't make you sign an NDA... Well, it's true that it's not very nice. But everyone knows the first rule of business, right? When you have a good idea, before you tell everyone about it, you protect it. You want to share your idea? Do so at your own risk.

So now you know why I'm more likely to run away from you at parties! Don't take it personally, though. Just know that with a little experience, I can spot you from afar. And frankly, if I don't want to hear about your awesome app idea, now you know why: it's for your own good! :-)
 
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