In the beginning stage of building an app and even in the later stages – its always important to “do your homework”. What is your homework exactly? Checking out the scene, the market, other peoples work.

Really “your homework” is actually asking to see a copy of your friend’s homework right before first period because you weren’t sure how to do yours, or maybe you were too lazy to do the initial parts or maybe they just had better answers. Or…maybe that analogy got off the tracks there.


A little story to explain clearer. Wiley loves Kerbal. A. Lot. If Wiley could actually be in space like the Kerbal’s he would. But for now he has to settle for entire Sunday’s of stranding Kerbal’s in orbit around Mun INSTEAD OF FINISHING UP LUNCHTIMER *ahem*. Shipping dude, shipping.

A while back we got into a discussion about a simpler form of Kerbal. A physics game with planets and exploration and lots of nerdy easter eggs. We got excited. Really excited. We started planning our rocketship game. We drew pictures and argued about rewards systems. We named our levels/planets – Tyson, Sagan, Hadfield.

Then we looked in the app store to see what was out there already – surely nothing as awesome as what we were planning. But…Angry Birds Space had launched the day before….we had just spent two hours subconciously recreating all of Angry Birds Space. That was some crappy homework discovery.

But it was important. Sometimes homework doesn’t kill your app, but makes it stronger – gives you a broader view. You’re building a to-do app? What about to-do’s for kids? for elderly people? to-do for a specific industry? for everyone? for super anal people (who are honestly the only ones who actually use to-do apps beyond the first few weeks)?

Sometimes you’ll discover that people have already built your app…but…they didn’t do it as well, or with this feature, or with nice colors, or they didn’t bother to build it for Android. (Android needs love too)!

Love the “description” for this one in the google play store:

Screen shot 2013-08-19 at 10.00.04 PM

Now don’t straight up “copy your homework” like the above. But get to googling, dribbbling, smashing, and browsing.

Get inspired. Get informed.