All apps fit into one of two categories: Entertain or Organize
A recent epiphany I had was that all apps just organize different data. That might sound really basic at first (especially if you know of M-V-C and such), but digging into it more shows profound effects and connections that you may not have made otherwise.
In a very broad sense, it’s true that all programs organize something, but that is really stretching the useful definition. So, I relaxed a bit and put all apps into two main categories: entertainment (mainly games) and organizing things. Games will get their own post later. Today will be about categorizing apps as organizing data, which involves gathering data and showing it.
This insight could prove really useful when trying to come up with new ideas for what computer programs should be built. This could be one of those concepts that is so basic/commonplace that nobody thinks about it.
Think of any data-set and use the term vaguely. Most data-sets will have an app for them already. But, the idea for a new app can be using a data-set that doesn't have an app yet, which may involve either doing better at gathering data or better at showing the data.
Really be loose on what “data-set” could mean. Facebook organizes people, Google organizes the web, Meetup organizes meetings, chat apps organize messages, camera apps gather data, wiki apps show data, etc…
I was thinking about writing a longer list to show examples of what I mean, but I trust that the reader can already understand this concept. If not, then I’d be happy to explain more. So instead, here’s a list of Y Combinator companies and Android apps so that you can explicitly think how they fit the “organize” category.
The takeaway from this post? You can hack creativity for a new project idea. I hope other readers got this far too. ;)
~ Danial Goodwin ~