The one week startup

An attempt at building a meaningful product in five days.

Per Harald Borgen
Mar 23, 2015 · 3 min read

After an intensive two month program at the coding bootcamp Founders & Coders, we have the opportunity to spend one week of planning, building and launching our own product.

Our team consists of three people, whom nine weeks ago were strangers to both each other and to Node.js.

We started off brainstorming different ideas, which included a news reader for old people, a Yelp like service for rental apartments, a site for crowdsourcing government grants applications, and an SMS tool for businesses, in addition to a whole bunch of other ideas. We also posted a question on Hacker News, asking for tips on which problems to solve, which got a lot of interesting answers.

However, we ended up with an idea I have been playing around with for a while. Its (working) title is “CrapWords” and it’s a simple tool for helping app developers improving their visibility on the App Store. You can see a mockup of the tool below. In essence, it’s about simplifying the app store optimization (ASO) process, so that you can get more downloads — a problem I know very well from my previous app startup.

More concretely, CrapWords will help app developers recognise which of their keywords that aren’t worth keeping in their 100 character string of keywords, and therefore need to be swapped out with other — and hopefully better — keywords. This is the first simple step of improving your ASO, and something most app developers should do.

App Store Optimization in itself isn’t enough to succeed on the App Store. It needs to be backed up by a solid product and other marketing activities, of course. However, it can give your app significant push in the right direction, at a much lower cost than for example buying downloads through ads. Previously I’ve seen downloads increase between 40-100 percent by doing ASO.

Our goal with CrapWords is to enable more developers to experience a bump in downloads as seen in the image above, without demanding that they’ll need to spend a lot of time or money on ASO.

There are tools to help you with this process already, for example Sensor Tower, Mobile Action, App Annie and others. These are great at telling you how your app store optimization is doing, but none of them specifically tells you what you need to do in order to improve it. Our hypothesis is that although most app developers want improve their ASO, they don’t necessarily have the time to figure out how to do it.

Additionally, the service won’t be hidden behind a login/payment wall, so it will be a much more accessible tool.

The site will be built using Node.js, using jQuery on the front-end. We have to ship it on Friday when we’ll have to present it for the class. The plan is to have a fully working product by then, so this will also be an exercise in shipping a product within a tight deadline.

If you follow me here on Medium, I’ll give you an update on how this experiment is evolving later on in the week!

Thanks to Greg Aubert

Per Harald Borgen

Written by

Co-founder of Scrimba and GitSpeak. Trying to make it easier for devs to convey code.

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