Why Give Away Your Work for Free?

Steal My App, I Dare You

I don’t have the time to finish my app, so it’s yours if you want it.

Good artists copy;

great artists steal.

-Pablo Picasso

In this post I’m going to hand deliver you my most developed app idea on a silver platter so that you can steal it from me–

To Download Project Files

Subscribe to my Startup Journal

What’s included:

  • App Prototype/Demo
  • Sketch App Project File
  • Sketch Icon File
  • Early Prototype
  • Concept Sketch
  • Press Release
  • Elevator Pitch
  • Access to all my design/code live streams
Update: Since this post is picking up some popularity, I’ve decided to throw in the App Demo free of charge. No subscribe necessary.
Update 2: Since this post is no longer getting thousands of views a day, the prototype is now a quick demo video (It used to be a Flinto prototype).

I don’t have the bandwidth to develop it right now, so I’m going hand it off to anyone with the balls to steal it from me.

No, I won’t sue you.
Instead, I’ll be your first paying customer.
As an MVP: It’s a behavioral programming app that trains your brain to never misplace things.
As a end-product: It’s much more. I’ll get into the social possibilities later.

You might be wondering, why would I give my app idea away on a silver platter?

Let me answer that with a quick story:

Google Stole My Idea–

My business partner and I came up with a new website idea one night.

It was simple:

Kind of like clarity.fm, but you could pay per minute to get on a call with coding experts, design experts, ad experts, seo experts, etc. It was our plan to save a ton of time and money troubleshooting code that we knew nothing about.

The very next morning I woke up and checked HackerNews to see that Google had launched Google Helpouts.

Although our idea was slightly different, the result was the same–

You pay by the minute for experts to help troubleshoot and even sometimes fix your code themselves.

Google obviously beat us to the idea, but the point is:

I was actually happy someone beat me to it, not pissed.

It was an ambitious idea, and it could easily take a normal person like myself years to bring it to market.

Now instead of risking years of my life building a product, I could just pay for it and have it right now. Immediate gratification.

Google Helpouts was actually shut down a few months ago, but I definitely used it while it was there. I suck at Javascript, so every time I hit a roadblock I’d schedule a free session with Jason Mayes, an engineer at Google who would do free sessions every Sunday.

I used to spend a lot of time thinking about all the ways that somebody could possibly steal my great ideas from me. So I would safeguard them whilst simultaneously procrastinating taking action on them.

That’s the definition of entrepreneurial masturbation.

I think we’ve all been there at one point:

“I know this idea is gold, whoever does it first is going to make a fortune.
But I can’t do it now because [insert excuse]. So how do I make certain that nobody beats me to this great idea of mine?”

That’s an idea that’s doomed for failure. Starting a business is a lot of work. If it was truly a good idea, you should be thanking the person that beat you to it with your wallet. They saved you all the trouble and now you can focus on your other great ideas.

Wait, you do have other great ideas right?

You better.

Create abundance first, don’t wait for it to find you.

You can’t rely on one, or even two good ideas. James Altucher says that you should come up with 10–20 ideas per day to exercise your idea muscle.

Once you find yourself living an abundant life, you realize that you don’t have the time to test out all of your great ideas. So why take them to the grave? Do you want to die with them inside you?

If you live as if you die everyday, you will only focus on tasks most important to you.

You can do all the market research in the world, but in the end I just skip all that and ask myself one question that truly matters:

If somebody beat me to it, would I be begging them to take my money?

If not, your idea might not be as great as you think it is.

If you follow the number one rule of product creation, you should never have a reason to be mad about someone beating you to your idea.

What is the number one rule of product creation?

The Number One Rule of Product Creation:

Scratch your own itch.

That’s it, and it’s pretty self explanatory. I think I picked up the concept mostly from Tim Ferriss.

Too many people go into entrepreneurship with these grandiose ideas to disrupt vague markets they know little-to-nothing about.

There’ve been plenty of times I’ve invested months or years into a risky idea. Which is fine, because the bigger the idea the more market research is needed to determine if the idea is viable.

One of my products was publicly criticized on Forbes, described as a “so-so idea”.

I pivoted, and didn’t look back.

The risky part is to build a product for a vague group of people while being in stealth mode– everyone knows this concept from Lean Startup by Eric Ries.

Maybe this group is people like your mom, people like your one friend, your cousin, etc.

That’s not scratching your own itch.

Scratching your own itch is solving a problem specific to YOU. Solving a problem that nobody understands better than you.

This is why it’s not uncommon for agencies to eventually venture into SAAS products– companies like 37signals, who went on to launch Basecamp.

It’s hard to go wrong when building something that solves a massive problem for you. Because even if no one wants to buy it, at the very least it can become an internal tool.

But what do you do if someone steals or beats you to your idea?

You thank them for saving you the time by paying for their product.

Better yet–

You become a highly involved early adopter and help them mold it. You could even partner up or invest in them.

It’s not all about flying in stealth mode and making everyone you talk to sign an NDA.

Success is all a matter of bandwidth and focus. It mostly comes down to what you’re willing to sacrifice to eliminate all noise.

Most wantrepreneurs don’t suffer from lack of good ideas. Actually the opposite. They suffer from idea ADD. A lack of focus.

That’s why I’m giving Spots away to anyone that wants it, I have plenty of more ideas I could pursue if someone stole it. But I don’t have the bandwidth to make it happen right now.

If you want to learn more about Spots, read Pt 2 of this post–

To Download Project Files

Subscribe to my Startup Journal

Concepts and Prototypes included: http://jackalope.io/spots-files/
Note: Check out my early prototype of Spots to see the implications of what a social/affiliate feature could do. Imagine looking through all of your mentors/heroes Spots, browsing, and buying things directly from their profile.

What does Tim Ferriss keep in his carry-on luggage?

What does Mark Cuban keep in his sock drawer?

It would be a great way to show off, discover, and make an extra dollar or two with cool gizmos and apparel.

Next Actionable Steps-

Spots is still very early in the development stage, and there’s a ton of work yet to be done. Here’s where I’d start if you’re new to app design and iOS development:

I’ve taken both those paid courses, and confirm they’re worth the money (no affiliation).

Now go ahead and steal the damn thing, I dare you.
Truth be told, I don’t think anyone has the balls or the talent to steal it and make it better than I could have. But if I’m wrong, I will be pleasantly surprised.
If anyone truly has the talent, I trust they’re smart enough to contact me for a free consult.