On my personal ranking, hungry definitely ranks on a solid Rank 2 (behind hecto of my personal pet project favorites). It had a clear learning objective, which I was able to combine with an app that actually solved a problem that I was having at this time. The result (besides the learning) is a minimal, somewhat ugly app that even made its way into the app store.
What it was
Hungry was created to solve two completely unrelated issues I was having at the time:
- I wanted to learn Swift, which was fairly new at that point
- My team and I wasted around half of our lunch break debating where to go for lunch. If only there was an app for that!
So I created Hungry, which asks you how much you are willing to pay for your meal, and how far you are willing to go. Then it picks a random place for you based on your input, including images, the menu and the option to call the place.
And that’s it!
What I learned
Most obviously, I got my feet wet with Swift, and I had yet another app on the App Store. And the app worked perfectly and reliable - we no longer discussed where to go, but instead discussed why we would not want to go to the place the app has suggested.
More importantly, it was very clear that at that time, the whole “Build and they will come” approach of great apps was definitely gone at that time. Outside of my own peer group, absolutely no one downloaded the app - in other, earlier pet projects, I have seen at least a couple of hundred people downloading the app and even leaving a review, even though I have put the exact same effort in terms of promotion into both apps (meaning: none, so this was a noticable shift in the app store ecosystem.
This post is part of my Pet Project Sematary, click here to get to the first post in this series.