A better mousetrap

Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t really love any of the apps I use. Some are ok, some are great, but none of them are perfect (my apps included). Maybe it’s because I’m a developer, or maybe I have high standards, or maybe it’s just because you really can’t please everyone. So it’s interesting to me when a new app comes out in an already crowded space. To do apps, unit converters, tip calculators, and note taking apps are all a dime a dozen on the app store. Yet, developers keep making new and better apps in these categories. Why?

Because no app is perfect. No category of app is a solved problem — there is always a better solution. Yes, always. That’s why year after year, Apple makes new iPhones, new computers, and new operating systems. There is never an end. As much as I love to see exciting, new innovations in brand new markets, I’m also happy to know people aren’t satisfied with the status quo. From cars to refrigerators to tooth brushes, we keep iterating, making them better little by little. I love the big leaps, but I’m just as happy to see the small improvements.

I wouldn’t necessarily set out to create an app for a crowded market, but if you’re unhappy with the existing options and have a better way, then don’t let it stop you. If you don’t like what’s out there, there is a good chance other people feel the same. And this doesn’t apply just to apps, but to every product, from iPhone docks to thermostats.