“I made over a hundred apps!”
A couple of jobs ago I interviewed at a startup and one of the co-founders made the claim above – he had “made over a hundred apps” in the space of a year. I found that a bit off but didn't give much of a thought at that moment.
Later on I couldn't stop thinking about it. A hundred apps? What kinds of apps exactly? Games? Flappy bird clones? Were they just pieces of software or potentially sustainable businesses?
I need quite a bit of excitement over an idea to start building an app or site, especially if it's meant to be a viable business idea – in fact a new business would require either actual passion or actual money to even out the hassle. But serial entrepreneurs are wired different. They don't care much about what the business is; their main drive is being business people and not having bosses.
It's no surprise many entrepreneurs are trust fund kids. “30 under 30” lists are dominated by upper middle class people who don't have to worry about student debt. A hefty dose of privilege is necessary to carve out enough time make a hundred apps in a year.
But an app isn't only an app. Clients and users don't go away once an app is shipped, so imagine creating hundreds of apps just because. How many of these apps were successful? What happened to their user bases? Was that even a concern? Were they built in earnest or were they half-baked ideas? Were there days where an idea didn't seem as good as it felt the night before? A year has 365 days, so that's little over 3 days per app. How much self doubt was involved?
So many questions!
There's no real lesson here aside from time is money and vice versa. Make a hundred apps in a year if you can, you'll definitely learn something along the way. He co-founded a successful startup after all, so there's that.