Writing a web app in a week

What would it be like to write a small, but useful web app within a timespan of one week?

Way back when I thought of the name “NiftyKit”, I envisioned niftykit.com as an index page for many small web apps we developed. We didn’t really get around to developing that (unless you count ComicHub), and since then have worked on a number of larger projects, the latest being TickTickDone.

The idea reoccured to me the other day, and today I found Clay Shirky‘s essay on Sitated Software, which fits the idea beautifully. The concept really appeals to me, I think because the potential for awesomeness is higher than generalised apps because it can be so much more specific and relevant. A great example is leech, a distributed app-sharing tool we built to work around tiny disk quotas at uni, which was lots of fun to develop and use.

I think trying to do it would produce some interesting results (adding a whole new meaning to rapid app development to start with :) ). I can see myself starting to think of ways to speed things up already (eg. setting up a really solid base project to work from each week). It’s certainly a way to use constraints to force innovation.

At the moment I can’t see any way to make a significant sum of money off of it, unless we started generalising the apps after the first version was built, but that would quite possibly defeat the purpose. If we made enough of them they might work as donationware, but maybe it’d be simpler just to do it as a hobby and call it good karma. I’ll see if I can come up with some ideas and try it out.

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