My Dream App Could Change Face of Software


Since it was announced, My Dream App has garned much attention. Between travelling and a hectic work schedule I’ve been keeping up to date as much as possible. Now it’s into an elimination round of voting. The voting for this round has actually been extended a day because of all the activity it’s been receiving. So hurry on over and you still may be able to eak your votes in before the deadline arrives.

And after reading through some of the forums, there seems to be much rumination about what will become of the apps that don’t make it to the top 3. Enough people are passionate about these apps that they want to know, “what’s next?” Well only time will tell, but there’s a couple of great branches this model can take…

One such prediction is that – as with the similarly themed, American Idol – the competition will be rerun again and again. Why not? People get to continue making their voices heard, and potentially having great new apps made a reality. The coders on the other hand, get to be involved in a great experience of building something they know everyone wants. I think this model could really revolutionize the way software is developed. A community driven system like this is a beautiful thing – and the execution thus far seems to be superb.

Another thought about the apps that don’t win top 3 seeds. (I won’t call them the losers, because they are all some very interesting ideas that I can see merit in.) While the developers on the My Dream App project are definitely hot property, they’re not the only coders on the block. There are plenty of talented kids in their garages, or professional developers who relish in a side project, that I’m certain many of the other application ideas will get picked-up by some talented programmer. I certainly hope this to turn out to be the case, as I really love more than 3 of the ideas I’ve been reading about.

So what about these great ideas? Well, there’s a ton to cover, so I’m not going to run down the list. But head over and check them all out. I will however speak to a couple of the contestant ideas that stand out to me.

Anders’ Stick-It immeidately grabbed my attention. This is something I’ve had in mind for a couple of years. For me, it was spawned from the desire to be able to apply sticky notes to different web pages I visited. How great would it be to be able to take some notes and slap them to whatever app or element of OS X you need to use as a reminder. As digital as I am with all my computer geekery, in the analog world, I’m still addicted to sticky notes. This would be perfect for me. Plus some of the cool UI ideas, such as aging paper effects and so on – this could be one neat little application. Probably not a My Dream App winner, but one I hope is picked up by some enterprising developer.

Windy seems to be the only female of the contestants – at least at this point in the competition. Her idea is called iStyleIt. It’s a wardrobe and style application – as Ars Technica pointed out, it’s like the program in Clueless. The idea clearly leans towards something that women – or at least, the fashion conscious – would gravitate toward. But I voted for it. I see some potential for coolness in the program. Something I’d use it for, would be to keep ‘playlists’ of clothes I pack for various trips. Then when I’m getting ready to head back home, I can check my packing against my list and be sure I haven’t left anything behind. There could be some very cool stuff to be had with this idea, and I hope it stays in there. For now however, it looks to be hanging by a thread…

I like Farzad’s Portal idea because there doesn’t seem to be a best practice for working between 2 or more machines. Sure, you can do backups, but isn’t there a different way that would work and be sort of fun? I think Portal, as a product of this community could be that solution that many a mac user is looking for. One day when I work off of more than my MacBook, I hope an idea like Portal is fully fleshed-out and available.

Michael’s idea of Cookbook seems to be my favorite though, thus far. The design elements he’s put together to show what his idea would look like are truly lovely. The ability to plan meals, and order ingredients from the internet – if you’re into that sort of thing – is very cool. Better yet is his unique perspective on the meal planning calendar. Using a Calendar tape idea, to avoid the typically mundane vertical scrolling is awesome. Just the fact that it’s different AND useful has me salivating at using this application for real.

I could go on and on about the many great ideas over at My Dream App. But head over yourself and see what the contestants have up their sleeves. Comment on the ideas, and most importantly, Vote! (oh yeah, and just for voting, you’ll get a free license for Pzizz!)The whole experience at My Dream App seems to be executed perfectly, and it’s just a fun space to spend some time on the internet. Not to mention, being amongst history in the making.

What are your thoughts on the My Dream App competition? How do you think the rest of the app ideas will pan out? What does the competition future hold? And what do you think about the app ideas?


Oliver Mueller

Apple has had a great couple of years. I’d suggest that everyone who owns AAPL take a look at their portfolio’s to check to see what percentage AAPL is and how well their assets are diversified. If you find yourself 20% or 30% or more in AAPL, you have a concentrated position and are at risk should it under-perform. I recommend taking a look and rebalancing should that be the case. Just a thought from the financial planning side.

Oliver Mueller, CMFC. blog at

Chris Holland

My good friend Dan Lundmark, is the author of the “Blossom” idea. It’s really good, and in my book, deserves to be #1. It’s currently hovering between 4th and 3rd place i believe. It’s a pretty unique concept revolving around “getting things done”.


Hi – this is off topic, sorry, but about Apple photo books, do they say Mac or have the apple sign somewhere on them? I know you’ve seen one or have one and I’m trying to find out about this to see whether it’d look like professional printing if I did this for a gift, etc. Thanks!

Jason Terhorst

“Hijack” seems to win the award for “most useless idea”. There are too many different web forum apps out there, and most don’t have external APIs. It’s not that hard to use a web interface to post anyway. Why is “Herald” still in the competition? There are too many RSS apps out there, and that one is a horrible idea. “Stick-It” is a rip-off of Stickies, which is already in the OS as well as Dashboard. “Bookroom” is pointless, since e-books are dead (they died in the 90s; let them rest in peace, folks). “Portal” might be cool if he drops the pointless “wormhole” style (he added it to simply copy Time Machine). “Destinations” might be cool, if they can license the maps from Google, and get the interface right. “iGTD” sounds interesting, if it’s not just some in-between app for iCal and Address Book. Minerva? Stupid. It’ll require Leopard, and we all know that VoiceOver sucks anyway. Why would I want someone to read the crap to me from my RSS reader? That’s what Leo Laporte’s TWiT podcasts are for. “Cookbook” is a horrible idea. There are several cook book apps for Mac OS X, and they all have his features already. What makes his app different? “Chatboard” would be a cool idea, except that Apple will just add it to the next version of iChat, and his app will instantly evaporate. “iVlog”? WHY?! If people want to make a video blog, they’ll use a real video camera and Final Cut/iMovie. “Telepath” is pointless when I plug in the sync cable or use Bluetooth to sync my phone with my Mac. Points for originality on the name, though. “Whistler” isn’t all that useful, at least not very often. It will get used once or twice, not enough to warrant spending money on. “Ground Control” is just redoing Dashboard. … why? If you don’t like something about Dashboard, email Apple about it, and then download the Yahoo widget thing. “iStyleIt” is kind of insulting, as it implies that Mac users have no fashion sense. Basically, there are a lot of crappy ideas, and some of the worst ones are, for some reason, still in the competition. Just like American Idol. Go figure.


I also think My Dream App is a good idea – IN THEORY.

Unfortunately, success seems more about popularity than idea quality. It also seems difficult to differentiate (for the judges) between submissions of apps with the same function.

My assumption is that apps would be selected by their unique-ness, usefulness, and do-ability – like some of the apps the judges have made. Unfortunately, most of the finalist apps did not meet all of these criteria. And the first round of voting shows much of the same.

The CookBook and iStyle ideas were my least favorites. There are other cookbook apps out there, though iStyleIt is rather unique. But both of these have really zero appeal to me, because they have a narrow focus. And frankly, if you need a computer to decide your wardrobe – you need a life.

Portal is an idea that’s already out there – DropCopy – minus the eye candy. Herald is derivative of RSS newsreaders, with a visual component that isn’t that great on a computer. Hijack is a joke, because it’s impractical to code so many different forum formats. And if you really need that app, you do indeed need a life.

Some of the others have functions that are too large in scope, others are distinguished by “an eye catching interface”. You could apply that criteria to most applications available today without coming up with a new idea.

I do like some of the ideas, and hope that one of those will be chosen. But with the general public’s preference for fluff over substance – I don’t have much hope.

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