The app that might help other apps get made

Editor's Corner
Shane Schick

Much like the soul-searching we do at the beginning of each year, the summer vacations many of us are either taking or about to take can be a good time for personal reflection and goal-setting. That's one of the things I do, anyway, which may say something about my ability to properly unwind. Still, the process of articulating your dream and creating a plan to make it come true seems like a lot less work with something called Everest.

I first became aware of Everest, an iOS app that uses a social media approach to setting and obtaining objectives, via a profile on GigaOm in which Erica Ogg described it as a way of moving toward "the actualized self." Here's what she had to say:

You sign up, list life goals (short- and long-term) that you want to accomplish and publicize them within the app's network so that fellow travelers with similar goals or who have accomplished those things can offer encouragement through comments and congratulations. The person with the goal can also post updates or pictures of how they're making progress on the goal."

Everest, of course, brings to mind the mountain, and this is an app that will no doubt be of interest to travelers and others who dream primarily of athletic accomplishments. And yet if you look at its interface, the categories of goals on offer span from Adventures to Causes and Creative. It's this last one that got me thinking about app developers, who are often working alone, at home or on the sly during their jobs, hoping they can turn their idea into something consumers will find worthwhile. It may not strike everyone as a lofty ambition, but once you get a sense of the struggles involved around app discovery, user retention and monetization, most people would recognize it's a dream worthy of something like Everest.

A while back I had written about, an initiative led by Montreal-based Ooomf to get more people from the idea stage to the app stores. Everest is another example of a tool developers could use to conquer any fears, laziness or false starts that prevent apps from coming to market. The social aspects of Everest might also be particularly helpful to a community that is highly dispersed and that sometimes only comes together in person via a hackathon or industry conference. There's also a button on Everest's UI that stood out to me. It says "Edit Dream." This is something appreneurs of all kinds learn to do as they confront market realities and limitations associated with their resources, talent or time.

Although it probably wasn't designed with other developers in mind, I think it would be great if someone managed to create an app that helped 1,000 other apps bloom. And if it works the first time, I'd suggest that developers don't use it for their second app or mobile game. Once you're able to not only dream big but pursue that dream unassisted, who knows what other heights you could climb?--Shane