How app ideas are born
Yesterday I returned from the third Release Notes conference. Like in the previous two years, I had a fantastic time, meeting old and new friends, getting educated and inspired. If you’re in the business of making software, you should definitely check it out.
One of the highlights of this conference is the dine-around — a dinner with a small group of participants that fits around one table. All the participants get split into such groups and go to different restaurants based on their food preferences. This year I was in the group that dined at a sushi place, Tanoshii.
The food and the chat were great. Then came the bill. One bill. What should’ve been 11 separate bills (as Charles, one of the conference organizers, instructed restaurants ahead of time) became one, long, list of items.
I believe that the process of paying the bill took at least 30 minutes and involved quite a lot of fiddling like marking in the bill, counting and passing around credit cards.
Naturally, with all the app developers around the table, this turned into a discussion of how we could solve it faster with an appropriate app. Curtis, who gave a fantastic business talk the next morning, started to brainstorm ideas of how to use latest Apple mobile technologies to build an app to split such bills in a short time. Others have joined. The app now used photo scanning with OCR, face recognition, drag and drop, and ARKit.
Everything seemed to be ready and planned, and Curtis was almost prepared to take on the project during the weekend.
I realized that the app was missing a catchy name. I got an idea, and this was my only contribution to the “project”. In my mind, it could only be named after its inspiration: Tanoshii.