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Lets make November "Launch an App Month", who's with me?
187 points by secos on Oct 8, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 173 comments
The past week or so has seen a number of inspirational HN threads on single founder/small group/side/part-time projects that have become successful and in some cases are supporting those people (and some have gone on to become huge).

So, with that in mind, I'm suggesting we all take the month of November and work on that side project or idea or whatever it is, with the goal of having a working application out in the wild by the end of the month.

Personally I am going through a transition right now (independent to full-time), but have 3-4 ideas that I want to implement. I'm going to pick ONE project and pledge to finish it by the end of November in whatever hours I can find. Who's with me?

Update: Some have suggested that you also get at least one Paying customer by the end of the month. I think its a great point if your goal is to have an app that helps support you. I am updating my pledge to include it.

Spiffy, let's see if this works: Appointment Reminder will be live by the end of November, and I really really mean it this time and will not allow myself to be distracted by consulting work, conferences, weddings, the weather, Starcraft 2, 23 urban fantasy novels, or the overpowering desire to take a month off just because I finally could.

There is no "beer" in that entire sentence. Your keyboard is obviously malfunctioning.

because "beer" isn't a distraction factor but a boost of creativity.

Specifically the "Ballmer Peak" http://xkcd.com/323/

Lol. I'm working on something similar too. I guess you have the heads up! Great work so far!

I created a facebook group,


Lets keep in touch here !

edit: i'm off to sleep now. so , for joining, just hope that facebook works ! Added 2 people to be admin of the group, wait&see , or cay tomorrow everyone

works, but can't comment there (just wanted to say hi), it's a bug or feature?

It should be ok now. FB Groups need a validation before you can comment.

I still can't

But...it's NaNoWriMo that month! How are we supposed to write a novel and launch an app? ;-)

-29 days to write an app that can write novels in less than a day.

-1 day to write the novel.


Or 27 days to write any app, 3 days to write the novel: www.3daynovel.com

Go, go, go!

it was the best of times, it was the blurst of times...

you stupid computer!

Give the copy of your landing page a plot! There finally might be a better landing page slogan than "The easiest way to ___".

It was a dark and stormy landing page. Rain rolled off the roofs, gathered in the gutters and flowed over my shoes to the drain. I needed lots of things, a drink, a broad, and a gun, but first of all, I needed a mobile app to get me a place to dry off and a really first rate coffee while checking in and getting location points.

Here is that app.

Shoot, I'd buy it just from that prose... and I don't have a smartphone.

NaNoWriMo, MOvember and Launch an App month.

Looks like it's going to be a busy month.

MOvember makes it easier though.. Less face to shave - saving you time every morning.

But you still need to shave around the MO, right?

You really only need to do that once.

Glad I'm not the only one who had this reaction <_<

Denver NaNo represent \m/

Lets' move it to december

It is also MOvember!

I know! I was worried about that, but hey, different inspirations for different folks, right? (I think thats how that goes...)

Perhaps you should call it NaNoAppMo?

NaAppWriMo would work, but I can't say that.

That's simple- write an app that writes a novel!

Small suggestion: change it to "Launch an App and Get ONE Paying Customer Month"

Getting the first paying customer isn't going to be a watershed moment for every kind of venture. Some aren't in it for the money, others are building a foundation for what may be profitable later (re: basically everything Google does or has done).

Launching an app, for whatever the reason, is an accomplishment in itself.

Launching an app, for whatever the reason, is an accomplishment in itself.

Absolutely. I was going by the present scene where a lot of folks seem to be able to launch something but struggle to get customers. Launch something has been hammered real well past few years. IMO upping the bar a little can help.

And yes, like Steve Blank says, if you think you got the next FB or Google, ignore every rule about making rev.

I agree with your point of "Launching an app, for whatever the reason, is an accomplishment in itself"

Or "launch some landing pages, get someone who wants to pay for one of the apps, then build that app month" ;-)

A great point and completely agree. Updated post.

Good idea: November Startup Sprint. Require weekly status reports from all participants and use that as a way for people to help each other out when stuck. Encourage everyone to be totally open about their idea, their research and their progress. Offer a hosting discount for NSS startups from Linode.

I'd participate I just launched my new baby last night: fanbldr.com

For the future September Startup Sprint might be better, what with the alliteration and all. But, in the interest actually getting something done, I think we can let it slide this year. ;)

I like your name better :)

Congrats on the launch!

Ok- Everyone trying to use the google spreadsheet - this won't work. They aren't that good at supporting concurrent users. Instead, please try the facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_141079939271952 and get an account on techtrepreneur.com, where you can post about what you're doing as the month passes.

The (clickable) url for techtrepreneur is http://www.techtrepreneur.com

techtrepreneur emails are flagged as spam in Gmail.

Anybody know how I can take care of this?

Use an. Email service provider that will handle deliverability for you. Email liverabity is a complicated and annoying thing, and ESPs have individual relationships with the large email providers so they have an edge that you cannot easily replicate unless you are going to be sending a LOT of email.

I had a goal of launching 2 startups this year. I have launched my first (www.socialadmanager.com) and it is ramen profitable. I will be launching the next one around the end of november so this is really good timing.

I think we need a way to organize this such that we can offer assistance etc... to each other and at the end of Nov. everyone can reveal what the built kind of like a mini demo day. The new HN facebook group would probably be a good way for everyone that is participating to communicate.

this might be an idea worth developing too. a way for independent developers to keep in touch and keep each other accountable on different products they are working on. probably closed system.

I'm working on http://www.sparkmuse.com to aid in just this purpose. I was hoping to get it out by the end of the year, but in light of this thread I'll push for November too. The day job is brutal to side-project productivity, especially when you've to work overtime!

I've been thinking about this for at least 2 years.


1. Make it real time. Ie Quora-ish. 2. Create an environment in which I share with only a small set of users. This is because I would be scared that my "tweets" about my work could be tracked by someone who wants to figure out the direction I'm taking on a paritcular solution. This is strategic info I'd rather not give up. Also groups larger than 10 lose their cohesion/importance. (eg: the 300 people on your fcebook page). 3. Basically stick to tactics that are being implemented without giving up the strategy. I think that way people could learn from each other but still not give up their overall goal. 4. Some way to pledge a goal under a time frame shared by everyone would be useful. (Like this novemeber launch idea). 5. Competing teams of 10 might be another idea. That would up the ante a little more.

And we'll all have some additional spare time since we won't be shaving during the month.

I feel so timid. Posting on Hacker News for the first time. I'm working on a new project, so it would be great to accept this challenge and join a pseudo-team of App-launchers. Count me in.

We will be launching http://goodsie.com in November, though it's been in development for over a year now because of various fits and starts!

HN will work as a code for anyone who would like to try the beta :)

Looks very good. Would you mind doing a short list of differences or planned features between Goodsie and Shopify ?

I'd be curious to see that too. Don't be shy! :)

Love the design.

Is there a reason why you can't charge less than $20 a month? I was hoping to set up a small shop for a friend, but they'll probably only have $80-$100 per month in revenue to start out with, so it would probably make more sense for them to go with an eBay store or something similar.

Looks like you've done a good job getting pre-launch traction, i.e, LifeHacker profile, etc...

Any practical tips on getting pre-launch buzz?

We have drafted off the success of Flavors.me, which is Goodsie's sister property (http://hiidef.com is the parent). Goodsie was featured on Lifehacker (which is the holy grail) because I sent a thank you email for a brief Flavors mention and the author noticed Goodsie in my email signature.

For Flavors.me, we were super lucky to get a fantastic bunch of creatives and influencers to try our beta, largely through personal connections. Just before we launched, I emailed every big blog like TechCrunch and we were able to get a ton of high quality coverage.

Only now are we just starting to work with a PR firm, so it can definitely be done by pounding the pavement.

Jonathan, I just checked out the HiiDef team site. Looks like you have a fantastic group of talented people who actually seem pretty cool.

I'd love to setup something similar in the near future. I'm sure I'll be seeing big things from your group!

Tx :) Great team indeed! Feel free to ask any questions about the HiiDef structure. It has its positives and negatives.

Look greats.. simple to use. Hopefully it is priced nicely. Good to have alternatives to bigcartel.com and shopify.com

Looks great I think it will be just enough to get people started with selling online.

User interface is AMAZING. Color schemes and the default look... not so much. :)

Your site looks great. All the best !

Tx so much :)

I am planning to launch http://www.AppsToWin.com , do let me know if you want to be part of the AppsToWin Contest.

Looks great! Good luck on the launch.

I've created a (publicly) shared google docs for tracking who's launching what, here's the link:


I've took the liberty of adding two entries, haven't add my own since I'm still developing, not sure if I can launch by November.

It looks like people have moved over to a Facebook Doc since the Google doc is not editable.


Give us edit access!

Sorry, I thought it was editable by default. Some people said that google docs are not really suited for this, so I nuked the doc.

Stuck for ideas? Here's 999 of them: http://www.sixmonthmba.com/2009/02/999ideas.html

I like that page as it's a good reminder that ideas are almost worthless without implementation.

I'm in, but not in the quite the same way as many people here.

I'm not looking to launch a full business right now, as I am still in college. I plan on making an Android app to provide a small side income source, and to learn about the Android platform.

Awesome goal. Starting small is definitely the way to do it. I just went through that same process and now the Android app is making me a little bit of side income. Good luck!

Thank you! Any tips or resources you recommend for getting started?

AFter a year or so of lurking I've decided to finally create an account on HackerNews just to say... "Count me in"

I've bought startupmonth.org to house a forum or something. Any thoughts on what should be there?

dispora --- just kidding... but a mailing list imho would be the best. Fuck facebook groups and google doc sheets. a mailing list is the only thing this idea needs to get organized.

Why not a posterous blog? I've setup one for private tracking of my progress and you get the best of both worlds.

Count me in. How about we -200 rep everyone who doesn't deliver?

I'm one step ahead of you: Yesterday I made a public commitment to launch jMockups, a web-based mockup tool I've been working on for several months, by Nov 3rd:


Now back to work.

Guys, we need to use ONE central place for coordination. How about the facebook group posted by ritonlajoie?http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_141079939271952

I've joined...

Your timing is impeccable. I've just recently started a project, and I think a nice, public goal (and deadline) will help keep me motivated. I've only written one half-workable program before (a python script to check if a number was prime or not), so this will be a learning experience more than anything else.

I've started work on a program that will let a business generate and track coupon codes for their promotions. Eventually I will port it to a web app and make it accessible online... only I don't know how to do that yet. I should get back to work!

P.S. One thing I would really like to find is a hacker mentoring group or program. Is there anything like this for green hackers like myself?

I am almost in the same case. After months of procrastination disguised as reading about programming, I just launched my first completed project ever: my own blog written in Ruby on Rails. Just today ! http://hackiel.com/blog Seems like a great opportunity to level up.

I'm in too. I have a few side-projects that have not been pushed, so it's about time! Thanks for the suggestion. We should help each other out as a sounding board during this too

agreed. Trying to figure out a good method for all to keep in touch. Any suggestions?

Well, forums have always been good for this. Happy to host one. Maybe someone else might have a better idea. I think if we do this in a way that its visual - ie you tell other people what you're trying to achieve - then its much more likely to be done. I also like the idea that everyone is pushing forward, but as a group there will be a diverse range of skills and experiences to call upon.

I have started http://onlineqrlab.com with no clear idea in my mind (what it will do or how to monetize). I built a nice generator and I'm now improving more the interface.

I would be interested in QrCode ideas as I don't have any. Does anyone think of a small, 1/2 months feasible QrCode project that can be monetized somehow (SaaS like). I'm mainly doing this for learning purposes, so I don't bother if it really works well or not.

I was thinking about QrCode graffiti the other day. Basically, each QrCode links to a specific page and capture "engagement points" with that page (i.e. viewing the page, filling out the form, etc). Then give reward people for the engagement points they earn by posting the Qrcode places.

Then provide as a service to people employing street teams, guerilla marketing, etc.

If someone pastes an amazon link that doesn't have an affiliate link, then add your affiliate link? Things like that?

Another idea: Create a final page for each set of entered text (so that you'd get redirected to onlineqrlab.com/text/hello-this-is-a-test which would have the image), then put some google adwords on that?

I pledge to launch a web app allowing mobile access to library accounts. Libraries will be able to create branded portals for their patrons. I will focus my attention first on an open source integrated library system such as Koha or Evergreen (primarily so there is no conflict of interest with my current place of employment).

How I'll do this while juggling work, school, another startup, and a girlfriend I do not know.

I'll launch a blog search engine until Nov 30th.

Oddly enough, I have already committed to starting and launching a project this November. It's good to know I won't be alone.

My birthday is on the 2nd of November, and I was planning to do my yearly maintenance of my life, and then take a week off to finish writing the first releasable version of my app.

So, clearly, Done. Done like burning. I'll make sure all my CI and test environments are up in time, and then I'll see you by the end of the month ;)

I'm in. Can someone make it their goal for the month to create a site to aggregate all the sites created during the month, or is that too meta?

Also, I mentioned this elsewhere, but September Startup Sprint has a nice ring to it. Perhaps next year? (Hat-tip to tlack for the original "November Startup Sprint" inspiration.)

Hey guys, lets put together a launch site where with everyone's products on it - and maybe we can get some publicity on it. Also maybe some kind of co-working arrangement even if just online chat where we can support and encourage each other if not help each other using our individual expertise.

Dang. I just started on a project which I want to launch in a month. That month is October, not November. Then again, there is nothing stopping me from launching in October and then another project in November! http://shadyrudy.tumblr.com

I just posted on Twitter about a programming version of NaNoWriMo. This is exactly what I was thinking.

Lets see how I go juggling this, finding a job, getting a visa, having family visit from overseas and going through a wedding ceremony all in one month. Sounds like fun.

Last 9 hours update: Decided which idea to launch, booked the domain and designed a landing page @ http://www.AppsToWin.com . Will add the invite sign up tomorrow. :-) Please share your comments.

Ok count me in :) I already released one. hopefully another one will be done by end of Nov


Sounds like a most excellent plan, count me in!

http://diabeti.ca has languished as a landing page for too long. Time to clean it up, get it out there, and get more people using it besides my wife.

I've got a lot of very small projects going on but I'm afraid that I will never finish any of them. So this is a great opportunity to focus on the last one and don't jump on any of the others until it's finished. Count me in!

Yesterday I launched my little project Rejose (http://www.rejose.com) it is still very basic and I am playing with different concepts and will release some improvements soon.

Nice one, a job post aggregator and dev language trend tool. I like it. Quick UI feedback: clicking any of the top nav bar items causes the buttons to 'stutter' on the redirect (if that makes sense). OS X, chrome

Yeah, those buttons are irritating, I will get rid of them and use something else.

I'm in. Working on a game that I've been dinking around with for the last few years. This should help motivate me to get it out there.

Has there been a decision on where to post status and communicate with other folks who are launching?

I'm in. I've also set up a development blog where I'll be posting (almost) daily with progress reports and next steps. http://chartility.tumblr.com/

Count me in.. I am looking at couple of ideas myself. would you mind commenting on them @ http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1773435 ?

I have been procrastinating for long and want to do it this time. I was thinking of two ideas as I put in my above link and decided to work on an app for hosting the contests of fellow Startups.

Hey guys, I'm new here, and I've already got an app on the android market called Cubes. What I intend to do before the end of November is come out with a paid version that is integrated with Open Feint.

Maybe we would have waited if I knew November was the month! We just launched http://globalfolders.com using Rails 3, and had a blast developing it.

I'm in. Let's build some structure on how we'll report and share information as well. Honestly, I don't have anything in mind at the moment, but I'm open to grabbing a simple idea off of someone else.

Thank you for putting this up! I have a goal to launch http://privio.net by the 18th. It's nice to get that out there - feels... official.

We're definitively aiming for launching http://www.webpop.com during November - so I guess I was in already before I read the post!

Ok, I've joined the facebook group, I have an idea and I'll do it.

Count me in. I will get an app in the Appstore before the end of November. I think it will be small and simple but I plan on building it into a small collection of apps.

So, what if you all oversaturate the market with applications?

Then we'll write an app to help people sift through them.

Which software niche is not already oversaturated? :)

Organizational software for clowns and clown related businesses.

There aren't many 510(k) submission & workflow apps.

Hey let's open a google wave to keep in tou ... what ?

Hmm, looks like they shut Google wave down. I'd like to give them a piece of my mind! I'll just use GOOG-411 to ca...wha?!

Not a problem. Join me in Google Lively where we can... wait a minute.

I'm in. Should we set a fixed date? I propose the 28th, last Sunday, so we have more time to iron out the last details and to check each other's apps.

I'll be posting about my experiences here: http://novemberstartup.posterous.com/

Ok we'd like to be in but have to qualify what we are committing to. We already launched v1. We'd like to launch our android/iphone app in November

I'm in for November 28th! I was just thinking about an idea for my next project this morning- looks like now I have motivation to build it.

I'm also in! Hope we figure out quickly the place to hang around. And having at least one paying customer is a great goal to achieve.

I'm in. I've been building so many features that this should help me actually push it out the door.

I like the idea of one paying customer!

It would be nice if we had a google form signup, so we could keep track of one another and what we are working on.

I'm really excited about this. I just requested a weeks vacation to try to get more deveopment time this month.

I would definitely be in, but I can't even code yet.

What are your suggestions on going from 0 - launch by the end of November?

I am in. I will hopefully launch a small web templates site. Geez! I should really start to work on it.

Count me in. I have plenty of ideas, but haven't gotten started majorly in any side projects lately.

Hey, If you have a couple of ideas you would like to share and allow others to develop, let us know.

Alright, a few ideas of mine though are really just about learning things for me. Here's one though that I really wanted to work on, but got bogged down in exactly how to go about doing it.

I started work on a fully extensible browser. My idea was to create a bare minimum browser, then extend that with plugins created in a scripting language like LUA. The browser would only run with the plugins the user selected, so someone could use a browser that only had features they wanted and used. This was also in response to perceived bloat in current modern browsers. This was a rather large undertaking, and it never got beyond a simple browser with basic cookie management.

I'll be launching one product and releasing another project as open source during the month of Nov.

Did the first two steps of market verification & domain registration today. AppsToWin.com !

I am also trying to develop one app on android. I will take this challenge too. Great Idea

This could be fun. I'm in for Nov 28th.

Could we arrange to start voting for the best apps on Dec 1st?

I'm in. Just released an MVP so will use this as motivation for the 1.x update!

I'm in. I have 3 little apps I'm working on. I'll pick one and run with it.

Bahhhhhhhhhh I'll do it

Couple sites on the to-do list and I want to get one done.

Boo now I'm on the hook

don't charge individual users) by month's end, but I hope to have at least one user who has entered interesting information, and be able to give out interesting recommendations in return.

Noooo! Why does this clash with the NaNoWriMo?! www.nanowrimo.org

I'm in, will post details on what we are launching on the group.

I'm in if I can learn enough Obj-C to toss an iOS app together.

I'm in. Three startups and a game live by the end of November.

I am very much in, is there a decided venue for the updates?

I am in, I am making Quiz Blog Chief, a wordpress add-in.

Will def. be doing this... can someone hold us to it?

I'm in, except that I don't have an idea for an app.

Fantastic idea. Fits perfectly in my schedule :)

Bah I am totally doing this, motivation begin!

That might be the kick I need. Count me in!

Like others, this is my first post. I'm in.

I'm in too. I've been procrastinating.

I'm in for November 28th. Great Idea!

I guess I'll bite to then :)

I'm in. Bring it on.

How do we follow up?

Totally in on this.

i'll probably still be too addicted to minecraft :(

Ok, I am in too!

Ok, I am launched: http://videolla.com What now?

Since you launched before Nov 1st, you have to start another one now for the November Launch project. ;)

Alternatively, validate and pivot your existing project. ;)

Am i in reddit?

Count me in!

Count me in!

Count me in.

Count me in

I'm in!

I'm in.

I'm in.

count me in !

im in too!


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