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I think it's someone jokingly commenting on the article's relevance to core HN interests. e.g., a better "why is this on HN?!"

(Co-creator here.) We wanted a manageable number - something that wouldn't leave people skipping things nor trying to do too little. Like Twitter's 140 coming from SMS, this probably came mostly from the screen of the average phone, while still keeping the targets fat and satisfying to tick off. I showed the tick off process to my toddler early in the beta testing and he said "Again! Again!"

Speaking of, I have Streaks on the toddler's phone with daily habits of things like reading, brushing teeth, helping clean up, listening well, etc. Very useful so far.

I use it for walking more, working smarter, reading more, etc. I find it very motivating. While on holiday, I changed "Work on side project" to "Choose the healthy option".

No other to-do app has stuck with me. I feel like this one works because it tackles a subset of the broader to-do landscape. Not one-offs, or dependent tasks but just regular things we all want to do more of or less of.

Could the fact that you are a co-creator have something to do with the sticking power?

In any case, what does this satisfy that something like Habit RPG doesn't? I'll give you the "well, its simple" use case. Anything else?

Possibly. A counterpoint is that I have created many custom and private to-do apps and stuck with none of them! I find the Health integration with my walking target quite sticky and haven't seen that before.

I'm not familiar with Habit RPG, but yes, the simplicity I think is important.

...the toddler's phone...

That is something I haven't seen. I feel like such an old fogey.

It sure snuck up on me...

My wife and I have a couple 'educational' games on our phones so we can hand them to our daughter on car rides, etc. When I upgraded my phone, we suddenly realized that our two year old was now the de facto owner of a Galaxy S4.

It's bordering on disquieting to watch a two year old navigate a smartphone as adeptly as someone 10 times their age...

This is how it happened for us too. We're late in an eight week trip through the US with a 2-3 yo and a 6 mo old, so having the phone for car trips, or the last 20 minutes at a restaurant or while waiting at an airport is very helpful. Would be even more brutal without it!

Agreed. And it's why, even though it's another play in a crowded space, a friend and I built yet-another-to-do-app. I've tried loads of them, but go back to pen and paper every time.

However, for one subset of the to-do world (regular habits), I think an app can consistently help. I've been using our beta for a couple of months and have stuck with it. (Link in profile if you're interested.)

I think us pen-and-paper types might finally be swayed when AR/VR is stronger and we can interact with our to-do items quickly in a more organic way - moving them around, easily prioritising, associating sketches, etc.

It's a fairly broad representation of what has happened in thousands of cities and thousands of industries in the past. The lobbying, the promise of self-regulation, the meagre efforts to improve, etc - anytime you see mention of any aspect of this, you can reasonably assume what's gone down. Self-interest is a powerful force.

Obvious parallel with food trucks versus bricks and mortar restaurants. Funnily enough, I see pro-free-market candidates (funded by commercial property owners and restaurant owners) suddenly talking about regulations when their slice of the pie is threatened.

If you're a fixed restaurant and you have the opportunity to start a food truck in addition to your established restaurant, then fair's fair.

A friend of mine won a poster design competition 10 or so years ago with an entry that was scripted in Flash (ActionScript, or whatever it was). From memory, he had a few other pieces created in the same way, playing around with various functions. Ahead of his time!

I believe some fast food places have introduced apps through which you can send your drive through order in advance.

The drive through window with its crappy speaker and on-the-clock ordering experience is currently pretty poor.

His inflated "profile" comes from being one of few who actually put their numbers and specifics out there. And because there are still loads of aspiring lifestyle-business hopefuls for whom $30k is a fantastic goal.

Not to say I don't find it strange in some ways too - I've had passive projects make more with less effort - but I don't talk about it, thus no profile.

Or he had somewhat passive success with some SEO/other tricks and excitedly shared them to a good feedback loop. Works as marketing but I doubt marketing was his first thought.

...yeah. No offense, but that stuff doesn't "happen" organically like that except with lottery winner odds.

I've had to grow traffic for sites before. Generally, even if its good content, you have to put some effort into driving traffic to it. Which is marketing. At which point, you are doing it to market something. The first thought is marketing.

Not the SEO, the talking about BCC.

Yeah, its marketing.

I have had profitable side projects but I never talk about them on HN or other sites.

Self promotion is inherently about marketing and even at the start that is precisely what he did.

My response to this is already in another branch of this discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9602791

Explains how it wasn't necessarily his first thought. In the beginning, it was HN comments where the first thought is more sharing content you feel is relevant, or the gamification of karma.

I'm responding to you and at no point do I feel like I am marketing "prawn" or anything I do online. I'd use a relevant username for one thing!

> Works as marketing but I doubt marketing was his first thought.

The fact anybody cares about this at all is a testament to Patrick's masterful manipulation of online audiences.

The fact you believe "I doubt marketing was his first thought" is why it works so well. You don't realize you're being manipulated into internalizing the personal brand of someone more clever than you.

Few years back I had a side project start making $20-30k/yr passive from about an hour's worth of effort, total. I don't talk about it (or wouldn't talk about it further) to market it or me, but just because it's a novel story that people find interesting. From the early days of talking about BCC, I recognised the same wonder in patio11.

Starck, Eames, Dyson, Newson?

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