Build a skateboard before a car

I want to create a business case for an app, design it, then develop it. I know it’s slower to do it all by myself, but I enjoy the craft of figuring all these pieces out.

This week I’ve been returning to the question of product thinking. What should the app do? I’m exploring what I can do from a development perspective. But I also need to consider what kind of app will help me learn and improve with a future version.

So, I took my birthday app idea and stripped it down to the simplest feature set I can imagine. I’m wondering if I can build a skateboard first, then figure out the next vehicle after launching.

Here’s the feature set:

  1. A list of my friend’s upcoming birthdays
  2. Add, edit, delete friends
  3. Login/logout

That’s it. I think I could simplify further and just add/delete, maybe even remove the account signup. What’s not included? Importing from Facebook, importing from contacts, adding notes or todos to friends.

Is this the app I WANT to build? Not at all. But is it an app I could learn from? Absolutely.