Don't We All Deserve a Gold Star?
 
When I went to Beijing to be hacker-in-resident, I knew I had to have a killer app project, and I knew just what to do. I loved doing 30 day challenges, whether for exercise or writing or drawing or anything in the world. I got a working version of it built in XCode, and in true creative form, promptly got distracted by bigger projects. I went on to work on smart drugs and a system that cleans the horrible Beijing air.

While updating stuff in the Google Play Store today, I noticed a 30 Day Challenge App, and yup, it looks almost exactly like the concept I created. Poop sticks.


I'd worked on this idea a long time. It was an entry way back in Codex Celadon, entry #935. It was sandwiched in between #934, a concept of adding paint ball tips to archery arrow for combat games (I know, right?!), and #936, a story of how shit lives for the Ewoks must have been after the events of Star Wars VI. Think about it, their entire way of life is endangered by making first contact with so many advanced species.


So today is bittersweet. I thought up and created Gold Star. It was my baby. It ended up spawning over 20 other entries of features and updates I'd love to have in it. All told, that was over 1% of all of the first 2000 ideas I wrote down, which is kind of amazing that I was so obsessed with it. It was my first *real* software project, and it spawned a lot of other apps I've made for myself and for art shows. It led me on a path where I taught an XCode class and benefited a women's shelter in China.


This isn't the first wake up call that I've had, and to be honest, I'm excited to see I wasn't the only person who thought this would be a cool idea. I could go in a few directions from here. I could just ignore that it happened and move on with other projects. I could go hardcore on getting my version of the app ready for release. I could work with them to make their app the best it could be. I could release my notes publicly.


What do you think? Would you use a 30 Day Challenge App? Have you ever thought of an idea and then see it expressed by another person or team? How did it change your perspective on your creativity and insight? I would genuinely love some feedback on this.