stored in: Project News and tagged: , ,

Man was I crushed.

The day after having submitted PackRat to the ADC2, I was idly browsing if I could find out more about other contestants’ submissions1… and came across Shelves.

It’s written by Romain Guy, who most Android developers know is involved with Android at Google. Imagine my disappointment to realize that he’d not only had the same idea, but also made a prettier version of a booklist in your pocket!

Here I was feeling embarrassed and disappointed. Surely people might think I’d merely imitated him, and wouldn’t like PackRat as a result!

I have to say that I’ve changed my mind on that.

For one thing, being a Google employee, Romain can’t enter the challenge (phew!). For another, he says his app isn’t finished yet… then again, what software is? I feel PackRat is just finished enough for a first version, but there’s a long list of things I’d like to do with it still. And I already got feedback2, so apparently I’m not the only one looking forward to further developments.

Also, it looks as if Shelves only deals with books. I’d be hard pressed to decide whether I have more CDs or books on my shelves3. PackRat may be more universally useful, which I think is a strong selling point!

But most importantly, when you get over the initial shock that there’s a strong competitor out there, the realization sinks in that competition is a good thing. It keeps you on your toes. It motivates you to do more, and better. Overall, that makes me feel a lot more positive about PackRat’s future than I was feeling a few days ago, when I was feeling pretty damn positive about it.

Yes, there might still be reasons why people would prefer Shelves. You know what? Tell me why in the feedback section, and I’ll see what I can do. The more feedback I get, the better I’ll know what to work on next.

My only problem now is time. I’d love to get cracking and work on improving PackRat right now, but my bills want to be paid first…

  1. Some of them look great, by the way. If you’re administering Amazon EC2 clouds, check out Decaf!. []
  2. Look to the left of the web page. []
  3. I’ll find out when I’ve added them all! []

4 Responses to “Competition”

  1. DKIT Android Says:

    But is it really a problem? If you haven’t ripped his code I really don’t see is as a big deal. There are lots of similar apps out there.

    Love the icon!

  2. unwesen Says:

    No, it’s not really a problem. I felt the idea was a bit more original, as I’d scoured the market for similar ones. Oddly enough, I found another one after I submitted. I can only assume that my original definition of “scouring” was rather flawed.

    Glad you like the icon, it’s pretty awesome!

  3. James Says:

    Shelves is one, My Collections is another. Hell, even I had this idea, of some variation or another. Be re-assured though – there are three legs to this stool though – idea, implementation, delivery.

    The idea is always the easiest. The execution is the hard part.

    FWIW, Shelves is not on the market place, you have to do an SVN co of it, and it doesn’t seem 1.5 compatible (I got it running, but only just). Looks nice, but incomplete.

    My Collection – there are some ideas there (loans), though the UI design seems immature, to say the least.

    Collectionista seems to have made a good start, but haven’t released anything (can only comment on screenshots).

    Get yourself on the Market already, then see where you are (you can release under the ADC rules).

  4. unwesen Says:

    Like I said, it’s not really a problem — with that post I was mostly recounting the thoughts that went through my head, but I ended up concluding that it’s actually a good thing.

    I’ve also found My Collection, but Collectionista I’ve yet got to look at. Thanks for pointing it out!