Month: July 2015

Sistine Chapel
Ultimate creators rush Sistine Chapel

I originally planned this post to be about the story and ideas behind That Pomo (which is a simple android app I developed) however, that’s a pretty boring story in itself. One day I was using a Pomodoro app developed by someone else when I noticed that they were serving adverts in the application. For some reason, I can’t really remember why, that annoyed me and I told myself that I could do something like this in about three hours. It took me a bit longer (about twenty hours), a lot of this time was spent learning how to develop and release android apps but I managed to do it.

The creators rush

I started wondering why would I spend twenty hours re-creating something that already existed. There are some really cool Pomodoro apps out there, some that are way better than That Pomo 1.0. It’s the rush that I get when creating something new still after all these years it’s still one of the best feelings in the world. However as the years have gone by the rush moves more from the creating to the finishing of the task.

This rush is also one of the reasons I write. I also write to learn things and to improve my communication skills but the main reason I write is chasing the creators rush. The creators rush is a truly amazing experience. One that I chase by writing (words and code). As humans we create things all the time. Our brains are wired to reward us when we create something, the more useful the thing the higher the reward.

Doing things on your own free time should be a pleasure and not a chore

When you work on something on your own time make sure it’s something you enjoy. Often we create things society expects us to create. Developers are expected to create code in their spare time, with engineers it might be bridges(?). When you are creating things for the pleasure of creating make sure that you are creating things that bring you joy.

Don’t put pressure on yourself to create something other people will care about. In the real world we don’t often have a choice, if we want or need money, we have to create things that other people will need and will be willing to pay money for. Sometimes your pleasure might be things other people find useful and will be willing to pay for. If that’s the case then great for you, you have found a beautiful sweet spot. Find a way to leverage that and get paid doing things you love. Sometimes it won’t be. That’s okay too. The act of creating itself is something that can be fruitful and full of lesson that you can bring across to your money generating activities too.

Create things you would use or enjoy

Even if you are the only person using or getting joy out of whatever you created. It’s not wasted effort. I use the Pomodoro technique a lot and I also wondered how many Pomos I do in specific activities. So those were the two things I wanted to be able to do. Were there other Pomodoro apps out there that did these things, sure. Could I have used them happily? Yes, in fact until recently I did. Do I regret spending twenty hours of my life writing That Pomo? Absolutely not. Even if nobody else uses the app, I got a lot of value writing it and each time I fire it up I get a surge of pride.

I have some other ideas that I will be able to implement a lot quicker because of the time I spent learning things while releasing my first app. One day when I get a million dollar idea I am one step closer to being able to implement it. Also I had a great time thinking about and creating it.

Until next time, may you create what you feel like


That Pomo Icon
That Pomo, my first Android app.

This week I released my first app on the Android store you can get it here:

The app is based on the Pomodoro technique which I use often to help me get started on something I feel that I’m procrastinating on.

I set up a Trello board for the app that I used to track things that kept coming into my head as I developed and when it came time to decide on what I should cut out of the first release.

I am busy writing a proper blog post on the development process of the app and I hope to have it done by next weekend. I am going to cover things like how important it is to finish things when you want to learn. How to decide what goes in the first release and what doesn’t. What I learnt about myself in the process of developing the app.

Overall it was a really awesome experience, even though it only took me about fifteen hours (most of that was learning the APIs) they were well spent.

Until next time, may you find the joy of creating something.