by Sarvasv Kulpati

What I learned from creating and shipping my first app in a day

An exercise in destroying perfectionism and achieving creative potential

I was sick and tired.

I’ve been learning how to code for almost two years, in which time I’ve made quite a few projects. But one thing I could never say I’d done was put an app on the app store.

Then one day, I got up, and I decided that I’d had enough. I was going to create an app and submit it to the app store before I fell asleep that night.

Why Hadn’t I Ever Done This Before?

Atelophobia — The fear of not being good enough

Haven’t you felt this way before? That what you make isn’t as good as what other people make? That others are better than you? That upon looking at your work, people will laugh?

Those feelings can be crushing. They can prevent you from moving, draw you into a deep hole, and trap you inside. They can prevent you from taking action and force you into believing what isn’t true — that you can’t ever be as good as you want to be.

Before the internet, you could aspire to be the best in your town, maybe even city, and still succeed. Today, with the internet, your competition is the entire world. On top of that, you’re constantly reminded that there’s someone out there in the world doing better than you.

Never mind what others do; do better than yourself, beat your own record from day to day, and you are a success. William J. H. Boetcker

I’m not sure where this mindset of needing to be better than others comes from. Perhaps it’s because of the schooling system, in which to “succeed,” you must do better than someone else. Or maybe it’s just human instinct. But whichever one it is, it is not a sustainable way of thinking.

The Cure To Perfectionism

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy — Dale Carnegie

In many cases, perfectionism is a fancy word for fear.

Action defeats fear.

If anything, I was scared what people would think about what I had made — that it wasn’t good enough. But I reasoned with myself and came to the conclusion that that’s a horrible excuse for not making it.

And to the point that it’s not good enough — it’s definitely not good enough. But that’s okay. Quantity leads to quality. Mozart composed over 600 pieces in his lifetime. Picasso made almost 50,000 paintings. An average person can hardly name two of their pieces.

I realised that no matter what, you need to ship your creations consistently to reach any level of success. Behind every “overnight success” lies years of practice and sub-par work.

It’s those years of difficult feedback that take people somewhere.

So I had to create something, and no matter how bad the product was, I was going to ship it.

How I Made The App

First of all, I had no idea what to make. Then it hit me. I was (supposed to be) studying for a French spoken exam. What if I could create an app that allowed me to translate images of things in real time that helped me revise?

I quickly patched together an iOS app that used a pre-trained MLmodel of inception to detect objects, and then paired that with Google’s translate API. In just over two hours, I had an app.

Check it out.

The app isn’t perfect. Heck, it’s not even close. The object detection is sub par, it clearly hasn’t been trained on enough objects, and the UI is questionable at best.

But it’s something, and that’s better than nothing. Finally, I get to say that I shipped something.

I may not be as good as some prodigy out there selling his or her apps for millions of dollars, but I’m definitely better than the person I was yesterday.

And in the end, I suppose that’s all that matters.

Call To Action

I’m just a random teenager. You probably have way more skills than I do, and I’m sure there’s some sort of project that you have been putting off for a long time. Carpe Diem, my friend, you have no excuses left. It’s time for you to do it.

Thanks for reading,

Sarvasv

p.s. Thanks for 100 fans

UPDATE: 400 fans, thank you to everyone who clapped for this!

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Here’s some other posts I’ve written

You Need To Go On An Information Diet
We live in a society of drug addicts. Your best friend is probably one. So is your family. And odds are, so are you…hackernoon.comApple’s Speciality Isn’t Hardware Or Software
The obvious point everyone misses when criticising Applemedium.comWhy I’m Teaching Younger Students At My School How To Code
And why you should teach someone how to code, toomedium.freecodecamp.org