Twelve Hours

Uncategorized Nov 22, 2014

A few months ago I wrote about how I’ve spent my software career constantly building new ideas and putting them out into the world to see what sticks. It’s scary as hell to release a new product into the world – never knowing how it will be received. But that’s the modus operandi for how I’ve built up the moderate amount of indie success I’ve had.

A short while after that blog post, I wrote about how I use constraints – particularly time constraints – to keep myself motivated and moving forward. Boxing yourself into a fixed amount of time can often have a magical effect on your productivity.

So, two weeks ago, I took both of those ideas and applied them towards building a new product called Shutterbox. It’s an app I’ve wanted for myself for a long time. I keep all of my photos stored in Dropbox, and despite searching the App Store, I’ve never found a good way to browse my Dropbox photos on my iOS devices.

I knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to build an app to do this myself, but between work and my other commitments, I wasn’t ready to jump all-in on building an app. So, to test the waters and see if the idea was even viable, I decided to give myself twelve hours over the course of four nights to build a prototype.

There’s so much open source software available for iOS these days, it’s truly incredible how quickly you can build a functional app just by piecing together components from around the web. Thanks to a few key open source libraries, I was easily able to get a working prototype completed within my twelve hours.

I installed the app on my wife’s phone, and she immediately took to browsing our large collection of family photos.

After that, I made the decision to go all-in and spend another twelve hours adding a few remaining features and polishing the app into a shippable state.

I’m thrilled to say that Shutterbox has been approved by Apple and is now available in the App Store for free.

If you keep your photo library stored in Dropbox, I encourage you to give Shutterbox a try. I think you’ll love it.