Does the world need another RSS app?

In response to Andy Brice: Does the world *really* need yet another Twitter client, RSS reader, ToDo list or backup application? I’d have to say yes, but if it is not just a “me-too” application.

Just take a look at the current breed of RSS readers, most are just clones of the FeedDemon or NetNewsWire applications, both are available for free. Don’t get me wrong, it’s OK to clone a free app and make yet another (free) app — if your goal is to learn programming, that is. But if you intend to make the world a better place and earn some money along the way, you’d be better off taking a fresh take on things and find under-served use cases.

imgres-2011-04-2-10-28.jpegBefore News Anchor there was Times for the Mac. From the looks of it Times is geared toward the easy morning coffee use case, which is obvious from the coffee cup beautifully placed in the app’s icon. Pulse came at the approximate time News Anchor 1.0 was launched and Flipboard came some time after that. These are the kind of apps for fiddly visual-kinesthetic people that are bored while waiting for something or in the loo trying to get their “business” done.

At one time, I used Times a lot, but using it requires a lot of fiddling with the trackpad. That is, I can’t really have my daily breakfast of apple, oranges, and oatmeal without getting orange juices and peels sticking on my trackpad and keyboard. What I needed was a hands-free RSS reader, the one that advances the articles automatically and let me enjoy my meal. This is yet another under-served use case for an RSS reader, which calls for News Anchor.

In short, if you want to write another Twitter client, ToDo list, or even another backup application, think of the under-served use cases. Before Time Machine, regular users doesn’t do backups since it’s too troublesome. Yet after it comes online backup services such as Mozy. The Internet is not reliable in my world, so I still prefer local backups as opposed to on-line ones. Yet, I find that security is rather lacking in Time Machine: it’s too easy for other people to peek around backup sets in hard drives or those located in Time Capsules (hint: this is an opportunity if you want to create a backup software for the mac).


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