Nik Kantar

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Free Project/Startup Ideas

I'd like to use these things but don't have the time to build them. Do you?

Disclaimer: Before we even get started, I just want to clarify that I'm well aware of how little interest anyone reading this has in building things for me. This list is probably mostly a placeholder for me — a mental "filing away" of these ideas so that I can stop feeling pressured to work on them — but anyone is welcome to use them.

I get a lot of ideas every day. Most are silly and pointless to a degree that lets me immediately drop them, but some stick around in my head long enough for me to actually give them a shot.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty busy these days and the opportunity cost of working on projects aside from work is often higher than I'd like it to be, so I never get particularly far.

In the past, I've let these barely started projects languish in nearly empty repos with READMEs and some basic code snippets, but lately I've been trying to move anything not actively developed into notes so that my repo list isn't daunting.

I've been selfishly holding onto these kernels of something useful in futile hopes of some day getting to them, but I've started feeling hypocritical about it given how much I preach that ideas are worthless and it's the execution that pays off. In light of this, I've decided to start sharing.

Email Client with Focus on Attachments

This is the oldest idea here, and easily the one I want the most.

Sometime late last year I tried to find one particular image in my email. I couldn't remember who sent it to me or when, or what the context or filename were. All I knew was that it was probably somewhere in my 6,000-email inbox. Probably.

As I sifted through piles and piles of emails that contain photos, I realized that this would be far easier if I could have a gallery-like view of my attachments.

After some thinking, I came up with a list of features that would make this useful to me:

Geofence Avoidance Tips

This is the newest idea on the list, and one I'd find useful least often, but others might care for more.

The problem it's trying to solve is the geofencing of airports by Lyft, Uber, and the like. One way to handle it would be to crowdsource good ways of getting around them and make them easily searchable by location name.

For example, if I land at LAX and need to call Lyft, this app/site could tell me to take the Lot C shuttle and call it from there.

requirements.txt Update Tracker

I write Python for a living, and right now things are fairly easy with working on only one project. Back in my agency days, however, working on multiple projects meant keeping track of their varying maintenance needs.

One of the more important such needs was keeping various pip packages up-to-date for security reasons, and this process isn't always fun or easy.

How great would it be if I could upload all my requirements.txt files to a service that would then notify me when there are relevant updates available?

Bonus points if I can define individual projects and get specific lists so I know which ones need attention.

Feed Reader Suitable for Large Volumes of Content

I follow a few blogs from which I read basically everything, but would like to add more to that list. However, with volume comes a worse signal-to-noise ratio, and I don't particularly care for automatically curated services.

What I want is something like a UI that'll let me look at a lot of entries (think a bunch of blogs + Hacker News) and by default mark all of those as read when the list is viewed, with ability to open entries directly on the spot or add them to a "read in a bit" list which I can then read after skimming through everything.

I'm not really sure what the exact solution is, but most feed aggregation services focus on showcasing content and making it easily accessible, whereas I think what I'm looking for is a way to be a little more removed from it unless I specify otherwise.

Repository Archiving Tool

I haven't really looked around to see if something like this already exists, but what I'd like is to be able to type repo-archive github.com/nkantar/targetrepo and have the tool clone the repo, archive it in some format, and possibly delete the repo from the server.

Now that I've written out the description, it seems like a very simple shell script would do the trick.


If for some reason you actually want to tackle one/some of these problems, feel free to get in touch to discuss things in more detail, or possibly even team up.

Want to respond with a comment or question, or have some feedback?
Email and Twitter are good direct options, but you could also write a piece of your own and send me the link. :)