I build my ideas #1 - 05/21/20

Where "I build my ideas" comes from, lil apps, Figma iOS app, Q&A

“I build my ideas”

Where does “I build my ideas” come from?

I registered ibuildmyideas.com at exactly 2015-08-22T21:35:42Z. At that time I was in college, and I was probably thinking about building some sort of a personal brand. I wanted something that spoke to what I do, while also being a little different from the traditional full name domain. The concept of “building my ideas” rings true, I’ve built a ton of stuff over the years - websites, apps, plugins, etc.

When I was thinking about what to name this Substack, I build my ideas felt like a great fit.

lil software

I submitted several lil apps to the App Store this past Sunday. Immediately after submitting, they went into review. lil weather, lil draw, and lil calculator were accepted.

And that’s all.

Apple rejected lil notes, lil todo, lil browser, and lil bookmarks. Their reason for each:

I submitted an appeal to the App Review Board with something to the effect of “the entire point of lil apps is that they’re simple and minimal” and that “other lil apps that are similar in nature have already been approved.” But Apple still didn’t approve and upheld their decision.

I don’t plan to fight it, so I’ll probably keep them running on TestFlight as long as they continue to get usage. I’m not discouraged though, I understand where Apple is coming from.

Onto the next lil app.

Figma iOS app

Building lil draw (my personal favorite lil app) inspired me to think about how it might translate to the Figma canvas. I’ve been building plugins on Figma for a little while now, and part of me wanted to challenge myself to see if I could 1) make an app to control Figma and 2) make it worth while to use for real.

So far, I’ve accomplished #1. It’s a Figma plugin communicating over a web socket that’s transporting the Figma document tree back and forth to the iOS app.

It’s extremely rudimentary so far, and I’ve been playing with making updates to allow for creation from the app itself.

I plan to continue to experiment with this so look out for more soon.

Q&A from Rep.ly

love lil.software. what's the plan with it? are you going to take them off testflight, merge the products? curious to hear

It started as a way to learn Swift and build iOS apps. It transformed into a fun side project that's created a new brand. They're all experimental at the moment, but the plan is to publish the most popular ones on the App Store.

Have you found your Product Design roles to be satisfying? Do you have any regret about not being a full time developer?

Very! And no regrets, it's great to be able to do both with an emphasis on engineering for side-projects.


What do you want the next lil app to be? What do you think the Figma iOS app should do? Have a question for me? Reach out on Twitter.