Don't develop apps, develop superpowers.   


It's often said that in this day-and-age, being able to program is a superpower. I'm going to argue that programming itself is not a superpower, but programmers can develop superpowers. I'm also going to argue that programmers should spend more time doing this, and less time developing apps, than they currently do.

So what does 'superpower' mean in this context? A superpower is a piece of software that doesn't have a user interface, and only has one user; you. It does one thing and that thing is something that gives you a big advantage in life. It's the most niche piece of software that you've ever built, because the target market has only one member in it, and you know the pain points and desires of that member phenomenally well.

Compared to an app it's extremely fast and cheap to develop because you don't have to build a UI or think about marketing. There's no risk of not getting traction and failing, because you're the only user, and you knew that you wanted it before you built it.

What're some examples? A superpower might be a piece of software that crawls various sites, crunches numbers and delivers you a daily email report that enables you to make better, smarter decisions that day. A superpower might be a piece of software that automates marketing of your personal brand on social networks, opening up new employment opportunities. A superpower might be a bot that buys items on Amazon and sells them on eBay.

If your superpower turns out to be really tremendous for you, then it might be time to think about putting in the extra risk to turn it into a service for others. Chances are, if it's awesome for you, others will love it too.