Profound Thoughts.

Icon Driven Development

Copyright: definitely not mine. Got it from

I had a dream last night. Really. It was great. There I was at the Google offices, chatting with some of their devs, and they let me in on their new approach to development: Icon Driven Development. What is IDD, you ask? It is nothing short of a revolutionary way of realizing your vision for an app based on what the app is and not what the app does.

As product visionaries, we often get too bogged down in the details: what an app does, what the audience wants, what people will pay for it. But what gets to the core of an app -- it's raison d'etre if you will? The icon! That badge on someone's phone that says, "Here I am! Click me to open a world of possibilities."

How does IDD work? It's in the name! The first thing you do when you want an idea for your Next Great App is to design the icon. When you have a great icon, the app practically writes itself! Well, the app writing is what you have engineers for, but the spec for it is there and the genius behind it is you. Always you.

Think of the best icons on your phone. Amazon has their shopping cart. I look at that and think, "I'm going to (tell someone to) create the ultimate shopping experience." I see Netflix's red "N" and think, "Now is a good time to watch some TV." See what I mean? It couldn't be simpler. What does Google's multi-colored "G" tell you? It says, "Good at Gathering all kind of information ... also search I Guess." All those Gs. The app pretty much writes itself!

So, go forth, make your icons, write your apps. Be. Icons.