Rails Rumble Vision Quest

Participating in the 2010 Rails Rumble, but no app idea? While there are a few hours left to go on a Rails Rumble Idea Vision Quest (which I highly recommend), I’ve done the work for you. Here are some things that could be on the internet by the end of this weekend:

Battle of the Hunches

Hunch.com is like all those which Spice Girl are you? quizzes consolidated in one place, but for grownups.

Battle of the Hunches would be an online boardgame that I play along with my friends (online with Facebook or Twitter, or sitting around a magical and revolutionary tablet) and guess my friend’s preferences before they answer. Check out the Hunch API.


I often find a place on Yelp that I’d love to try — problem is, I won’t remember. So I would sign up for YelpLater.com and give it my phone number and Yelp account. When I bookmark something in Yelp, I’ll include one of the following words in my bookmark: breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks.

Then, at some point in the future, YelpLater texts me suggesting to try one of my bookmarked places — say around 7:45AM I get a random breakfast suggestion, or 4:45 on a Friday I get a recommendation for a drinks place.

Dig into the Yelp API.


Sign into badger4.com, then OAuth to all those sites where you’ve worked hard to earn badges, and badger4.com/youraccount is now a big shiny trophy case sporting the fruits of your game mechanics labor.


Compile Wufoo or Google Forms into client/server iPhone and Android apps. Maybe you just convert Google Forms instead of building your own interface. Maybe you compile the form into a Titanium Appcelerator or Rhomobile or whatever project and use one of those tools to compile down to apps. Somebody would use this, right?

Diez Libros

There are book trading websites, sure. But I want to design a personal intellectual journey for complete strangers, and articulate it by assembling ten books that are representative of a body of thought. The website mathe-magically someone else’s set of ten books that you should read.

You both swap, and are both the wiser.

My Team’s App Idea

Yeah right, like I’d spill the beans this early. Forty-eight-plus-change hours from now, though, you’d best don your Sunday best and get ready for our entry!


Upload a picture of a person, and find the people in your Facebook network who look the most like them. Upload celebrities, long-lost family members, or exes. Use the Face.com API.


Sign up for the Twitter firehose, and figure out which tweets people later delete. Discard ones that are probably typos, they’re less interesting. Extra points for a page where you just show regretted tweets with pictures attached. This probably against some terms of service. Get acquired by TFLN.

Trash talking in person is way better than on the internet

So don’t forget, the thoughtbot office is open for much of the time (RSVP, s'il vous plaĆ®t) to friendly Boston rumblers.

May the best team win!

A belt