Be a copycat, learn everything then develop something new and be unique?!?

2018-02-13 14:42:53

In high school, my Turkish Literature teacher said that "We can move forward only if we knew about our history."


Oh boy, I look back and I remember that i laughed my ass off in the class and criticised a lot.

I thought it was BS but i was applying some of it in my own life without even realizing.


Well, how i reached to that conclusion...


Let me tell you more about my past. I developed couple android apps when i was 15 years old.

One of my apps got famous (100K downloads in three days) after i copied the functionality of an app which was only provided to android phones manufactured by specific brand.


While doing that, about 5000 people supported me on Google+ and programming forums.

It really helped me to learn much more about the Android world.


Then, I realized that I want to make something different and combine my existing app with different ideas.


I was really enjoying while I was creating new ideas and apps by deriving existing ones in my mind. I was literally trying and using 20-25 apps every 2-3 days to see how they work and what feature they have that i can use it in my app.


And that is resulted with getting an A from math exam and i learned trigonometry.


I will not bother you with details. If you want to know more about it read to the box below, otherwise continue after the box.



This was before Samsung smart watches and i was really pissed off when samsung released it's smart watch with the similar feature my app for phones already had for a year. My grandparents had those rotary dial phones actually they really still have and they are still using it and It's 2018 lol. After I visited my grandparents on some special day, I saw the phone there, my aunt answered a call and I was trying to figure out how can i make my Android App Launcher more interesting and different than HTC's Blinkfeed copy. I was already added RSS feed, facebook, and, twitter integration in my app which was called DO Launcher at that time. But, i also wanted to customize and remove android widget pages, and make it something out of the box. Next day, I remember I started drawing triangles, squares, circles on my notebook in the class just because i was bored of listening the math. Then i started thinking about my app, existing android app launcher had app grid 4x5 or 4x4 which draws app icons on the screen, I thought what if it it was being drawn in triangular order or circular. Then i remembered iPhone app called "Barrel" for jailbroken iOS devices and it's circular wheel looking, page transition. Next day, I was trying to find and app icon for my app, i saw "rotary dial phone" which made me remember the phone at my grandparents' house. Then I decided to arrange the apps in circular order and draw another circle in it for different app folders. The app was calculating the point on the circle using sin, cos formulas. I was literally asking to my math teacher, how can i put an app icon on the circle and how to find location on the invisible circle using sin, cos, tan formulas. They were all clueless but i managed to do the same thing on my phone somehow after getting the right formulas and couple hours/days of trial and error lol. The screenshot is below.





My point is that it all started with me copying existing software idea and writing all the codes from beginning without looking anywhere(there wasn't any source code written anywhere anyway) as if i was discovering the whole world again.


Then i built my ideas on top of it, i failed couple times. I thought the community was not necessary anymore since I wasn't developing the app anymore (3 months after I stopped working on the project.) -- What a mistake and waste!! I deleted the whole community with 5000 people on Google+.


Learned by going through the hard way.


And now, I'm telling to you.

NEVER EVER DELETE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS IF YOU BUILT YOUR COMMUNITY/AUDIENCE AND HAVE REASONABLE AMOUNT OF FOLLOWERS.


It's always easier to accomplish something with community but not simpler.


Good thing is you have tons of ideas coming from different people.

Bad thing is you have to filter out the ideas and know what is worth doing and what is not.


My second mistake was I did everything that people wanted in the community.


They said, "add this to the app, it will be amazing!! thx so much", "add that to the app, it will be revolutionary."


I cannot lie, ideas were good. Some of them were REALLY GOOD?!?


But, what we ended up was that the app had 9235934295 features.


Moreover, Features were too many and out of control compared to what the app's main purpose was and what it became.

Afterwards, dealing with app crashes and figuring out why those app crashes happening and why my code reacted different on different phones took days and weeks. And it was hard to follow and fix it.


Then not long after, i found myself in an infinite loop. I was just fixing the app problems instead of working on something new. In addition to that, some of the features weren't worth to work on it but it was too late and it was already part of something else.


Everything started falling apart in the project. Every single thing was crashing when i added something else.

I kept adding into the box but never took out the unnecessary ones.


Second lesson,

FILTER OUT ALL THE INFORMATION YOU GOT FROM PEOPLE. NEVER JUST GO FOR EVERYTHING. DON'T BE A "YES MAN" IN THESE KINDS OF SITUATIONS. DO YOUR RESEARCH.


After a while, whole project turned to a mess and I didn't want to work on it anymore.

Can you blame 15 years old boy who sometimes wants to go to a movie theatre with friends?


I was literally staying up to 4am to communicate with the people in the Google+ community.

I was like, "Guys I added this and that, see, here is a teaser video, its amazing now."


Oh my poor young self lol. I didn't even know what was going on around me.


Meanwhile, the idea I stoled(copied) -- potato (potato) -- from that phone company, they send google something about copyright infringement and the google pulled my app away from the play store.


When i received an e-mail about that, i was in the class and listening my music teacher's screams in different tones, eventually she was just trying to do her job while students were throwing paper planes from the window to the students at the basketball court.


I told my bestfriend that "Dude, they pulled down my app from google play store which had 150K downloads."


My best friend was like "lol, dude forget that. Check that chick, she liked my instagram pic."


Then next couple weeks, I spent my time to understand how laws work lol.


I didn't know using a "cloud or sun icon" in my app which i got from a random zip file i found on internet would result with my app getting pulled down from the Google Play Store.


I didn't even know the laws in Turkey, forget the laws in US at that time.


These whole copycat situation led me to learn more about everything.


Now almost 6 years later, i read books every week. People are using similar ideas in books, they mention other authors and books in their books.


Then i get the other books and read, guess what?


It has that one idea common in that one chapter. but author explained his/her ideas in a different way in his/her book using his/her own research. Then, the author talks about something different in next 7 chapters. Then, the author mentions another book related to those different fields but somehow related.

It goes on like that. I find all this concept very similar to neural network.



Think every circle as a book and every color as different fields in life.


Isn't it amazing?


After a while, you start to see these ideas didn't just pop up in somebody's mind.

It goes way back from now. I believe, what happened is that people started interpreting combination of "what they know" and "what their life experience proved".


I believe that this is the reason, why 2000's author quoting a sentence from 1800's author.


Different two combinations give different results. Sometimes authors just copy the idea of someone else's and start writing about it and explain what they understood from it then they talk about their life experiences and connect the dots.


Ugh, I feel like I'm jumping from one tree branch to another.


Eventually, I'm still connecting the dots.


I just tried to show you the pattern i saw.


I think this is the example pattern of "How copying ideas in any field from preceding idea creator can create something unique eventually"


Am I trying too hard? Try and see yourself, there is no rule that every combination will work out, but when you find right two dots from different two subjects. There is no such called "impossible".


Just to show possibility of how different two subject can cHow about this?


Percy Spencer and his accidental invention. Spencer worked for a company named Raytheon, developing microwaveradar transmitters during World War II.
One day in 1945, he noticed that a candy bar he had in his pocket was starting to melt. The microwaves from the radar set he was working on were cooking the candy bar in his pocket!
With a little experimentation, Spencer figured out that the microwaves could be concentrated to heat food. He created the first working microwave oven, and the first food he cooked in it was popcorn.


Apparently, he didn't seek out for this but think about the possibilities of new inventions if we trained our brains in a way to smash two different ideas and make one perfect idea. Take two dots and connect them to make sense of it. Who could have known "radar microwaves" and "food" combination would make a microwave oven lol. We gotta practice this approach more to create something unique, we have to learn more to find those two dots.


Though, you really have to know many things from different fields so that you can smash the ideas in your mind and try to come up with an idea by taking little pieces from the collision and create an idea "New and Unique".


Comment down what you think?