The cool new thing to do is to build an app. It doesn't matter what the reason is as long as it is an app.
I meet new people that have great ideas everyday and it bums me that they think what they need to succeed is an app. I blame the media for that, for making app development look like a gold rush.
A friend of mine spends the better part of his day at the gym. He trains people freely and they enjoy his methods. He is not even employed by the gym, he just exercises there. Everyone knows him by name and the moments someone new joins the establishment, they are directed to him.
What he does is create an exercise routine for them, and follow up with them every time they are on the premises. He is very popular there.
Recently, someone suggested that he should have an app, so people can know when he is in and follow him. This way he can really train a whole group instead of just randomly meeting people at the gym. And he could make a lot of money too, they say.
Since I am the one programmer he knows, I am the first to hear the idea. "Let's build an app for that".
Trying to be nice, I made my recommendation on what I think is best and believe it or not, it didn't involve making an app. Obviously my recommendation was fiercely rejected and spat on. I work in technology so I should be recommending to build an app. Well over the years, I realize that I don't work in technology, I am a problem solver and I use technology sometimes to solve these problems. Just like the Scooby Doo gang uses The Mystery Machine but are not in the car business.
Why is there a need to build an app to meet people? To coordinates task. What about the thousands of apps that already exist? How about using Facebook groups? Or twitter for that matter? You can have a website with a few clicks. All these tools takes the technology problem out of the equation and instantly offer a solution.
All your twitter followers can have realtime communication with you. The moment you tweet something, everyone sees it.
This is one example but there are so many cases where regular people get caught up in this app business never producing the result they want. They think they have a technology problem while in reality they're over thinking their problem.
Turns out you don't need an app. You are just creating a problem that you have to maintain for years to come.
Even magazines and news outlets are finally realizing that they were on an app frenzy. Unless you are creating something that actually needs a feature only provided by a smart device to succeed then OK. Otherwise, take a second to think about that app idea one more time.