Will People Search for a $1.99 app?

Paul Graham once suggested that startups pose their mission statement as a question. Google’s question might have been “Will the PageRank algorithm deliver results that are so good that they lure users away from Altavista?”

via 2010/09/concept.md at master from raganwald’s homoiconic – GitHub.

My great lesson from my travel app is that the key question was not “Can you build a decent iPhone app quickly and cost-effectively?” but “Will people look for an app to help their specific travel experience?”

The answer, right now, appears to be “no.”

Got Binos and Clear Dark Skies? Look for a comet this weekend!

There’s a pretty good comet visible near the easy-to-find constellation Cassiopeia (the big “M” or “W” in the Northern sky). It’s brightness is listed as magnitude 5.7, which ought to be visible with binoculars if you aren’t too close to bright lights. (If you have really dark skies and sharp eyes and let them dark-adapt for half an hour or more, it might even be naked-eye visible, but I’m not betting on that even up on Mauna Kea!)

This chart might help: you can see that the comet is pretty much in line with the first stroke of the “M” of Cassiopeia. With binoculars you’ll probably just see a smudge of light with maybe some elongation. With a scope, who knows?