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Thoughts on this app idea?

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Software Engineer at Taro Community3 days ago

Rahul hit the nail on the head on the recipe finder app I was thinking about.

  • The biggest blocker for is that I just don't care enough (or I'm too lazy) to try out new recipes. I just default to things I've made before, a ready-made meal, or Chipotle.

The YC founders talk about how "discovery" (music/band/concert/event/apps/food/restaurant) apps a tarpit idea -- everyone thinks of these ideas, realizes its fundamentally broken, but no one can fix it

The reason -- people default to the most common option or things that are popular. And I noticed that with this app as well

My new suggestion is a recipe tracker instead. Paste a link and it organizes/sorts it


  • Even simpler (is an "L1" idea - utility tool/no need for dataset)
  • Scouted competition. There's 5-7 apps on the play store that do this with 10k-1M downloads and >4.5 stars. So there is demand.
  • All these apps seem to have a freemium model. Either ads or save only 20 recipes which is of course annoying. Taking a page out of Alex's playbook this is a good opportunity


  • I'm not looking to do this as an android/ios project because android/ios is so far removed from typical ML/backend ML. So I'll want to do this as a web app
  • Concerned getting traction on this as a web app. I'm not sure how to promote it or get people to use it. I don't know anyone who would actually want to use and not use it because I'm asking/making


  • 2
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    Eng @ Taro
    3 days ago

    I don't anyone who would actually want to use and not use it because I'm asking/making

    There's a book called "The Mom Test" where the author teaches you how to talk to people without biasing them before building our your idea. I highly recommend reading that book to find out how to measure demand for an app.

    If this helps at all, here's how I plan out my cooking:

    I will usually use Sunday to plan out what meals I want to cook for the week. I usually cook 4 recipes total, two for lunch, and two for dinner, but I cook enough where each recipe lasts 3 meals. For the recipe generation step, I usually will see what's on sale at a grocery market or I'll check my fridge to see what ingredients I have. I'll usually look for a new recipe or see what I've cooked in the past.

    It sounds like this is where your app might step in. Do you know what your app would offer me over looking through my notes to find recipes I've cooked in the past?

  • 1
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    3 days ago

    How are people tracking recipes today? I don't do this today, but I imagine Pinterest or some notes doc? Is there a particular set of users who are under-served with existing tools?

    This may not be entirely relevant for you since you're not trying to turn this into a big VC-backed company, but one of the traits of the best startup ideas is that they've discovered a unique insight about some users. The product is a natural consequence of that insight.

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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a day ago

    You're not trying to create the next Airbnb, you are just trying to get something with 1,000 users so the project stands out among the 98% of engineers whose projects have 0 users. I personally think a slick recipe app could achieve that. But will it become a billion dollar company? Definitely not.

    The problem with having some sort of recipe tracker is that you go from just R in CRUD with the recipe discovery app to the full CRUD lifecycle. That's a lot more work, both for you and the user. End-users are lazy, so unless your interface is very, very good, they just won't put in the data to make your app useful for them.