I’ve been learning how to code for almost two years, during which time I’ve created quite a few projects. But the one thing I could never say was that I had put an app on the App Store.

Then one day, I woke up, and decided I had had enough. I was going to build an app and submit it to the App Store before I fell asleep that night.

Haven’t you felt this way before? What you make is not as good as what other people make? that others are better than you? That people will laugh seeing your work?

Those feelings can be crushing. They can stop you from moving, drag you into a deep hole and trap you inside. They can keep you from taking action and force you to believe what isn’t true – that you can never be as good as you want to be.

Before the internet, you could aspire to be the best in your city, maybe even the city, and still be successful. Today your competition with the Internet is with the whole world. On top of that, you are constantly reminded that there is someone in the world who is doing better than you.

I’m not sure where this mindset of being better than others comes from. Maybe it’s because of the schooling system, in which to “succeed”, you have to do better than anyone else. Or maybe it’s just human instinct. But whatever it is, this is not a sustainable way of thinking.

If anything, I was terrified of what people would think of what I made – that it wasn’t good enough. But I reasoned with myself and came to the conclusion that this is a terrible excuse not to make it.

And to the point that it’s not good enough – it certainly isn’t good enough. But that’s fine. Quantity leads to quality. Mozart composed more than 600 pieces during his lifetime. Picasso made about 50,000 paintings. An average person can hardly name two pieces of them.

I realized that no matter what happens, you need to continuously send your creations to reach any level of success. Behind every “overnight success” is years of practice and all-around work.

It is those years of difficult reaction that take people somewhere.

So I had to build something, and no matter how bad the product was, I was going to ship it.

how i made the app

At first, I didn’t know what to make. Then it hit me. I was (should be) studying for a French spoken exam. What if I could build an app that allows me to translate images of things in real time to help me modify?

I quickly patched together an iOS app that used pre-trained MLModels to detect objects, and then combined that with Google’s Translate API. In just two hours, I had an app.

The app is not correct. Heck, it’s not even close. Object detection is sub-par, it clearly hasn’t been trained on enough objects, and the UI is suspect at best.

But it is something, and it is better than nothing. Lastly, let me say that I have shipped something.

I might not be as good as some eccentric people selling their apps for millions of dollars, but I’m definitely better than the person I was yesterday.

And in the end, I think that’s all that matters.

call to action

I’m just a random teen. You probably have far more skills than I do, and I’m sure there’s some kind of project you’ve been putting off for a long time. Carpe diem, my friend, you have no excuse left. It’s time for you to do it.

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