My Business Sim

My Business Sim was my first programming project. I did not build it because I was trying to get better at programming, I built it solely because I wanted to. Here's my thought process.

I had just graduated with my undergraduate degree in Economics and wanted a project to work on. One day while waiting at a train station, I got the idea to attempt to simulate as many real world industries as I could. I decided to start with a simple model with one product (smartphones) and two competing suppliers (user and the computer).

The process was far from seamless as I reiterated over the design of the program time and time again due to how easy it was for my simple designs to get overly complicated. I wanted to develop as barebones of an app as possible and present the idea to people with the hope of gaining companions for what I knew had the potential to be a very long ride.

I eventually developed an app and released it on the Play Store for $1. Why? because the play store would put the project in front of a lot of eyes. And because I felt that anyone who paid for an app like that would at least be curious about its development. I wanted to talk to these people. Their insight would help establish a direction for the app. That was the entire reason why I focused on making the first version of the app as simple as I possibly could. There were many different ways to go about achieving my goals for the app but I wanted to reach out to other people to decide what path I would ultimately end up taking. Now I did not reach out to these people directly as I did not have their contact details but I did put a message in the app asking them to reach out to me. This effort was not successful but at least I was able to make $10 out of it.

Subsequently, I made the app free. A free app meant more downloads and hopefully more engagement. The result was one three star review which said that the game was good but there were issues with app crashes after a while that did not let them progress further with their save. This was a bug I had already fixed at this point but not yet pushed to production. You could tell I was new to programming by the nature of the bug - the value of a certain int variable growing to be larger than the maximum value an int could hold.

Following this, there weren't really any further issues. I expanded the app's functionality, adding a few more products while sparingly improving upon the model to see if I would eventually attract more users. All in all, I wasn't able to drive the engagement I was looking for.

I haven't worked on My Business Sim for almost six months. I am still intrigued by the challenge of modelling real world industries and have even been improving the models while trying to decide on if I should continue working on the project or not. I do hope that I eventually get motivated to complete this project because it does bug me to have an unfinished app out there. For now though, I guess I'll just keep my options open.

April 02, 2024