Hackernoon logoWhy I Built Snack (iOS app) … and a Update About Why I’ve Pivoted into Chat by@jondotli

Why I Built Snack (iOS app) … and a Update About Why I’ve Pivoted into Chat

Jon Li Hacker Noon profile picture

Jon Li

Update (March 2016): I wrote this a many months — maybe in December — way before I launched the Snack app. I never published this story but rereading it, it still resonates and hints at key tenant that describes what I enjoy building.

We have since pivoted Snack in order to experiment on chat platforms. I’m fascinated about what the next social network might look like, starting by asking the simple question: What if there was a way to connect with people every day, for 10–15 minutes, around a topic? What would this experience feel like? Would this make me a more knowledgeable person — a decent person, like I described about reading?

I don’t know.

But if you want to get involved or follow the journey, you can sign up at http://snackapp.co

Me reading stories in Snack, waiting for coffee.

It is 5:45am. I’m sitting at the dining table waiting for the water to boil. I could be any kitchen, waiting for water to boil: Williamsburg, Brooklyn; Capitol Hill, Seattle; or Big Sky, Montana. But on this morning, I am in the city where the fog is a celebrity — it has 191K Instagram followers, 97K on Twitter, and a name. Karl comes in horizontal through the kitchen window.

It feels crisp.

It’s nice.

In three minutes, the water will be at a full boil, ready to pour over ground coffee.

Coffee is how I start my day. Followed by a shower. Then a bike ride through the city. Then work. But peppered between these activities (and sometimes during) I am on my phone accomplishing the most important task that will get me ready for the day. I am reading. Reading notifications. Reading messages from family and friends. Reading emails from co-workers and publishers.

It is said that truly successful people have morning routines. But regular people (like you and me) still make thousands of less planned decisions throughout the day. Work. Family. Friends. What technology to use? Which design is better? What to eat for lunch? Where to travel with the family next? All of these decisions will be based on what you have learned and what you know — usually as a result of some form of media, notification, or word of mouth. This is where keeping up on emails, even those seemingly lesser important ones, stuffed away in your promotions tab, come in.

When you think about it — truly think about the importance of reading each morning — it can be distilled by a few ideas: to stay connected with friends; to catch-up on news; to be entertain by something; to learn. The latter, I believe, is important for me to kick start my day.

The kettle is whistling.

I love making coffee.
The original Philz’s 1 cup at a time ;)

Today I learned [blank, blah, something]. Does it affect or hugely impact my day? No. But does it feel good to be a little bit more informed? Yes.

For me, I read each morning, between the coffee, the shower, and bike ride because everyday I awake wanting (or at least trying) to be a more knowledgeable person — a decent person.

It doesn’t take much time.

— — —

Some of my favorite publishers:

StrictlyVC

If you’re in the tech startup world and want to be “in the know”, yet dislike the overwhelming fire hose of real-time information, then I recommend reading this publisher for your morning catch-up.

Food52

I have to eat every day, and luckily I love cooking. I’m a visual cook and sometimes I need a bit of inspiration to cook something new for dinner.

Longform

When I have a little more time, I love to sink into a long essay or article. Longform does a great job of finding the internet’s best. It can be anything from an extreme athletic’s tragic love affair or an old murder at a lake town.

theSkimm

This popular daily publisher summarizes interesting articles about news, tech, and current events. It helps me stay on top of the things I didn’t even know I should be on top of.

Priceonomics

Data-driven stories about curious things, like the economy of bike thefts or the reason’s behind San Francisco’s rent explosion, are captured by this publisher.

Love newsletters but hate how they get lost in your inbox? Snack (iOS) helps your overwhelmed inbox by organizing your newsletters & daily deals for you.

Download Snack (it’s free): https://bnc.lt/snack-medium

Many thanks to Jessie Beck and Kyla Ernst-Apler for editing the original story.

Update (March 2016): I wrote this a many months — maybe in December — way before I launched the Snack app. I never published this story but rereading it, it still resonates and hints at key tenant that describes what I enjoy building.

We have since pivoted Snack in order to experiment on chat platforms. I’m fascinated about what the next social network might look like, starting by asking the simple question: What if there was a way to connect with people every day, for 10–15 minutes, around a topic? What would this experience feel like? Would this make me a more knowledgeable person — a decent person, like I described about reading?

I don’t know.

But if you want to get involved or follow the journey, you can sign up at http://snackapp.co

Tags

Join Hacker Noon

Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.