“I Have This Great App Idea, and I Have to Keep it a Secret”

app idea

“Justin, I have this great idea for an app, we are going to make billions of dollars. I have to make sure it has not already been done. It is seriously an amazing idea, so I can’t tell anyone. I know you are a great programmer and I know you can make my idea come to life. If I tell you the idea, and you work your magic from there on, we can split 80% me, 20% you. Deal?”

Say this to my face and will respond with a smug smirk and disregard everything you say after that. Let me comment on this quote:

“Justin, I have this great idea for an app, we are going to make billions of dollars (Very unlikely, you shouldn’t think like that). I have to make sure it has not already been done. It is seriously an amazing idea, so I can’t tell anyone. I know you are a great programmer and I know you can make my idea come to life. If I tell you the idea, and you work your magic from there on, we can split 80% me, 20% you (Insulting and delusional). Deal?”(No)

These types of thoughts are typical for a novice/aspiring entrepreneur. Unfortunately for them, their thoughts are completely wrong in the majority of cases. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, I suggest you follow this Stanford Podcast. The first podcast is titled, “How to Unlearn Your MBA”, and is a great talk to get beginners into the right ballpark. Spoiler alert, David recommends that no one should aim to make the next Facebook and Google. The chances of having that kind of success is over one in a billion. He instead suggests to design a company with recurring customers through subscription and such that can eventually earn maybe 10 million a year. 10 million dollars a year would make most people happy, and I think he is absolutely right. I actually think it would be better to be a multimillionaire than a billionaire as you would get less attention from the media. Another thing I would like to mention in the app world is that just because you have a good idea for an app, it does not mean you have a good idea for a potentially high earning app. Today’s most profitable apps unfortunately take advantage of people with addictive personalities. These addicts pay lots of money on virtual currency. Meanwhile, a great app idea may only be useful to a select group of people. On top of that, you have to reach out to that target audience to earn your money.

There was another time I met this friend of a friend and he came over my apartment/office. The next day he got my phone number on Facebook and tried to hangout with me as much as possible. One time he slept over all weekend without ever me inviting him. Anyway, him and a group of my real friends were talking, and I brought up an idea for an app.  The app was to make meme t shirt and sell it. This kid says he is an entrepreneur but his resume doesn’t show that. Anyhow, he wrote up a bunch of Power Point slides to show to me and my developer friend. The only thing was he had no idea what he was talking about. He wanted to print and hold and inventory of t shirts to start out and I was able to convince him that he was wrong. Anyway, he wanted to have an all night hacking event where me and my other developer friend put this app together. We were all at my apartment,  but my developer friend and I rightly blew him off. It is an unfortunate reality that if you are successful, you need to watch your back. You can’t be nice to everyone you come across. There’s people out there that want to use you as a stepping stone, and/or be in your scene which in their eyes is better than their current life.

The second no no, that if the idea has already been done, you cannot go through with the idea. I like to argue that in the world of software, the word ‘original’ holds no meaning. Before Snapchat, an app that created the current youngest hypothetical billionaire. Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snapchat is a hypothetical billionaire, or to be more succinct not a billionaire because he cannot liquidate his assets into a billion dollars of cash. Mark Zuckerberg can do this and is thus a legitimate billionaire. Some of his emails just got leaked, and Evan Spiegel was commended by some people for his technical talk. He basically said Snapchat needs to start making money, it has not made any significant money yet. They are currently experimenting with advertising implementations. The venture capitalists own the hundred of millions of dollars they put into the company. But before Snapchat there were ephemeral communication technologies as the do not log feature on Google chat, and it even came built in with the original AOL instant messenger; the chats were not saved. To stick a fork in this incorrect way of thinking, some examples of companies that have thrived, despite having their idea already implemented by another company are Google, Facebook, and need I say more?

On to the next fallacy, the belief that you should not tell anyone about your idea, because someone would steal it. I personally have never had this belief, but with the story of Facebook in the movie, “The Social Network”, Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea and ruined the Winklevoss twins. Let me just point out that those guys are hilarious to me, they seem like real life fictional characters. The Winklevoss twins got Mark Zuckerberg to work on their project for no pay, and they didn’t make him sign any contract. First off, that is very disrespectful to expect someone who was offered 7 figures to work for Microsoft out of high school to finish their project without pay. On top of that, the fact that they didn’t make him sign any sort of contract puts their business intelligence in the mentally retarded range. MBA degrees from Oxford and Harvard educations can not prove that someone is intelligent anymore. Anyhow, they were able to bust Zuckerberg by hiring an investigator to dig up AOL Instant Messenger conversations with Zuckerberg basically saying, “I’m going to screw them over”. Bing it if you want to know what he really said. Going back to the fallacy, you actually want to tell anyone and everyone about your idea. The reason being is that you need to get input to see if people would be interested in your product. That basically sums it up.

The final fallacy novice entrepreneurs have inside them is that delusion that the idea is what is valuable. The Winklevoss twins cried Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea. An idea is worth exactly 0 dollars if it is not implemented. That is where the developer comes in. On top of that, it isn’t just the development of the product, the application of the software needs to trump competitors. You don’t have to be a technical guru like Bill Gates are Mark Zuckerberg to succeed, you just have to know how to run the show. Some people believe that they can just spit out an idea, and expect me to take everything else from there. That is insulting.

So if we ever cross paths and mobile phone apps come into the discussion, you should now know how to approach me. You are welcome.

March Madness Tournament Bracket Chances

March Madness is coming up, and before I get into technical talk about your March Madness Tournament Bracket Chances let me just say the NCAA is pretty evil with the way they run sports. Basically, the coaches make ridiculous salaries higher than the president of the University. Title IX created an adverse effect on sports participation with dropping men’s programs like gymnastics and wrestling, which is actually a coed sport. On top of that, the football and basketball athletes work on a grueling schedule, and the college degree that they earn is a sufficient payment to them. Most people know that the big time college athletes are given breaks and take joke classes. The last case I heard of a potential high earning prospect got a respectable degree was David Robinson. I remember a couple years ago they showcased this one wrestler from Stanford in the NCAA Division I finals with a 3.9 something Mechanical Engineering GPA. Coaches love to use them as an example and their delusion that all student athletes are capable of doing such things without struggle. Their real job is football or basketball, and they are not paid a dime. If the pro hopefuls do not make it, they essentially lost 5 years in salary. I remember the school quarterback at the University of Colorado got busted robbing a house wearing a Scream mask about a year after his college career. He obviously didn’t get drafted by the NFL. It would be horrible decision for a high school player good enough to make it into the NBA rather than risk getting hurt playing college basketball on your $0 a year salary. Watch the video above to see John Oliver say it how it is.

Last year there was a lot of talk about Warren Buffet offering a billion dollars to anyone who can predict a perfect bracket. To the people who think they have a chance at picking a perfect bracket and winning one billion dollars, let me tell you something. To store all the individual NCAA bracket permutations in the simplest form (A binary number consisting of 67 ones and zeros) for March Madness, it would take

267 / 8 / 1000 / 1000 / 1000 = 18,446,744,100

terabytes. The internet consists of about 170 terabytes. We all know how big a terabyte is and this large number of terabytes happens to be higher than the number of seconds since the Big Bang! So go ahead and full out multiple brackets believing you are doing something productive. What is interesting is that all of these permutations can be represented in a data structure that would be less than one kilobyte. I could be wrong, but I believe a Suffix Tree would be the most efficient.

The last thing I would like to mention which may be off topic is programming speed. I happen to program in Python quite a bit. I can put things together in very few lines of code and it looks very clean. However, today I did an experiment to see how much faster C, unanimously considered the fasted structured programming language. The test was to add an integer from zero to one billion. I would assume that Python wouldn’t have an issue with running fast on a simple task. But boy was I wrong. First off I am running an iMac with Yosemite on a 3.1 gigahertz Intel Core i5 with 12 Gigabytes of DDR3 Ram. I used gcc to compile:


#include <stdio.h>
#include <time.h>

int main() {
time_t start,end;
start=clock();//predefined function in c

for(int i = 0; i < 1000000000; ++i);


time_t t=(end-start)/CLOCKS_PER_SEC;

printf(“time: %ld”, t);

return 0;


Here is the Python code, which may hint why I like to write code in Python:

for i in range(0,1000000000):

I was able to track the time using the -m cProfile option when running the script in terminal.

The C program ran in 2 seconds and the Python program ran in 42 seconds. The thing is, most of the time I don’t notice these things when writing code in Python, the scripts I write are probably ideal for Python.

The winner

I Use Bing Search as My Default Search Engine

bing vs google cartoon irony


That’s right I said it. Try doing a Google and Bing search for Knag Enterprises. The first result in Google is a CrunchBase profile of my company. CrunchBase is basically a database of containing company profiles and includes an official link to this website. Google actually ranks this site and third when this is supposed to be the official site. Bing got it right, why can’t the Google Gods get it right? Upon further review, the CrunchBase site ‘earned’ its spot over my website by having hundreds of backlinks from CrunchBase subdomains. I even spoke with Google on the phone recently to about listing my site, but they only showed the Google Plug page, not my official website. From my experience, the algorithm is really bad and simply outdated. It has been several months now, and the ranking still will not budge. I even tried to remove the content from the CrunchBase site to no avail.

I use Quora quite a bit, and I posted a well-liked answer to the question, “Do people use Bing instead of Google?”. I’ll go ahead and post what I said here:

I use Bing in my Facebook web searches.

Facebook now apparently eliminated Bing Search from their main search engine. However, I have now decided to make Bing my main search engine. I now consider Google to be the equivalent to the yellow pages and feel as though they should not profit of my searches. Bing has an interesting compromise with giving reward points for using Bing to redeem gift cards which can add up if you consistently use it. If you get the max points for a whole year, which is not hard, it can add up to over $120.00 in various gift cards including Amazon. When I am actually researching something, I would likely start out with a Bing search and expect some sort of Wikipedia article. Over time, I found out I was mainly using Google just to lookup Wikipedia pages so I gave it up. However, I will concede that Google is better at finding non-English material. For instance, Google is better at finding programming variables used in various open source libraries.

People that will not give it a shot could possibly experiencing something similar to this:

It’s a well-known fact that elephants are some of the most powerful animals in the world. But amazingly enough they can be trained to believe that they can’t break free from a single weak rope.


Well, in captivity, from the time the African elephant is born it is tied up with a normal sized rope and the baby elephant tries and tries for months to break free but never does. Eventually the elephant begins to believe in the ABSOLUTE POWER of this rope.

No matter how many thousands of pounds of behemoth muscle the young elephant gains, it has now concluded that fighting against the rope is a losing battle. It submits to the FACT THAT IT’S IMPOSSIBLE to break free from the flimsy rope.

It’s mind is controlled and conditioned to believe failure is the ultimate outcome if it bucks against the rope, when in all actuality all it would take is effort to test it out again and the rope would SNAP!

I find this interesting and similar to the mindset of many SEOs when it comes to doing what it takes to break free from the fear of Google’s ALL-knowing/ALL-mightiness.

Have you been TRAINED to believe that Google knows what you are doing before you even do it? Are you afraid to continue persistently backlinking your sites with thousands and thousands and thousand of links, yes DIRECTLY to your site, because you KNOW you will fail if you do? Are you afraid to add your keyword to your title more than twice? Are you SURE that a “sandboxing” is a bad thing and that you MUST stop whatever got you there immediately and pray for Google to let your site live again? If so? Ask yourself this… WHY?

Have you tested it out lately? Have you not GROWN in knowledge as an SEO?

What if that 10,000 lb elephant decided to “test it out” again?

I can assure you that this is not product placement:http://www.quora.com/My-girlfriend-likes-using-Internet-Explorer-what-do-I-do I suggest to use an IE skin from either Chrome or Firefox.

However, I do get more reward points using this signup link.
Use Bing. Earn Rewards.

And here is an addition comment I made:

Thanks. Here is another way to look at it: When searching for things, since many are used to Google and have some sense as to what an accurate search result would include, people may at first be disappointed that Bing search results are not as ‘accurate’ as Google. However, one should appreciate stumbling across unexpected results. With a little more effort, users should run into unexpected information. Over time, Google has turned into  the modern day Yellow Pages as well as answers to questions ASAP.

Here is a link to the discussion on Quora, which I feel is a pretty good website geared towards intellectual conversion. However, in just about every area of the online world exists trolls that do pollute the website.

Oculus Rift DK2 is a Game Changer

Justin Knag immersed in the Virtual Reality world
Justin Knag immersed in the Virtual Reality world

I just tested out the Oculus Rift DK2, and I am blown away. It is going to be a game changer, unlike Google Glass that had good hype up marketing but the product that will never be released to the public never delivered. Facebook made a really good decision in acquiring Oculus. I can’t wait to start developing for the Oculus Rift! I will continue to update this post as I spend more time with the Rift. I’m also excited to finally use Microsoft Visual Studio, which is supposed to be the hands down best IDE.

When I tried out the first demo Unity engine, I was blown away, it was just so cool. I can easily see every kid wanting one for Christmas. In addition, I tried out a horror app which was rather lame, and a roller coaster app that didn’t impress me much. However, as time goes on, more and more cool material will be available for device, and I am happy to part of the movement. One thing that slightly worries me is that Valve, the company that owns Steam is also planning on making a device similar to the Oculus Rift. It will be interesting to see if Playstation and Xbox decide on using virtual reality devices, and what device they choose. I am very worried about which device wins over the market share, since it should be easy to port my project code from one device to another.

So far I have spent the majority of the time configuring it and trying to install various things on it. One thing that is particularly annoying about running various applications is running apps that are not ‘Direct to Rift’, meaning that the application runs as an extended external monitor. With DK2, they added the ‘Direct to Rift’ option that does not treat the device as an extended monitor and is a lot more seamless.  The third day I had it, the visuals looked really blurry. I thought there was something wrong with the device. It was really frustrating, I tried using the Rift with different operating systems and different graphics drivers but nothing seemed to get the job done. Then one day, I look at the lenses, and remembered that this problem happened when I tried out the near sighted lenses. Then I realized I had put on the lenses backwards! I’ve tried out Half Life 2 on the Oculus Rift and I am very impressed. There is a lot of talk about these types of devices being used for pornography experiences. I don’t know if I am willing to throw away my morals for profit, the whole idea weirds me out.

As for my Google Glasses, as I have mentioned before I considered it a gamble in case it took off. They are now stored away with the hopes of being a rare item on Antiques Roadshow one day.

google glasses stored away
Google Glasses Stored Away