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Why I built Giftr and What I Learned

I built Giftr for myself. I wanted a mobile app to easily save gift ideas for my family and friends. I also took it as an opportunity to learn Ruby on Rails, jQuery Mobile, PostgreSQL, Facebook/Amazon APIs, and Heroku.


Aside from the technology, the biggest learning so far is that most people don’t want to log into my app with their Facebook account. I posted Giftr on Hacker News on Saturday, November 10 and had approximately 38 hits on the index page, 12 hits on the sign_in page, and exactly 0 new accounts created. The only commenter, tuscon, had this to say:

Interesting title. But… I wanted to try, but I don’t want to sign in with facebook. Sorry.

I’m not planning to change the sign in approach for now, but if you don’t mind logging in with Facebook (Giftr doesn’t post anything to your wall) and would like to try it out, feel free. If you do, I’d value your feedback. You can contact me here.

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Categories: 100 words per day, Giftr, Personal, Product Development, Technology, Uncategorized.

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  • Witold Sosnowski

    The problem is not that it’s using Facebook. The problem is that you advertise it on Hacker News ;). I don’t think readers of THN are good target for this kind of software.

    • Jay

      Ah, fair point.

      My intent wasn’t to advertise on HN. I know there are people there who will give honest opinions on ideas. I also encountered reluctance with folks outside the HN community.

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