I'd spent my entire career building things for other people. Mostly SaaS, which I love building, but I dreamed of more freedom and control over what I was building. I decided to jump in the deep end and quit my job to focus full-time on something...
I reached out to my friend, Jay. We'd worked really well together on the Australian Marriage Equality campaign back in the day. I knew he had a bunch of ideas, but not the technical skills to build them. I had the opposite problem.
After chewing over a few ideas, each with varying logistical difficulties, we settled on building a free service centered around wish lists. It would help people know what gifts their loved ones actually want, and help people guide their loved ones into getting gifts they actually wanted in return.
We wanted people to be able to add items to their wish list by just entering an product URL, and we would fetch the image, name, and price for them automatically.
We would make our money by creating affiliate links for any URLs where we had an affiliate relationship. Our users would get a free service, and we would benefit just by them using it. A win-win!
We also wanted people to be able to manage all their gift giving occasions in one place, without having to worry about things like what date Mother's Day falls on that year. We also wanted to send reminders for these occasions that allowed enough time to order a gift online.
So we started working on some UI elements for it. Not the logo or the nav bar, but just little pieces of the UI that were unique to the app. Like the forms for adding your loved ones, and for adding wish list items...