While most to do list apps get abandoned after a few uses, Carrot keeps people coming back by turning completing tasks into a game.
What's most interesting about Carrot, aside from the app itself, is creator, Brian Mueller.
Mueller's story is impressive. He has no background in computer science and only learned how to program a few months before the app launched. The technical writer from Philadelphia taught himself design and code in his free time. Mueller has worked on the app's design, coding, marketing, and writing all by himself while still maintaining a full-time job.
Mueller shared with Business Insider his inspiration for the app.
" I wanted Carrot to be this sadistic personality, a mash up of Apple's Siri, the talking computer HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Gladys from the Portal games, and a little bit of my mom, my sister, and my wife," he said.
All of these things mixed together have created a very engaging to do list app that you do not want to disappoint.
We chatted recently with Mueller to learn more about the app and what its like running a one-man app operation.
The following is a lightly edited transcript of our conversation.
Business Insider: Where you got the idea for Carrot from?
Brian Mueller: When I first started, I really wanted to make Carrot a to-do list that wasn't cluttered or complicated. Other apps I have experienced are packed to the gills with a ton of features that make them tough to use, I don't want my to do list to slow you down more. Another big reason I made Carrot is that to do lists are extremely boring and are a chore to use.
BI: How do you think the app is being received?
BM: It has far exceeded any expectations. When I first launched Carrot, I was building something for myself. It was an app I wanted to use and I thought because it was so geeky and had this sadistic personally that only 30 ppl would download it. But after that first day the app got picked up by some sites and exploded from there.
Reviews have also been amazing, we have almost 6,000 reviews averaging 5 stars. I'd say it's the best reviewed to-do list app in App Store.
BI: Have you considered adding sub-lists to Carrot? Sometimes I wish I could separate my tasks by long term, short, term, etc.
BM: I do want to add multiple lists and at some point I'll probably start working on that for the next version. I do still want to maintain the sense of simplicity.
BM: I definitely want to bring Carrot to those platforms as soon as possible. It will be a lot of work but I did programming for the iPhone app in just one month and the majority of that time I was working on the design.
BI: What's next for Carrot?
BM: I have a few more days before the next version goes into testing. I am hoping to submit the update to the App Store by the end of the week.
The next version is about adding a lot more content in terms of the game aspect. There is a new chapter of the story and there are going to be more achievements that I'm calling challenges.
Besides Carrot, I am also starting to work on additional apps as well.
Carrot is available for iPhone in Apple's App store . It is currently on sale for $0.99 but normally costs $1.99.
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