Before I write about my own experience this year in my second Rumble (my team’s entry this year is CommendableKids), I decided to try out as many of the entries as I could. I’ve gone through half of them at this point, and below are my favorites so far. Before I get to them, here are a few observations I’ve made while reviewing them all.

Broken and unfinished apps are getting accolades on Twitter
It appears that many people on Twitter aren’t actually trying out the entries before Tweeting out how much they like them. Many of the apps recommended on the Twitter #railsrumble stream don’t actually work. They are either broken or unfinished. And others, despite being a “good idea” don’t actually do much of anything except pull data from another site and present it on their site, framed with a different look, and a custom login and about page. That doesn’t make for a real application in my opinion.

Everyone has the same ideas
The second observation is how many of them are so similar, either to each other, or to ideas that were on my list for this year before I went with Commendable Kids. I saw at least five sites that I almost did, and another 10 – 20 that were duplicates of other entries, while almost all the rest are duplicates of some existing pre-Rumble site.

There have to be more original ideas out there aren’t there?

I think both of these observations can be summed up to equal one important principles of startups: it’s not the idea that matters, its the implementation.

I take this as an important reminder to myself to not get so focused on the concept of the site, but more on the execution and the follow through. Let’s face it, if you are a baseball player, does the top hitter in the league have a different idea for how to hit the ball or does he just execute it better? What about the top quarterback? Does he play the game with a different concept of what it means to be a quaterback, or, does he execute better due to focus, practice, skill, commitment, follow through, etc. A trumpet player? Etc.

Interesting things to think about and consider. Now on to my top list so far. There were many others that had a great concept, but didn’t come close to delivering on it. Maybe after the Rumble they will, but that doesn’t count for now.

Creates a memory style game for you based on your search term of choice by pulling google images. Great use of the google image functionality. Only down side is that so far most of the images that I’ve gotten haven’t matched my topic entered. Nice idea though. Looks nice, easy to use, and not throwing errors nor broken.
Creates a pdf for you to download from any URL you enter. Needs a designer, but its functional and I could definitely see myself using this to grab quick PDFs to take with me to read offline on a device.

Collect money from a group to give a group gift. Nice design, easy to use. Quick to get started, and I could definitely see this being used.

Creates an online “newspaper” of your tweets. I love feedly (firefox plugin) and use it daily for all my RSS feeds. This is that idea but for links from Twitter. I think it needs designer work, but the concept is sound and useful. If it becomes as nice to use and visually pleasing as feedly, I’ll also use this daily. (This was one of the ideas on my list for this year).

Other than my own site, this one is my favorite so far. Beautifully designed and having worked in retail and dealt with workers and shifts, I can see an app that helps manage that online being hugely helpful, providing all your workers are on the Net. If not, this site might make it worth it to get them all on the net.

This allows you to use a QR code to allow others to donate to you. I know several not for profit people that could utilize this right away. The implementation of the concept is simple and effective. I actually tried it on my iPhone. Well done.

You Must Do
I had to list this one, because it has a great design and interface and I could definitely see some people using it. That said, I’m sure I won’t. I have such a long list of personal desires and todos, I’ll be dead 50 years before I get to them all. No need to pad the list.

This looks handy for integrating statuses between Twitter and Facebook. It was very quick to sign up and try. I particularly like that it says it changes a twitter username to a real life name. The downside, after an hour, my test tweet has yet to show up in my Facebook account. Maybe I did something wrong, not sure.