I have been teaching a course called Gateway to Business at the Daniels College of Business for the past three years. This course is for Freshmen and I copiloted the course back in 2012 with Dr. Stephen Haag. The course is an attempt to remove the mind numbing joy of business 101 concepts by having students apply those concepts to a mobile application-based business model. They are tasked with building an app prototype (using Proto.io), writing a business plan and creating a video presentation. For the vast majority of students, the class is an amazing experience.
After three years and 600+ students, I now believe that if the students could code, almost every one of them would. They would code, not to make money but to solve their own problems. Every quarter students struggle to come up with businesses models that would generate revenue, but they quickly develop ideas that solve everyday problems they have as shiny new Freshmen. Some examples are:
- Alerts when the dining halls are serving food that is less than desirable
- Supermarket mapping app for first-time visits
- Carpooling service for skiing/snowboarding. (I-70 is stoopid on the weekends)
- Laundry service for the dorms.
I believe we are headed towards a place/time when people will be able to code – specifically an app – without typing a line of code. Think about it. Apps are very much like Legos. There are a limited number of pieces and with some vocabulary/command training, someone could construct a very rudimentary app for their phone or watch. (Tablets are better for amazing sensory experiences.)
I know there are people working on this and it’s far from easy but I hope we get their soon!