I was checking my bank account to see if the Google paid me for last month, and I was surprised to see a deposit there from Microsoft's advertising division. I nearly forgot that I had Baby Stopwatch, my first Windows Phone app, still out there, and still generating a little advertising revenue. In fact, it actually started to show an increase the last few months.
It's weird to think about that, because I actually wrote the app before I had a phone. A lot of people working at Microsoft at the time did, since it was hard to weasel a test phone unless you knew someone on one of those teams pretty well. Already knowing enough about Silverlight at the time, it wasn't hard to build, and it seemed like a relevant project given that Simon was just growing out of the stage where we needed an app like that.
In retrospect, it seems like a completely ridiculous app to build. I mean, you don't need to be reminded that your baby needs to eat or needs a diaper change, but it's actually handy if two people take turns caring for the little person. Given how tired you get, you can look at those timers and quickly understand why the little one might be crying.
And clearly, I could have taken it further (and still could). The reviews for the app ask for logging all of the times and such, and graphing them on a Web site. Really? Yeah, some parents want to go there. The thing you don't realize at the time is that it's a phase that goes by really, really fast. Pretty soon, they're walking, getting into stuff, and thankfully, sleeping through the night.