Houston #19 - Gift cards are useless, finding coding gigs is hard...

Find great problems to solve.

Hi there 👋 This is Houston issue #19 and here are the five interesting problems that we found this week:

I want to have a website where I can find coding gigs

"Being between jobs or on a longer holiday I really missed a platform where I could find coding gigs/projects. Not freelance work but just a project for a single website or app with a fixed price.

As a dev, you often get questions for making an MVP, a website or an app. But often I don't have time until a holiday or being between jobs. I want to have a gig board that I can just visit and see projects that I can complete for a fixed price."

Gift cards are a pain because I either have money left in the card or I just don't care about the store

"I got a $25 gift card at work for In-N-Out [American restaurant], and I felt a little pissed to be honest because I will never be able to use it because I don't like that place. I wish I could just take the cash. Overall the gift card experience can be a lot better." The gift card market is a +$300B with little to no innovation in the past 30 years.

There's no easy way to search and analyze trends on Google Trends

Google Trends seems like a very promising product, but unless you know what you're looking for, it's hard to find interesting insights. I wish that there was a tool that would aggregate relevant trends and would allow me to easily search for relevant keywords rather than having to guess what may or may not be trending.

Finding Spotify playlists can be incredibly frustrating

"So I Iove finding great Spotify playlist, but it's not friendly. It would be great, for example, to find playlists that contain song X AND song Y (or based on two artists). Is it just me?" Music discovery (specially as it relates to lyrics) is still incredibly broken.

There should be a way to generate a simple invoice automatically

There is no way just to use an API or something like that to generate a PDF invoice automatically after payment. The only solution seems to be by using PayPal or Stripe which have APIs, but then you have to go through their system and can't just give the customer an invoice.


Quick Community Updates

  1. Sorry for the delay on this issue. This past weekend was the 4th of July weekend in the U.S. Houston took a well-deserved break 🇺🇸

    ice hockey astronaut costume GIF by NHL
  2. Based on your feedback we decided to stick to the weekly set of 5 problems. Power to the people!(: (if you prefer one in-depth problem every week please hit reply and we might reconsider)

  3. We've decided to stop working on the Houston.do site (in its current form). It was a great experiment but we realized that doing a daily set of problems lowered the quality of engagement and problems that we could curate for you guys. We want to focus on quality > quantity. However, this experiment inspired us to start building a cool tool that we think you will like a lot. More info on that coming very soon(:

  4. We're working through your submissions to last week's announcement. We will try to get back to everyone but we still have a lot of submissions to go through!

If you find Houston useful then please send this email to a friend. Let's see and share more great problems to solve ❤️


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