by Till Friebe5 min readSeptember 16, 2022
[Space has now been renamed to TubeCards and this article still uses the old name Space.]
In the last three months, I haven't released any updates. This is because I realized that programming alone isn't the best way forward. It's too much work for one person. So I'm focusing on other aspects. Like starting this blog, more reflection on the direction of Space, and growing the team. In the short term, there will be fewer updates, but I think in the long term it's healthier for Space.
One of the things I think about a lot is why another flashcard app. When I started programming the app three years ago, I did it because no flashcard app made it easy to work on flashcards with friends. But nowadays there are enough apps that allow you to do that. That's why I felt like my app had become obsolete. This isn't a problem, because I am also happy when the problem I tried to solve is solved.
In the last few years, I always had this one problem in the back of my mind. Therefore, I will slightly change the direction of the app and try to solve this problem. For that, I'm writing this article. I'm interested in what you think of how I see the future:
It's the year 2030. Students go on YouTube to learn for their studies. They don't learn in lecture anymores. This is too slow. YouTube videos are much better than any lecture they could visit. Factually, the videos are also correct. The videos are now proofchecked by professors and the community. The pain of studying for university has greatly diminished.
However, there is still a problem. Students are watching a lot of education videos, but there longterm memory doesn't have the time to absorb the information. Over time, they forget the videos and it was almost a waste of time. We eliminate this problem by offering flashcards for each video. For this we are working with YouTubers and professors and offer a tool which allows students to easy get, create and edit flashcards.
But there are not only flashcards on YouTube, but also for every Wikipedia article and textbook.
In summary, the problem is that creating good flashcards is exhausting. I would like to eliminate the problem and provide students the flashcards. I will write an article in the future on what I think makes a good flashcard. Just as a spoiler, I think it's not enough to simply upload flashcards. Often the context of the flashcards is missing. Therefore, in addition to the flashcards, I would like to create a whole environment.
I'm not sure the Youtube idea is enough to justify the existence of Space. So before I continue working on Space, I try to find out what can cause the idea to fail. For this, I have found and collected the following problems.
I can imagine users not accepting pre-made flashcards. The argument is that the creation of flashcards is already an important learning process. Also, pre-made flashcards don't have much advantage over self-made flashcards because:
In my opinion, these are valid points for pre-made flashcards. But with the YouTube idea, they are solved:
Additionally, for many students, the decision isn't between making flashcards and pre-made flashcards, but between pre-made flashcards and no flashcards. In that case, pre-made flashcards are much better.
If YouTube integrates flashcards on its platform, that makes my solution obsolete. That's not far-fetched, as YouTube continues to expand into education. On the other hand, flashcards include not only the content but also an app to create, edit, and learn flashcards. Which isn't trivial and may be outside YouTube's scope. However, if Google wants to solve the problem, it would be easy for them.
It may not be worth it for the Youtuber to distribute index cards with Space. Reasons for this could be that they already have their platform or they don't make enough money from it.
Users are not satisfied with the payment model. It could be that they are not willing to pay so much that Space can survive. Perhaps the market is also not large enough, which is why you need to earn more from a single user.
To solve the problem, I will in the coming months:
I don't know if solving the problem is worthwhile or if I'm just biased. Therefore, I would love to hear your opinion. If you would like to work with me on this, email me at email@example.com.