This guy developed an app that manipulates the frequency at which the phone vibrates. The vibrations spin your iPhone 360 degrees while automatically snapping photos. It then stitches those photos together to make a fully panoramic photo that pans in a “Ken Burns effect” sort of way.
This is actually a REALLY simple idea. Though… the code was undoubtedly hard to write, the concept is nothing crazy. The elegance of it is breathtaking. Think of some simple problem that you’re really passionate about solving. Then… get to work!
Sorry to post so much stuff but @thedoc is correct telling you to create something you would want to use.
The BIGGEST and most awesome technologies came from hobbyists. They started building stuff they thought was cool and it turned into HUGE breakthroughs.
Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Linus Torvalds… ALL started by making little pet projects that turned into much more.
I think you should make a pet project and see where it takes you. The WORST that can happen is now you have an awesome app that you make use of everyday. Even if no one else uses it, think of the time you’ll save! Plus, you can make it open source and have people contribute on GitHub.
I agree that tracking ‘effort’ is going to be quite problematic. From a management standpoint, it’s probably wise (economically pragmatic) to assume that everyone is either working as hard as they can or as hard as their going to. If someone isn’t motivated to keep their job or get promoted… I doubt an app will make a dime’s bit of difference.