As part of my idea post series, I present to you what I think will be a killer app for the tablet.

A YouTube of how to cook anything.

The size and form factor of tablet computers make them an ideal kitchen companion. You can hang it on the wall or kitchen table and touch your life away.

How does this differ from Jamie Oliver’s cooking app?

When I started and abandoned this post almost a year ago (laziness is a bad thing), I had not heard of the Jamie Oliver app. But the main difference between this and a Jamie Oliver App will be the ability for anyone to learn from anyone. Because your mums pudding beats Jamie’s any day; that is the one I want to learn. So this like YouTube will be user generated. Of course the professionals will have their channels.

Why not just use YouTube?

There is something different about a curated community. Other than that, the interface will be built specially for this. Look at an initial mockup I designed below. Thirdly, elements like recipes will be entered in a data format that will allow for certain features.  So for instance, people could just enter the recipes they have at home and a filter of all the meals that can be made from those recipes will be displayed. Yes, you will be able to sort it by time it takes to cook.

 1. Home


People have started something like this, why would this take off now?

The ubiquity of smart phones with video camera and the increasing availability of broadband coupled with the tablet form factor.

 The million dollar question: how will this make money?

The size of the market is quite big almost everyone eats. Some revenue models I have thought of include:

  1. Affiliate: Imagine clicking the picture of a meal you would like to eat and order all the ingredients you need from TESCO or Wal-Mart.  Don’t worry, it does not need to be delivered but can be waiting for you at a local store. The stores will Pay Commission for it. Webvan would have been the PERFECT intermediary but they were 10 years early.
  2. Subscription: People could subscribe to premium Cooking Channels. Imagine you can access the same recipe that Oprah/Jamie Oliver is using for thanksgiving and it would cost 99p. His/Her followers will pay for it.
  3. Advertising:  Large food chains can have their branded channels where they show people how to cool meals using their special ingredients you buy from them: They will pay for it. I see companies like Sainsbury creating “the 5 pound family meal”

Social benefits:

People will begin to see cooking as fun. Meals can be rated according to how healthy they are, cost, etc. Jamie Oliver’s TED talk, and push for healthy eating alongside Michelle Obama’s drive to make American children start eating healthy will give this good press.

Maybe this is another way for Jamie Oliver to achieve his dream


This type of application would probably need some initial capital if it is to come out of the gates blazing. Lots of meals made available; otherwise it can/should be created gradually. It would require a different type of media player that would enable people to jump to various sections of the video. Maybe YouTube editing capabilities can be used for the MVP? More importantly, this type of app will be all about the community. Where lovers of food can come and discuss and compare dishes.

If it is so good, why am I not doing this?

I love a lot more things than cooking. It will take someone dedicated to cooking to make this fly.

When I was studying in the UK, I starved because I could not get around with making any real (Nigerian) dishes with the ingredients I saw in the mall. I ate sandwiches for the first two weeks. I was saved by discovering the African market and tutorials from some friends. (Thanks Thelma, Mariam and Tobe.)

So if you want to work on this idea, let me know and I can volunteer a few minutes giving you more details of things that were too many to put in this post.

One more thing:

This idea actually has (in concept) 10 of Fred Wilson’s 10 Golden principles of successful web apps.


Here is the HN discussion


3 thoughts on “Idea: A Killer App For The Tablet Computer

  1. Interesting idea Oo. There are definitely lots of How To video sites but probably few, if any dedicated to cooking.

    One other challenge I would anticipate for this, as with any UGC site is getting people to contribute content. What is the incentive for them? With Q&A sites the incentive is demonstrating your expertise, with Twitter and Facebook, it is similarly about making ourselves look good either to total strangers or to friends I’m not sure there’s much of a look-good factor in cooking. If the effort required were low (e.g. foodspotting or other photo sharing) then it wouldn’t matter but making and uploading videos, even with our ever present and increasingly able phones, is still not effortless.

    1. The same can be an incentive. Showing off to your friends, street cred etc. Similarly, it can be used by people to ‘save’ their knowledge of cooking certain meals. I for one have forgotten how to cook all the chinese meals I learnt in Warwick.

  2. Interesting idea boss, i’m actually trying to work on a similar idea, in fact working on partnering with chefs for content. Although i was’t thinking in the direction of the youtube videos. Perhaps we can collaborate work together. cheers!

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