My Dream App Aims to be the American Idol of Software Development

Self-described software entrepreneur Phill Ryu on Monday launched My Dream App, a competition of which he said: "My Dream App will do for software users what American Idol did for aspiring singers. All it takes is a really great idea, and you donit even have to use a Mac. Weire democratizing software."

The 40 judges in the contest, which lets anyone submit their ideas for their dream software application, include founder Kevin Rose, New York Times columnist David Pogue, former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. The initial slate of entries will be narrowed down to 24, which will be voted on by visitors to the Web site until three are left.

Jason Harris of Unsanity (ShapeShifter), Austin Sarner (AppZapper) and Martin Ott (SubEthaEdit) will turn the three finalists into shareware applications, with all royalties going to them. Each finalist will have a blog on the site through which they can explain their vision. In addition, theyill receive MacBooks and video iPods.

The submission process is open now and ends Sept. 1. User voting begins Sept. 21.