Strict Chef Has Shut Down

Dear Strict Chef Users,

Thank you so much for using and supporting Strict Chef over the years. I have had to make the difficult decision to shut down this service due to ongoing cloud compute costs and maintenance requirements. See below for what is next, and what I feel will be even more helpful for people who are trying to manage their symptoms with dietary and lifestyle change.

Shut Down Background

I built Strict Chef when I was relatively new to application development. It was born out of a passion for helping people find and discover new compliant foods and recipes that fit their lifestyle. This was inspired by how the Low Starch Diet for Ankylosing Spondylitis made such a profound impact on my own life.

Creating Strict Chef was the most difficult and time consuming thing I have ever done. The amount of technology required to make this relatively simple application work is mind boggling. The nutrition and compliance analysis of recipes for each user's unique dietary needs is actually very expensive to run on a per user basis.

The Flaws In Strict Chef

Over time, I have come to realize that there are some fundamental flaws with my Strict Chef's approach to solving the problem of "helping people overcome their issue with food", including

  • Continuing to develop Strict Chef to cover more dietary use cases and requirements is incredibly difficult and time consuming. It is unlikely that Strict Chef would be very profitable, and would be continuously plagued with difficult to reconcile "human need" -> "computer decision" logic.

  • There is an incredible amount of personal nuance that technology will not be able to reasonably account for without creating an extremely complex and hard to learn user interface.

  • Many of the groups of individuals who need this most have such small populations and high variance of dietary requirements that there isn't even a sample size great enough for Machine Learning to make predictions about these users. Literally, no two people with a given diagnosis have the same dietary requirements and lifestyle capabilities. There are a lot of corner cases.

Fundamentally, I have realized that brute force technology cannot replace the requirement of human interaction and community in this space. People get a lot more out of reading about people's experiences and the opportunity to ask nuanced and personalized questions to get feedback than they ever will with computer logic recommendations.

The Next Generation In Food And Wellness Guidance

I am definitely not done in this space. I still believe in helping as many people as possible discover how to manage their symptoms through sustainable and fulfilling lifestyle change.

I have been working on a new concept called MyBodyBlog that will connect people with similar issues together. People who are thriving will have a place to share their approach to their wellness. People who are struggling will be able to connect with and follow those who are thriving, to get detailed accounts of how these people go through day-to-day life to make sustainable fulfilling choices that make them feel great.

Thrivers will have the ability to develop content and educational materials that can be available to subscribers only. Followers can support the content creation of thrivers with subscriptions, and have the opportunity to ask personal and nuanced questions about the lifestyle changes. It is my hope that this type of peer to peer value exchange will create an explosion of high quality content and educational material for users.

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