Saturday, August 25, 2007

When It All Clicks

When you're developing software, you can find yourself in some nasty situations. Sometimes the technology doesn't work the way you expected or a concept you had for a design makes people scrunch up their faces during testing like a rotting tomato. The worst is when you have a bug that just won't go away. During the development of MoneyWell, I had the pleasure of all these issues and more.

For me, the trick is to keep encouraging myself to push past these issue. One of my favorite blogs is Pam Slim's Escape from Cubicle Nation because she focuses on the psychological problems related to starting your own business. Pam's talked about Seth Godin's new book, The Dip in this entry and it made so much sense: Every project I've ever done of significant magnitude has experienced a dip. Many times I've thought about quitting because, "This is just too friggin' hard!" But if I push through this dip, things seem to click.

In the past few months, I've had some scary moments. The question, "Will I ever get this into beta?" has popped up many times. Of course when I got MoneyWell into beta (this is the final stage of software testing before release), I wondered if it would ever ship. There was so much to do: finish features, cut features, fix bugs (nasty nuclear-holocaust-surviving-roach type bugs), write a help file, finish the web site, and more. It sent me to dark places at times.

Now I'm about a week away from release and everything is falling into place. I was able to push certain features out to a 1.x release, other functionality started working the way I envisioned, and (with the help of Apple's Developer Technical Support) a couple of glowing roaches got smashed. There's still some documentation and marketing to do, but everything is clicking so that work seems no more ominous than a few dedicated days of effort.

What pushed me through my own dip was my faith, family, and friends. It's critical not to do this stuff alone. This has been as much a spiritual journey as it was a business event and a development project. No matter what happens after I release MoneyWell, I'm confident that taking a chance with No Thirst Software and this latest project has all been worth it. I'm a better person—stronger, more confident, and more aware of my blessings.

Are you avoiding doing something that is on your heart because it may fail and there may be pain involved? Don't let fear ruin your life. All the pain and failure is worth it when you get to the other side and it all clicks.