Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Let's Talk About Marketing

If you're interested in marketing at the microISV level or just like listening to geeks trying to sound professional while talking over Skype, check out the latest installment of The Mac Developer Network Year One podcast hosted by Keith Alperin of Helium Foot Software:

Mac Software Business Year One Episode 3: Marketing

In addition to Keith, Steve "Scotty" Scott and Gus Mueller return for this third installment to discuss their marketing efforts and related microISV wisdom. Of course, I'm in the mix too (probably talking too much) but don't let that stop you from checking it out.

Also while you're there, make sure to join the The Mac Developer Network and support all the wonderful content that Scotty and his crew collect and produce for the Mac developer community. It's great stuff!


Friday, November 07, 2008

Fighting the Fear

I have a confession: I'm afraid.

After all my bold statements that the only true failure is quitting and doing nothing, I'm a bit paralyzed by fear trying to ship MoneyWell 1.4. There's the fear that I didn't do enough to make this an amazing release. Fear that the known issues are deal breakers and will cause negative reviews. Fear that there is an unknown issue that will turn out to be a huge bug and cause major support issues.

Insidious fear. Fear that causes my world to feel cold and dark.

Of course this is crazy thinking but because my brain is dealing with it, I have to do something about that. My wife's suggestion was to blog about it, and since she's usually right about these things, here I go.

I do know that the best way to eliminate fear is to expose it to light—fear hates the bright light of truth.

FEAR: I didn't do enough in this release.

FACT: The feedback from beta testers is that 1.4 has so many enhancements and additions that they can't believe this is a free minor upgrade instead of a 2.0 release with an upgrade fee.

FEAR: Known issues (a.k.a. bugs) will be everyone's focus and cause negative reviews.

FACT: Yes, there are a couple of features that I wish worked better, but there are too many great new additions to let these problems stop this release from happening. If these problems keep 10 percent of the customer base from using a feature but 90 percent still benefit, then why shouldn't I ship and help the majority? The truth is, there isn't a good reason.

FEAR: An unknown bug is going to be big enough to hurt customers, cause mass complaints and refund requests, and bring down the company with it.

FACT: Every software product has bugs and historically I have fixed the bugs in our products very quickly with patches. The reason MoneyWell is built with an automatic update service is so customers get the latest and greatest release as soon as it's published. Plus, version 1.4 has had the longest beta cycle of any product release and has had over 200 beta testers actively using it—the most we've ever had!

Being afraid is natural. Letting fear dictate what I do or don't do is just plain nuts. Writing about it makes me wonder why I even gave fear this much time and energy when I have so much productive work to complete.

That said, there are some new toolbar icons being designed by a talented graphic artist to replace my amateur hack job and lots of documentation to finish. It's no longer fear keeping me from pushing the button. Once these two tasks are done, so is MoneyWell 1.4. Glancing out the window, I just noticed it's a beautiful, sunny day. Life's looking pretty good right now.