Thursday, July 28, 2011


I love the Black Hockey Jesus blog post ‘He’s Not My Character to Write Anymore’ not just because it's a touching tribute to his 13-year old son, but because he writes about the struggle of writing. I have too many posts that rot and die in my MarsEdit Drafts folder because I don't like them enough to publish them or I let writer's block prevent me from spending time on a post until it stops being current. I delay them and they die.

The months of silence on this blog also fills me with guilt. I started Entrepreneurial Seduction to help others build their businesses. I wanted it to be more interactive—more raw. It was supposed to a stream of consciousness, as if someone were reading a diary. Unfortunately, I'm a bit of a perfectionist and a harsh self-critic so I hold back my writing looking for the right words or that amazing sentence that everyone will quote. It's a damn shame, too, because so much has happened in the last six months that would benefit fellow entrepreneurs. Delays in writing are a sure sign of rigor mortis settling in.

Typically, the dead zones in this blog align with periods of heavy software development. Let's blame this latest on MoneyWell 2.0, which has been chatted up by me for so long that it was compared to vaporware products TextMate 2 and Duke Nukem Forever. I even allowed the code name MoneyNukem to be bantered about until Duke Nukem Forever actually shipped—and sucked. Then I wanted nothing to do with it.

So what happened to delay MoneyWell 2.0 for so long? To be honest, the 2.0 release shipped two-and-a half years ago—it was just called MoneyWell 1.4 at the time. And then I shipped 3.0 fourteen months later, but called it 1.5. What we are working on now could legitimately be called MoneyWell 4.0. The problem is that I promised too much in 1.0 and felt guilty charging for an update. I delayed incrementing the major version number, which I consider to be a major business mistake.

No matter what we call it, the new version of MoneyWell is late. Why? Because we started it late. The finish wasn't delayed, the start was. Coding on 2.0 didn't begin until October 2010 due to delays caused by our syncing issues and MoneyWell for iPhone, and our current team wasn't coding 100 percent on 2.0 until December. The complete design-development-ship cycle should stay under one year—not too bad for what has amounted to a massive rewrite of my original code. I'm not trying to minimize or excuse the fact that MoneyWell 2.0 has taken too long to deliver. I allowed too many other activities get in the way of building 2.0, which resulted in the release being delayed.

So I need to thank John Gruber and his Daring Fireball post that led me to read the Black Hockey Jesus post, which allowed me to write another blog entry on my own site without a delay. Once MoneyWell 2.0 ships—and it will ship—I'll try to avoid any delays in writing a postmortem blog entry on the project cycle. I think there are lessons to be learned from my mistakes and that is why I started this blog.