Thursday, June 19, 2008

Product 1 of n

After what seems an eternity, I find myself on the brink of offering a software product of my own for sale from my web site.

Rather than being born in one intense burst of developer zeal, Project Monitor has evolved steadily over the past couple of years, sometimes in brief fits and starts and at other times when the flow of other work has eased, in a slightly more concentrated manner. I've used my product on a daily basis throughout that time and I strongly believe that this - together with what's turned out to be a lengthy development cycle - has paid big dividends. In the course of using it continuously in one form or another for those two years, reflecting constantly on how it might be improved in terms of look-and-feel, functions and useability, features have been added, refined or even removed. In hindsight, I'm sure that this has resulted in an application that's more mature than would have been the case had it been conceived, designed, constructed, tested and unleashed on an unsuspecting world in a short space of time. If that's in fact true, it's gratifying to think that at least in that sense, the thoughtful, patient solo developers of the world can match it with the bigger players in the industry who sometimes seem driven by deadlines rather than product readiness.

I'm certainly excited by the prospect of finally having a product ready for sale but I must admit that my unbridled enthusiasm is tempered a little by reality - the recognition that having a saleable product is only one challenge among many and is really just the first step towards enjoying any measure of success.

The challenges now ahead in terms of promoting and marketing my product are unexplored territory for me, but whatever the outcome, I'm sure the lessons I learn will prove invaluable. I look forward in the months ahead to sharing my experiences with you - let's hope that in the fullness of time you're reading an inspirational success story rather than a cautionary tale!


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