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.


5 thoughts on “Fighting the Fear

  1. Steven Fisher

    This post is the first thing that brought my attention to MoneyWell. Now I need to talk my wife into its purchase before you ship 1.4! ARGH!

    Seriously? Thanks. 🙂

  2. Art Kauffman

    Kevin, thank you for your honesty. I know very few developers who will put it all on the line with a post like this exposing their humanity. That means a lot to me.

    Moneywell 1.4 is a great upgrade, even for some of the glitches I’ve had on Tiger. Thank you for making this compatible with 10.4 and not taking the easy route out and just testing for 10.5.

    The features added are serious. I know you’ve said this, but I think they’re way more than a point release. The new icons…wow. They’ll give a professional look and polish that should probably warrant a 2.0 but I’m loving a free upgrade!

    I can’t imagine myself using any other financial app. Thanks for all your work and for being a part of the Mac community.

  3. Alan Schmitt

    MoneyWell is great.

    1.4 is just better.

    I just spent 30mn with my wife reviewing our current expenses and budgets, and MW was most helpful in helping us decide where we needed to do some cuts, and where we wanted to spend more.

    Unless I missed it, you’re still selling at an “introductory price”, but MW is no longer a new application. It’s a serious contender. And as Art said: I don’t see myself using anything else.

    Thanks for your hard work.

  4. Dan Harrison

    Everyone has fear and it is how we handle fear that makes the difference. I am glad you addressed your fears and moved forward. I have developed some major software programs that were installed in 45 different countries and have experienced every one of your fears. The fact that you care about your product and users is more important than any fears you have.

    I have read several discussions relating to 1.4’s looks and features. Most were positive and some were not. Unfortunately we cannot please everyone all the time and as a developer it is important to keep grounded and make sure the product moves forward as intended. We never have the time to enhance the product with all our ideas. You always look at the community feedback and evaluate whether they fit into your overall design and then honestly reply your feelings. Your users appreciate (greatly) this approach.

    MoneyWell will evolve and change thanks to your dedication and direction. Listening to your user community and accepting or rejecting their advice will be positive. Listening to your wife as well helps balance the development demands with personal goals and aspirations.

    Don’t lose the fear. Listen to it, evaluate it, and then move forward. Your users are behind you.

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