For many software developers, the hardest part about writing software is shipping it. Software is never, ever, ever, ever done. That’s why I fell in love with creating software—I could make it better just by thinking of a better design and then coding it. There was no cost of materials, just the task of finding enough active brain cells to produce the proper code. But if you can’t find a stopping point for your 1.0 release (or even 2.0 or 3.0), you’ll never ship, which is all good if you’re independently wealthy and don’t need the income.
I’m by no means independently wealthy. The reason I wrote both Debt Quencher and MoneyWell in the first place was to give myself better tools to battle poor spending habits. But that’s off topic a bit. Maybe I’ll embarrass myself more by talking about my bad financial behavior in future entries.
MoneyWell is a product with lots of potential. I have so many ideas and designs for it that I really struggled where to draw the line and call it 1.0. A big help was reading If you aren’t embarrassed by v1.0 you didn’t release it early enough. I didn’t even need to go past the title to get it. I’ve been writing software for a quarter of a century and I know how horrible the disease “feature creep” can be. It’s a gnarly, nasty, blood-sucking disease that can bring down the biggest software companies.
So when I read the phrase “If you aren’t embarrassed by v1.0” I knew I had my litmus test. The features I had in my in-house testing version of MoneyWell already worked better for me than my copy of Quicken 2007. I certainly didn’t have close to all the features of Quicken, but that wasn’t what I was shooting for. What I wanted was a more effective way to track my spending and that was already in the code. So I pushed it into beta and moved features from my 1.0 list to my future list. It was like a flashback of when I was a kid trying to make myself eat the sliced canned beets on my plate that had now grow cold and had stained my tasty (but overcooked) pork chops, yet I managed to do it.
Am I embarrassed by version 1.0 of MoneyWell? You betcha! But only because I know what I have planned for future releases.
Does it kick spending plan management butt over every other personal finance package out there? You betcha!