“Don’t bite off more than you can chew, because nobody looks attractive spitting it back out.”-Carroll Bryant
Sometimes running a software company feels a little bit like conducting an orchestra where every note that comes out is debatable in real-time. I should know because I’ve been doing it for over 5 years and it seems that just when my symphony is perfectly rehearsed, we find ourselves changing our tune.
Last March I announced an update that was coming out in the spring. It was at our very first user conference and the emotions were high. We were so far into development that I decided to break my number 1 rule: “Never tell users about a feature that is not in beta… and NEVER utter the words of a date that the said feature will be available to all users.”
But I broke that rule so hard.
I said that “This spring we’ll be rolling all of this out.” Which at the time felt like a totally conservative and reasonable thing to announce at ResponsiCon 2019. Why would I break my own rule? Well here’s a list of reasons:
- I truly believed that the furthest we were away from launching the features at that time was 1.5 months… but I really believed 30 days was more realistic.
- The features we have been working on are truly a dream that our users and I had been dreaming of for years.
- We had previously announced that there would be no new features in 2019 as we re-built the system from the ground up… We were excited that we had discovered how to do an “incremental roll-out” and that the 1st roll out would be so neat.
- It was our first user conference and I wanted to really treat everyone to the “Behind-the-Scenes” look at our laboratory.
For those that are wondering… here’s a video of the announcement at ResponsiCon 2019: https://www.facebook.com/responsibid/videos/431728174237359
A high overview of the announcement of features coming was:
- A new customer profile that allows for infinite bids and jobs related to a customer (all new architecture)
- A new integrated “Call Screen” where searching happens, but lots more power and a “draft” mode for incomplete bids
- New “sales rep-specific follow-up” as well as lots of other controls for follow-up
- New action-list researching and reporting tool
- New custom items for robust selling automation
So… now for the question I wanted to answer with this blog post: “Where’s the update? Spring has come and gone.”
The short answer: I bit off more than I could chew and we are going to have to revert back to my #1 rule: “Never tell users about a feature that is not in beta… and NEVER utter the words of a date that the said feature will be available to all users.”
It feels dirty, and slimy, and gross. I hate to do it. But I CAN tell you this:
- The update is going to have much more in it than we originally thought… It necessarily grew in scope as we enhanced it.
- The connections are a big part of the announcement. They have way more moving parts than we gave credit and they will all have to be rebuilt from them ground up, but it’s taking much more time than we had thought.
- We refuse to corrupt your data. It has been tempting to roll out the update with missing parts, but each time we have found that it could result in messing up not just your ResponsiBid data, but also any software connected to the new version… and that would be devastating. We just can’t risk that.
- We are working as hard and fast as we can. We are just as motivated now as we were at ResponsiCon, maybe even more… just because you can’t see our work, doesn’t mean we aren’t full-on sprinting.
- We love ResponsiBidders. Everything we do is motivated by love for you all and while we recognize that perfection is the enemy to great, we also believe that broken is unacceptable. We will not launch broken software.
We are sorry. Integrity is what we built this business on, and while it does feel like we have lost trust through this whole thing, it has really come down to dealing with the reality of dates changing and how we are to best keep our integrity in tact with the facts of reality seemingly moving around each day.
We hope you’ll understand and bear with us as we continue to work on this update and retract a date for the time being. We will complete the project, and you will get the update plus lots more… but playing with dates at this point can only bring disappointment and we don’t want to do that.
We’ll keep working hard for you, that much we promise!