One Last Chance

April 18, 2006

I find the best way to think about things that perplex me is to not think about them at all. Do something else. Is it just me?

Anyway, I’ve been busy doing other things and not thinking about what I’m going to do next. As a result, I think I’ve come up with a plan.

The choices facing me are as follows:

  1. Continue working on Feeder. Considering how long the last version took (4 – 5 months), if I want to get a 2.0 out this year, I’d better get cracking.
  2. Do a new version of KIT.
  3. Do Something Completely Different. Love to. But what?

Something has been nudging me towards doing a new version of KIT. This actually makes no sense. I only really sold copies of KIT in earnest during the first two months after its release. After that it’s slowly gone down to almost nothing. KIT never really paid for itself.

I think I know why. KIT lives in a competitive environment, it’s not so straightforward to find, it doesn’t exactly look the business these days, version 1.0 was a bit on the buggy side and liked to crash, Tiger came along with Spotlight, Smart Folders and all that sort of stuff. I also think the icon could be better, and I have better ideas, but like the name, these relate more to future features I had planned to implement, but haven’t, because it essentially flopped.

However, I’ve had conversations with people, people who Know Things and Have Influence and something tells me not to kill it just yet. It seems that implementing my original ideas could make it much more compelling.

Thing is, do I want to bet it all on finding out? No.

A 2.0 version of KIT, where I could charge for upgrades and attempt to make it worth my while would take 8 weeks. That’s the “effort” time. Since I can spend 50% of my time doing support and stuff, it would take 4 months. I could be dead in 4 months, financially speaking, so forget it.

Instead, I think I’ll do a 1.2 version. I’ve taken a look and think I can do this in 2 – 3 weeks. That’s not to say it will be ready by then, it won’t, because I have plenty of other things to do too.

However if I do this, 1.2 will look nicer, run faster, try not to crash so much and at least be less of an embarrassment. I will implement some of the things people have asked for, rather than the great ideas in my head that will take much longer. It will also make a 2.0 release easier to handle.

I have more marketing clout these days with certain opportunities mentioned to me in private, some contacts, a mailing list of users, my RSS feeds, podcasters and stuff. Feeder has taught me that momentum counts for a lot when releasing software. Little and often is the way to go.

So I’ll do that and see how it goes. If it flops, KIT will be culled. It would feel a bit like putting down a sick animal, but there you go.

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to completely change my mind on a whim.


2 Responses to “One Last Chance”

  1. Andy Kim Says:

    Hey Steve,

    Let us know if you need any opinions or suggestions on any part of the revamped KIT. You probably have it all set in your head already, but three heads could be better than one. I’m not just saying this as a nicety either.

    It would be nice to get to help you out for once.

    Hmm… how about giving it a new name and turning it into a brand new 1.0 app? I don’t know if it would be wise with such a short release schedule, but might be worth considering. I guess I also say this because the name KIT doesn’t really say anything to me. It’s better than Yojimbo, but really, that’s not saying much.

    Anyways, I wish you the best with the improved KIT.

  2. Steve Says:

    That would be cool… I think I need to do this 1.2 to sort out some crap but long-term I will consider anything. I’ll email you some boring details.


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