That’s right, we’re finally live into alpha with version 0.1.1! It was painful. Here are the lessons we learnt.
#1. Reduce the scope
Our vision for the product is pretty grand. Unfortunately we initially tried to launch with too many features.
The downside here is that we have burned through a lot of time building out features that didn’t make the cut for beta. Mainly because they were half baked and needed a lot more effort to get them working properly.
The upside is that we have a ton of functionality in the pipeline so we should at least be able to keep pace.
#2. Think about deployment
We actually finished the bulk of the Kuwinda beta that’s currently live about 2-3 months ago…
…however, we hadn’t factored in the effort to write all the docker scripts so that it installed nicely on common platforms.
This is somewhat linked to the above point. If we had known the effort needed, we would have reduced the scope earlier on.
#3. Get help from great people
We’ve only been able been able to get the product to where it is with help from some great engineers and virtual assistants.
Without them a project of this scale wouldn’t have been possible. While the current product is relatively simple to use it’s taken a lot of effort to get it to that point.
#4. Create more time
One thing we’ve been short on is time and linked is energy. The combination of lots of commuting, travel, day jobs and refitting an entire sailboat has slowed us down.
It’s made us sacrifice things, in particular contact with potential users.
From October we’re changing up our set-up for the winter and moving into a living/co-working space in Canary Wharf. This should help maximise our ability to focus on the project.
5. Don’t give up
We first talked about this project almost two years ago. While it has taken a long time to get something out, it feels worthwhile to have made it this far.
6. Have fun with it
As a side-project we want to grow we’ve learnt not to take ourselves too seriously. We get plenty of that in our day jobs.
So we have fun when we can and we’ve got some great ideas of how to (responsibly) bring that into the product.
To rally some early visibility we decided to post up to Betalist which has given us a little spike in traffic. Nothing crazy but good to get the word out that we’re coming!