To Tell, Or Not To Tell, That Is The Question

One of the beta reviewers for our new product, XML Manager, asked me why I had not documented the development process on this blog. She suggested that it would be very interesting and useful for potential clients to see the development unfolding.

Well, it is a valid point. In fact, Eric Sink has some good thoughts on this very question. On the plus side, you give your customers a clear idea of where you're going, they know what products are coming along downstream, they can plan more effectively. On the other hand, you give your competitors a head start.

Seems like it comes to down to a question of, “do you love your customers more than you hate your competitors?” When you put it that way, it's a no-brainer. So I will be discussing the development of the next Ricebridge product. Why did I not do it for XML Manager or CSV Manager? Well the first mistake was not having a blog. The second mistake was not having a blog. And the third mistake was writing a business plan.

Yeah. I spent so much time writing a bloody business plan in the first half of this year I nearly bankrupted myself. More about that later.

So, you're in for a good read. Our next product is a standalone user management engine. It has a few nifty features you won't find in the user handling of your common-or-garden web framework. And it's half written already and in production for a client. This will be a classic case of productising consulting-ware. I'll be giving you the inside scoop, all the tears and all the laughter. Hey, with a few intelligent comments you might even get an honorary mention in the docs! (and no, there won't be a nerd movie.)

A lot of the discussion will be market-focused rather than tech-focused. Hey, this is a business. If you've been thinking about setting up your own software company, or thinking of running a weekend micro-ISV, then this is your chance to get an insider's view before taking the plunge. So hop on, this could get bumpy!

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