Thoughts on Product Release Cycles
This is the second time in the last six months that we are reworking on a major part of the product.
This is the second time in the last six months that we are reworking on a major part of the product. The last time, we lost steam in two months. Though we scrapped that work, it became a testing bench for a lot of ideas that were brewing in our mind. This time though we are confident of completing the work but after frentic development in the first month, the pace has definitely slackend.
So why this lack of urgency? I think it is because we are some way away from a release. When a new project starts off, there is a lot of creative energy that is unleashed and when the project is near release, the energy comes from the feedback that you anticipate from the users and the satisfaction you get from seeing a finished product and using it yourself.
When a project is between the initial energy and the completion phase, it becomes a challenge to maintain pace. One solution is to be smarter about how much development is done in one such cycle. I am beginning to think that a 2-3 week cycle from development-to-release is ideal. Any feature that is going to take longer will take much longer.
New ideas come when something is actually used. The human mind thrives on feedback as Bret Victor beautifully explains in his talk (its a long video but totally worth it). Any release that goes on and on deprives the human mind of feedback and builds up fatigue.
This probably is the biggest reason to keep releasing extremely fast!
Rushabh is a software developer and founder of ERPNext. He usually writes about the startup experience, open source and the technologies he is working on.