Neil Macy

The Shipping Mindset

A month or so ago I gave myself a clear instruction for Running Track. No new features. It's time to ship something.

Why? I've always believed it's not worth shipping something if it's not ready. Be proud of your work and make the best thing you can. To that end, forcing myself to release something that I don't think it's ready feels wrong. But I'm doing it anyway.

There are three reasons.

1. You're never ready

The first is that a product is never finished. I have lots of features planned, and I'll never get to the end of that list. So I have to release sometime, before I feel ready.

Many of my planned features are niceties. Not valuable. But there are definitely valuable features on my roadmap. So I had to ask myself if the app would suffer for their absence. I think it'll be much better when they're present. These features will really help justify people's investment in the app. But they're not vital. Which ties directly into my second point.

2. Feedback informs direction

I don't know how people will use the app. Or if they even will! So I'd rather be able to get feedback to help steer me in the right direction. If nobody uses it, I can build what I want. If something unexpected comes up, like a really common feature request, I can prioritise that. I want to make this an app that adds value to people. So if I've missed something that lots of people want, I'd like to catch that first.

3. Get the admin out of the way

My third and final reason to ship now is that there's so much busywork around the initial release. Sorting out a business model and committing to it in the code. Setting up a domain, support email etc. Not to mention getting the App Store Connect account set up properly, signing tax agreements, getting through App Review...

I once built an app, years ago, which got repeatedly rejected by App Review before my initial release. It's worth making sure you can clear that barrier before you invest too much time in too many features!

By getting these things out of the way, it'll be much quicker to build and release features in the future. I can focus on features rather than admin.

Ship it

So I'm planning to ship to TestFlight really soon. That's the first App Review hurdle to pass.

I've got a website ready to go, and I'll have that live when I submit for TestFlight review at (You can read about how I set that up in my earlier post.)

All the admin stuff is sorted out in places like App Store Connect.

I'll open up TestFlight for a while to make sure I don't let anything stupid slip through. And then it'll be on to the full release!

Published on 15 November 2022