Ship everything

David Barnard shares the story of App Cubby’s Timer app, along with this story of a failed project that got out of control:

“Back in the Spring of 2009 I had this great idea for an interactive music app. A series of 2D/3D scenes that would react in real time to music as well as user input. That idea became Project VJ, a project I worked on for the better part of a year. After hundreds of hours of my time and $50k in expenses, we had a decent prototype. It was a gut-wrenching decision, but in April 2010 I shelved the project, realizing that it would take at least another year and a lot more money to ship.”

This must have been very disappointing. It’s bad enough for a side project to fail, something that you’ve only invested your time into. With the kind of investment that David talks about it is surely even more difficult to let go.

I used to get this wrong – too many apps, not enough polish. There are a few products I worked on that never saw the light of day. But I don’t do that anymore. Everything I have worked on in the last 2 years has shipped, in one form or another.

You have to ship everything because you never know what is going to hit. David Barnard and Justin Youens’ latest, Launch Center Pro, which started as a few-week experiment, reached the iPhone Top 10. You have to ship everything because time is precious. Make the decision early on about whether to start. If it’s worth coding, it’s worth letting the world see.