Yesterday, I launched a partial rewrite of a long running side project connecting people to farm shares. Over the past few months I’d fixed a few pressing bugs and overhauled the software so that a site and data model that previously supported only cities and zips as geographic features now supported states as well.
For the past week I’d been hemming and hawing about when to release–fixing “just one more thing” or tweaking one last bit.
But yesterday I finally bit the bullet and released. Of course, there were a couple of issues that I hadn’t addressed that only showed up in production. But after squashing those bugs, I completed a few more tasks: moving over SEO (as best as I can) and social accounts, making sure that key features and content hadn’t been thrown overboard, and checking the logs to make sure that users are finding what they need.
Why was I so reticent to release? It’s a big step, shipping something, but in some ways it’s the only step that matters. I was afraid that I’d forget something, screw things up, make a mistake. And of course, I didn’t want to take a site that helped a couple thousand people a month find local food options that work for them and ruin it. I wasn’t sure I’d have time to support the new site. I wanted the new site to have as close to feature parity as possible. I worked on the old site for five years, and a lot of features crept in (as well as external dependencies, corners of the site that google and users have found, but I had forgotten).
All good reasons to think before I leapt.
But you can only plan for so much. At some point you just have to ship.