It’s been an insane first 24 hours – if you could see my personal notebook of all the notes I’ve taken of what to improve, what to fix, what needs to be considered, what’s outright broken, and more it would look like a mad man’s scribbles!
I have also been reminded, quite succinctly and directly how dangerous it is to share a vision, a dream, a product to the world of the internet at large – it’s like you give them a free pass to tell you how ugly your baby is (and that’s the nicest way to say it actually!).
But how can you possibly accept the good without the bad (I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that somewhere said in a famous book or something like that… smile)?
So I’ve taken it on the chin, as best as anyone can, and offered the best explanation of some of the issues that we’ve experienced in the last 24 hours. Sure, I don’t owe anyone an apology, but I know what it’s like to expect something and then not get it. I feel that. I feel that deeply.
But instead of retreating from comments like these I decided to move forward strongly and just join in the mix – I mean, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, right?
And per my usual I’ll just open everything up for everyone to see where we are going, how I need help, and what’s going to be done to make our community the best damn community on the planet.
So here we go – here’s what the Product Roadmap looks like for the rest of 2013:
1. iOS 7
Yes, obviously with iOS 7 coming that’s the next major update and I’m going to have to work out a ton of bugs. In fact, I need your help doing that and I’ve opened up this thread to invite everyone’s thoughts.
I want you to hit me as hard as you can.
Love that guy.
2. Image Editing and Filters
I’ve talked about this in the past and it’s going to be an on-going conversation – in many ways our focus is primarily becoming an incredible publishing application for images-only, maintaining our course and focus as best as we can.
What does this mean? It means that we salute and herald all the other great image editing apps out there (like VSCO, for example) and encourage users to use those and then import the images into Pressgram app.
But that may not be enough; and just like the tweet above it’ll be a major turn-off. In fact, some people are really looking for an full, all-in-one solution. So I’m looking into making that happen without sacrificing our core mission and objectives.
- Better filters – I’m talking with real photographers and real graphic artists about filtering affects, what’s popular, and what really works on a mobile device. I’m getting expert advice and will explore Pressgram-specific filters that are unique and stunningly-beautiful. Version 1.0 of filters isn’t game-changing. Sure, they might even “suck.” That’s ok, I’ll make it better.
- More Editing Options – Users are doing so much more to their images now, including adding text over the image and even scaling filters for density, intensity, and layering. I’m going to look at adding some of these key features natively.
- Better Workflow – I think there’s an opportunity to have a much better workflow and overall experience. I literally copied what worked for version 1.0 and now it’s time to build in our own. I think iOS 7 will offer some of those native options to us.
- Full Images – I had no idea how popular it is to publish a full image (not a square) until I saw users adding white lines on the top and bottom of the app! I’m looking into this and I think it’s a wise inclusion.
- Listening to You – Finally, beyond this list, I’m listening actively to our growing community. Please do not stop sharing your thoughts, even the ones that might sting a big. We are an opinionated bunch and that’s the magic of what we’re doing in the fact that we actually give a damn.
So keep them coming. Our community (and me) have our big boy pants on.
3. Core Engineering
This is the biggest challenge right now as we’ve scaled well beyond 3,000 users in the first 24 hours.
This is a great problem to have but one that’s given me incredible heartache (and burn). I’m working my butt off to re-engineer the core delivery system so if you can just hang in there for me and the rest of the community then we’ll do you right, I promise.
Thankfully these are just technical issues that have real solutions – every major startup technology experienced growing pains and how often do we forget those “early bumps” and decide to “forgive and forget”? I hope you will extend me the same grace as we walk through this together!
We can do it!
4. Strategic Integrations
Many of you publish on many different platforms, not just WordPress. I want to honor those publishing efforts so I’m looking at integration points for a variety of different platforms and publishing systems. You can actually read some community thoughts here and chime in if you have one you’d like for us to consider!
I want to protect our users though and be super-sensitive to making the right decisions about integrations. Another example is adding a feature to connect to other users via Twitter or Facebook (“Find a Friend”). I’m the last person who likes it when I get a random invite to a social network that I’ve never heard of so I want to be sensitive to this, don’t you?
5. Two Ears, One Mouth
Finally, I’m using some of the wisdom that my Sunday School teacher taught me many, many years ago when she said:
John, God gave you two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you talk.
She then gave me Teddy Grahams and I shut up.
The point is that I’m listening to the community and, again, I need your help to make it better. You’re right in the mix of something strangely-beautiful and sure, it really does suck to experience the growing pains in real-time, but if you can work with me we’ll get out of it together.
Love the community and I love this app. I think I’m ready for the second 24-hour round of ass-kicking, you?