Infovark’s been in operation for six months now. In that time, we’ve written more than 100,000 lines of code and posted more than 50 blog articles. But — we still don’t have a product yet.
By the original timeline we drafted in October 2007, we should be in Beta by now. So, it was time to take a good hard look at our schedule. We were harsh with our estimates. And when we looked at our projected workload, we were suitably scared. (I’m sure that if you aren’t at least mildly terrified by your software schedule, you really haven’t done it properly).
So, after taking stock of what we’ve done and what we have left to do, we’ll hit Alpha some time this summer. (We hope!)
What’s taking us so long? Well, for one thing, all software projects run late. This is expected behavior for software development. Though we’d like to think we had our whole solution mapped out from the start, we’ve discovered a lot of things we needed to have, eliminated a lot of frills, experimented with different technical approaches, and, yes, wasted time.
That’s the nature of creative work. Software development is not really an engineering discipline, though we’d like it to be. It’s more like writing the great American novel. Some mornings you can write a whole chapter before your first cup of coffee. Other mornings you struggle to find the right word to begin the first sentence. Still other mornings you spend crossing out all the bad ideas from last night.
All in all, we’re pleased with our progress so far, but we’re going to need a longer runway than we thought before we can take off. That’s OK; for now, we’ve got the cash and our expenses are low. Our biggest worry is that we might miss the window of opportunity for enterprise social software. Or that someone else might beat us to the finish line. It’s a healthy concern. It keeps us motivated.
So we’ll keep scrambling to get our ideas into code form. In the meantime, we’ll keep you posted on our progress. And you can help us out by telling us what you’d like to see in enterprise social software.