Some of you are wondering why SyncBridge is taking so long. After all, we initially thought we would be able to release in April. There are a few reasons, so I thought I’d outline them.
The sync engine that powers SyncBridge has been working well for some time now. Of course, it still needs more exposure to real users, but the guts of it works fine. A reasonable UI is only a recent addition, and a fairly nice UI is what I’m currently working on. Simple things like help files and explanatory text, ways to log-off, storing the password in the keychain, and so forth. All the things that turn it from being a developer tool into a user app.
This is probably the biggest one. Life has been very demanding for both MJ and myself. I’ve shifted from Australia to Northern Ireland, albeit only for a few months, but it’s still a fairly monumental undertaking. I have three kids, and MJ has two. I’ve had to switch jobs and MJ runs another small business as his day job.
It’s hard when you are working on your own. MJ has been a great help in keeping my motivation levels up, but not having anyone to bounce specific code stuff off has been tough. Getting over some troublesome bugs has sometimes been a matter of weeks, simply because I found it hard to face. At one point, I said to MJ “I have no idea how to fix these two bugs. I can’t even face looking at them any more.” I don’t remember exactly what he said, but a few hours later (after weeks of trying) they were fixed.
Time and Discipline
Snatching an hour here and an hour there to work on SyncBridge means that there isn’t the same consistency you get when you work on writing an app full time. If SyncBridge sells well, then I might be able to work on it full time, which would make things much better all round. I’ve been trying to remain disciplined enough to keep good programming principles in mind, while still solving the problem (even knowing that no-one else is looking at my code).
The nuts and bolts of setting up a company have been a little problematic for us. Partially geographical, partially fiscal, partially just procratinatorial (if there is such a word). We can’t really sell anything till we are a company 🙂