Struggling to Ship: Prologue

About 21 days ago, I received The ShipIt Journal by Seth Godin, I had hoped this little journal would scare me into action. You see, I have a problem. I don’t ship.  Oh, I’ve released projects before; one a failure (over-time, and ended up being replaced a month later), and the jury is still out on the other; but I haven’t shipped any of my last three projects (Edit It, Stack Stats, A Blog Engine). They’re all in various stages of completion, from sketches on a piece of paper to actual prototypes written.  But they don’t exist yet. No one’s using them.  

In the eyes of myself and my peers, I’ve done nothing.  It’s a sobering thought that keeps me up at night.  In a profession where we’re measured by what we’ve released, the programmer that doesn’t ship is a charlatan.

The excuses are plenty and you’ve probably heard them all before.  Extra work, ballroom dancing, preparing for a wedding, you know, the usual. I have a precious few hours each night to spend, and it’s really easy for something to get in the way.

Or so my lizard brain keeps saying.

Perhaps deep down inside, I’m scared of my software sucking.  I want to make great software, but I know that once it’s out there, I’m vulnerable.  

The first step to conquering a fear is to face it.  This is me facing it.  Until these three projects finally ship, expect me to write about the process of trying to ship, the process of creating. If I fail, it will be public. If I succeed, it will be public. I have no idea what’s going to happen, only that I don’t have a lot of time to screw around. 

I want to make great software, but first I’ve actually got to make software.

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