Keith Smiley - Who?

The fear of shipping

Something I've become very aware of lately is how difficult it is for me to ship. I have at least a dozen unfinished projects that I could probably ship, yet I find any excuse to hold them back.

I could say forget it and ship it. Then depending on the amount of feedback I received, decide whether or not it was worth putting more time into. I often fall victim to "just one more feature here" or "oh it would be great if I added this first." When I should have just shipped.

After nearly convincing myself to do this, what is holding me back? The fear of ruining my first impressions. Up to this point my programming career, especially in public, has been pretty sparse. I've made a few websites, and I shipped an internal enterprise iOS app, but that doesn't count for much. So as far as most people know I sit at home on my thumbs 24/7 occasionally tweeting about Objective-C frameworks. I want to be perceived well in the community, I respect a lot of indie iOS and OS X developers and the last thing I want is attention for an unfinished or unpolished product. I am starting to realize that this is unrealistic. I would love my first major application to be perfect but that's just not feasible. I hope to get there in the future, but I am very close to accepting that getting there requires stepping stones. For me, those stepping stones might be some useless OS X utilities that I've made for myself and now want to share with the world. No matter how unpolished.