by Cesare Rocchi

Get rid of the Ceremony

by Cesare Rocchi

Tags: product

I am following the stream of consciousness started yesterday. I’ll talk about an attitude that has helped me to deal with the concerns before shipping AppVersion.

I am not a fan of ceremonies. There’s usually a “protocol” to follow. There’s something you can do and something you can’t.

I worked a lot on iOS apps. When you have to submit one, there’s a ceremony. I call it the “App Store dance”. Prepare screenshots, description, icons, keywords and then repeat for every language. You think you are done but then you need to upload the binary, answer questions about rating, encryption and then … wait till someone approves it. I feel kind of trapped, like wearing a suit during a hot summer day.

Sometimes the ceremony is in my head, in the form of the following (totally irrational) concerns:

  • If I ship this and then tweet about it they are gonna hog the server (I wish!)
  • I can’t ship now, it’s midnight, nobody is gonna notice
  • Maybe if I include this feature with that other feature the customers will perceive a bigger value

The truth is: none of that is relevant. People will read your announcements on the blog/mailing list when they can/want. Customers will notice the new feature when they stumble upon it. If you wanna “control the narrative”, write books or find a different medium. The web is asynchronous, fortunately or unfortunately.

That’s why I have come up with a simple ceremony for AppVersion:

  • does new feature (of bug fix) pass tests?
  • ship it
  • announce it (if relevant)

No waste of time, no complicated dances. As a user I appreciate products that get fixed/updated fast. It is a sign of taking care. I am gonna adopt the same approach for my products. The absence of ceremony fosters the idea that shipping is nothing special, it’s a normal action, much like drinking coffee.

And … it’s very liberating to roll out a bug fix or a new version without waiting for any kind of 3rd party review.

Do you have ceremonies when you ship a product? Can you get rid of (some of) them? If you ever write about this topic let me know on twitter.