Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Idea to Product in 30 Days ? Realistic ?

Many months ago just for fun a bunch of developers got together for a '30 Day Challenge'. Take an idea to a product within 30 days. I participated as best I could as I was half way through a product but also needed to setup my new company, website etc. It was a lot of fun and made interesting reading, seeing the problems that were faced and overcome was very enlightening.

The concept itself received a lot of (in my opinion unwarranted) criticism from certain people who basically said that it was impossible to finish a successful project within 30 days. This is, being blunt, crap.

I suppose different people have different ideas about what makes a successful product. I have come up with the following possible definitions for a 'successful software project':

Completed On Budget, On Time
Achieved the Defined Objective
Makes a Profit
Quickly gains customers
No Show-stopping Bugs
Positive Independent Reviews
Gains Industry Attention

Based on those definitions of 'successful software project' I have to say that I have released several projects this year that have all been done in under 30 days, and have all met most if not all of those criteria. Non of my projects will set the world on fire, none of them are 'killer applications', none of them are the most complex applications ever and I am not the worlds greatest programmer.

All of my software though has been profitable and has happy customers. Really, is there much else needed ? Is it possible to take an idea from inception to product in 30 days. Yes, of course it is.

NOTE: Just after posting this original post I saw this over on Bob Walsh's 47hats.com :
'Does Steve Cholerton sleep? Guess not: his microISV Arten Science just released another product: R10Cipher - a cross platform encryption tool for Mac and Windows.'

The truth is that yes I do. I also ride my motorcycle, watch TV, read books and magazines, do bespoke development and security work and lots of other stuff. It is perfectly possible to work hard but still live a good life AND develop a product in 30 days :-)

Honest Expert Independent Technology Advice for Business

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