So here we are. End of March 2013. Ulysses III is currently awaiting review from the team at the App Store, and since it’s been like that for a couple of days now, we believe it’s safe to assume that release is rather imminent. Or rejection. But: Fingers crossed, of course.
This has been a crazy ride. I could write a lot about iCloud, and how it cost us five months, but I’ll leave that to the big guys. I could write about features that didn’t make the cut for 1.0 but will come at a later date, but who cares, actually? People will (and should) judge the shipping product and not some promises, so what you’ll get is what we shipped, and we need to be confident about it, and we are — all is good.
Instead, I’d like to take a minute and write about how this past year has worked for us, as a company, and as individuals.
Some weeks ago, we shipped Daedalus 1.5 with iCloud sync, and it bombed. It bombed so hard, that we had to update it four times within two weeks. It bombed so hard, that it went virtually unnoticed — by the press, on the App Store, by potential new users. Daedalus 1.5 was a disaster, bluntly speaking. We had to ship it in order for it to work with Ulysses III, and we were confident that we had thoroughly tested it, but as it turned out, we missed some vital parts with regard to sync, and then we sort of panicked and it all went haywire.
We expected 1.5 to take four weeks max to produce, and we expected a boost in sales. It took us ten weeks and flopped. Not the best thing to happen while you’re about to finish the most important product of your life. I don’t think anybody can even begin to understand the amount of uncertainty this infused into our team. Will Ulysses III also fail? Are we on the wrong track altogether? Have we spent 18 months on an over-engineered nothingness?
See, last year, we hit a real low when it became clear we couldn’t get iCloud working easily. We hit another low when it became clear that we were about to miss our holiday target. Then another one when we scrapped features we once claimed vital. But nothing could have prepared us for what happened with Daedalus 1.5.
And the timing was… perfect. For a sadist. The longer Ulysses III took, the more stress it put on our families. Weekends, overtime, constant pressure and not much room to think or talk about anything else. And suddenly you start questioning the project as a whole. This is, after all, a private endeavor. There is no funding, no guaranteed income, and if we don’t manage to get the product out before the money runs out, then we’re out.
I can only thank everybody involved in keeping up with us, believing in what we believe in, and staying as calm and supportive as they could. I just wish I could have spent more time with my kids these past couple of months…
Was it worth it? Yes. Ulysses III is the best thing we could deliver, and whether it flops at sale or not, this is the greatest text editor the world has ever seen. Mission accomplished, whatever the outcome. And it’s just the beginning. It’s a fresh start, a new era. Not least for us.
Wish us luck, as you come join the ride. There are exciting times ahead.
Just know that we’ll be mostly watching for the next couple of days. Regenerating.
Thanks for all your support. We love you.