I was in the Secret Labs this morning, floating aimlessly through the glossy, high-tech warren of tunnels and chambers drilled through the rock and metal of Asteroid 2029 as it orbits the distant sun here in this quiet Prague neighborhood, when I made the decision.
“Ship it,” I said to myself, and Jer’s Novel Writer 1.0 was released to the world.
I’ve been working on this thing for a few years, now. One of the reasons it took so long to get to 1.0 is because along the way the growing body of users has been full of ideas, suggestions, and constructive criticism. Some of my favorite features were things I would never have thought of on my own. The long gestation period means that 1.0 is way, way cooler than I imagined it would be when I started out.
Still, it’s about stinkin’ time. One thing that makes version 1.0 different than just another incrementally better beta release is that this one is technically not free. Users have been able to pay voluntarily for a while, and it’s really cool when I get the “You’ve been paid!” message. It will be interesting to see if people’s behavior changes as all. I estimate that I have already earned more than ten cents per hour for coding this thing (if you don’t count classes, hardware, or any other expenses — let’s not think about that).
It would be sweet to sell enough copies to live off the proceeds, but that seems unlikely, even living here. Maybe if I move to Ukraine…
You know what would be even sweeter? Some day I want to be sitting somewhere in the world, writing my next best-seller when someone looks over my shoulder and says, “Hey, Jer’s Novel Writer! I use that too!” That would be almost as cool as happening upon someone reading a book I wrote.
That’s all the future, however. Today is about hitting a milestone, a big event that could affect my life. Today is 1.0 day. (It’s also Over-Easy Day. Dang, already a doubled-up day. What are the odds?)