Not much time to blog lately, but here's a short update:

We rolled out the Squishr alpha release to a few selected people a couple of weeks ago and things haven't crashed and burned on us yet.

A couple of things learned so far:

  • As soon as you go live you realize that most of your features don't matter unless your big bang features are spot on. With that in mind we've rolled back our ambitions on a lot of cool things and we're working on making the most important things much, much better. Looking back, we probably should have launched the site earlier, and with fewer features in order to start the feedback loop. Apparently I've already forgotten everything I learned while working at Thoughtworks. :-)

  • Having real users is great because it really shows you what parts of the site people are using. It also reminds you that not everyone knows how to use the site the way that you do after building it for months, so putting in a bit of handholding on the front page is probably a good idea.

  • If you're using Rails and you're not using Capistrano, then begin immediately. We're able to deploy dozens of times a day right now, into production, with tweaks and small features. It makes life so much easier.

Overall though, things are going well. We've still got a way to go before we open things up to the public for a real beta, but we're deploying new stuff everyday and things are exciting and still going well right now. If I know you, and you want to check out what we've built so far, then just pop me an e-mail.