In this strange landscape that we call Web 2.0 a web app is born with few features but lots of promise. In the exciting but cliché “BETA” phase many changes take place. Rich features are developed to make the app a must use and must see. This is the most exciting time in the life of a web application where many changes and development take place.
Then comes the dreaded phase of a web application in which all resources are devoted to keeping the application running. This becomes a state where little or no development/enhancement takes place.
I understand full well the difficulty and pressures of keeping a web application running. Meanwhile investors and other onlookers ask and question profitability. Other pundits wonder about the applications strategy and potential for actually making money.
All of that makes sense to me in the big picture. However as a passionate end user invested in the application this “stay up phase” is very frustrating.
So the app has made it to the stay up phase, has a loyal following/user base of thousands or millions and loads of potential. We can call it the “rock solid app.”
Then bring on the competitors. Small start ups with little funding but lots of ideas start sprouting. The user base of our rock solid steady app is intrigued.
Why? Simply because of the phase change. The new start ups are shiny and new and in that cool “BETA” stage or even in “private BETA.” Development is occurring on a daily basis as the start ups develop and fine tune their feature sets.
The user base of the rock solid app user base may decline slightly but stays about the same. For it is rock solid and keeps running.
Time passes… more time passes… and more time passes… the rock solid app does nothing new to speak of but its up. No new features but hey it is running.
UPDATE Already!!! Meanwhile the blogosphere dreams up all sorts of enhancements for the rock solid app. The rock solid app can also pull ideas from the smaller start up competitors.
The rock solid app has the resources, plenty of ideas, and a large mostly loyal user base. But no new enhancements.
UPDATE Already!!! But the rock solid app is up and running.
This is the point in the post when I wanted to name the app. But the more I thought about it I know it applies to many. This is unfortunately very common. Update Already. Please?