Thursday, June 30, 2011

Time to Grow Up

Anyone who knows me knows I dread nothing more than growing up. I have a huge Peter Pan complex, and will generally shout "No! You can't catch me and make me a man!" at anyone who tries to get me to act my age.

Despite that, even I know it's time for this little project to grow up.

I got some interesting news today. I'm not going to go into great detail, as I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to or supposed to say. Suffice to say, I have a very strong feeling that in about a month, our user count and usage is going to explode. Considering we've already got 16,000 registered users, that's not a small expectation.

I've been contacting everyone who would humour me for the last few hours. I've ranted, I've raved, I've fretted. I've driven my roommate nuts. Because the thing is, I should be ecstatic. Our technology can scale to handle the load, thanks to the wonderful engineers behind App Engine. Increasing our user count should be something to celebrate. Instead, one thought dominated my mind: oh God, how am I going to pay for all this?

A lot of you have donated. We love you. A lot of you have given far more than we would ever ask you to give. We cannot express our gratitude enough. But we have to stare a dark truth in the face almost constantly: donations cannot support this application indefinitely. We need an actual business plan.

I think we may have found one. I think you're going to be pretty pleased with it. I know I am. I'm not sure if we're going to end up using it yet. We're going to try a lot of things in the next month or so, in preparation for our event. I was going to release a new iteration of the software with a bunch of shiny new features and some bells and whistles attached. That plan has been shelved for the time being. Instead, we're going to focus on what we have and make it solid. Spit-shine it, if you will. Dylan is working hard on some UX/UI stuff. I'm working hard on the software to run our new business plan. Tino is fretting about money and doing all the boring math to try and measure whether or not our plan is working.

I'll let you know when I know more and can say more. All I know right now is that we're going to have a frantic month, and it's going to end with a bang. And when it goes bang, we're going to need your love and support to see us through. If you have thought about donating but haven't yet, now's a wonderful time. The team feels like we're standing on a precipice; we can either end the month with the project rising to a new level none of us ever dreamed it could rise to, or we can end the month chasing servers, donations, and bills, trying to make ends meet.

And all we know is we're going to need your help. You've held with us this far, and we're grateful for that. We hope you'll weather this with us, too.

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