Wow, yesterday was a hectic day.

I’d had a new release of netTunes in process for some time, and had completed the final testing a few weeks ago. Since the main focus was Tiger compatibility, it seemed appropriate to release closer to Tiger’s release (and I didn’t want to leak any Tiger information by accident), and yesterday (Thursday) was the day I picked to put it out there.

Well, actually, I picked Wednesday, but Wednesday somehow got filled with other stuff, and it just didn’t happen. So, Thursday.

The release process is always kind of the same: I’ve already packaged up the software itself, but that’s only the engineering side. Then, the marketing side has to take over, and you have to:

  • Write and send out a press release. Press releases are weird—they always have that amusing part where there’s a quote from someone in the company—typically the CEO—saying something like “I think this is the best work we’ve ever done.” Usually, Marketing just makes something up, runs it by the CEO (or whoever) and gets their OK along with a few tweaks. (Disillusioning, I know, but there it is.)

    Of course, in a small company like mine, I’m writing the press release. And, I’m quoting myself. In the 3rd person.

    Weird stuff. But this is the best netTunes release we’ve ever done. wink

    (Big apologies to all of you in the press who have to read my lousy press releases.)

  • Get the Shirt Pocket web site updated and ready to go.
  • Get the various VersionTracker and MacUpdate updates ready to post.
  • Update Apple’s software site
  • Various other things, email, etc.
Well, maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot. But it feels like it when it’s going on. And then you post the thing, and hope for the best!

Anyway, I’ve done this (and variations thereof) a lot of times over the past 22 years, and it’s always a bit nerve wracking: you just never get over the “release jitters”.

I was talking to Jonas Salling about this the other day, as he was releasing his own update (and, the three of you who haven’t gone out and bought the beautifully done Salling Clicker, please do so now), and he has the same nervousness—no matter how well prepared we are, it always seems like there’s a disaster waiting just around the corner.

Yesterday was especially nerve wracking for me because, immediately after posting the netTunes update, I had to do a whole bunch of errands out of the office. Which meant if something went wrong there was no way to fix it quickly—I nervously checked my email on my phone all day, waiting for the disaster to strike.

It never did. It went fine. It pretty much always does. So why are we always so nervous?

Maybe it’s because, as a small developer, you always feel like you’re one step away from the mistake that’ll kill your company. There’s not a lot of “wiggle room” for the small developer: we can’t absorb a Windows ME or Microsoft Bob or “iTunes Update that deletes your whole drive”.

Basically, we pretty much have to execute perfectly all the time. One mistake and we’ll look foolish and unprofessional: something the vast majority of us are not, but once that impression gets out there, the battle’s lost…