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So I made a big mistake today. No, I made a few. I was so excited about the new pan feature that I decided to release it without testing it properly.
Not only, I also ran out the door right after the build was live to run some errands (I already hated Christmas shopping before, now I REALLY hate it).
Anyways, I ran back as soon as I saw your emails, comments and GetSatisfaction posts on the iPhone, but it took a while because of...you guessed it...Christmas shopping traffic. 🙁
As soon as I got home, here's what I did to fight the fire I set under my own butt:
Anyways, the new build with the fix will be live by the time I finish writing this, I'll update the post when it's ready.
In the meantime, I'd like to apologize to all of you who were affected by this bug. You're our early adopters, our best customers, we NEED you, and upsetting you like this hurts me in the stomach. I truly am sorry for this 2-hour mess-up.
I will also apologize to Valerie, Marco and Mariah for putting them in this little mess.
It might be a small consolation, but I'd like to offer any of you who installed 1.6.55 a free license of Mockups for Desktop to give away to someone for Christmas (I hear it makes for a great present for the in-laws).
Just send me an email venting about how I messed up your day today (I deserve it), and I'll send you a Mockups for Desktop key, no questions asked. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ok, let me go check on the new build...
UPDATE: 1.6.56 is live and looks good.
Peldi for the Balsamiq Team
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What a breath of fresh air! I found your blog awhile ago and was perusing and found this – it’s completely contrary to the “standard corporate culture” (at least where I am) and it’s so refreshing. This entire blog has lit a fire in me to get my own projects up and running. Truly, thank you for sharing.
I just want to say this is fantastic. I love your software and if two hours of downtime is the price to pay, that’s amazing. Keep up the phenominal work!
I think this was just an elaborate plan to get out of Christmas shopping ;P
See this is what I am talking about – not only get the fix out quickly but come clean and be up front about the issues.
You have to love a team and company that believe in professional transparency and quality.
By the way, this has happened to every developer at one point or another.
The mark you’ve left behind in the ether, is about good grown-up customer service, NOT for the underlying problem. Professional software-producing customers know better than to expect software to be perfect. We’re interested in the bigger picture about what your product can do for us, as a rounded proposition.
We have found automated regression test suites to help in this area – triggered automatically after 30 minutes from any new check-in to the Subversion source code repository. We use http://buildbot.net/trac for this. (Although admittedly not for GUI code 🙁 )
If you’d care to stump up the free licence you mentioned above – I’ll pass it (with my endorsement) to my current collaborator in http://www.qinetiq.com/global.html . This is the 14000 employee company – that has sprung from the former UK Government Defence Research Agency.
Thank you Peldi. I’m with post #1. Merry Xmas for you all !
nice read! i just bought Balsamiq today – love it! i’ve got to look which version i installed on my working machine tomorrow (;
Great way to apologize for a snafu. Wish every company had your class. 🙂 And I love your product!
Hey, that’s a quick recovery Peldi. From a business perspective though I wonder if you should really think about ditching this weekly release thing. It doesn’t make much sense to me from a software perspective. There’s little upside and lots of downside like this where features are built Tuesday and released on Thursday.
Now that the product is getting more mature a longer release cycle makes sense I would think. Just my 2 cents.
Life is not about not making mistakes, it’s about repairing them when we make one (and we all do), and you did that in just two hours. Com’on i doubt anyone could nurture negative feelings about a mistake and such a hasty and honest reaction.
All of you have a safe Christmas, and let it not be a mockup of positive feelings for mankind, but the real thing !
Peldi – not only is your apology accepted, we actually THANK YOU for your hard work, dedication and willingness to admit when things don’t work out the way you planned.
I have learned my lesson the hard way, too, by pushing a production release out the door then getting on an airplane! (before wifi was available…). Needless to say, you only do something like that once and you remember it.
You continue to amaze me at how well you do the right thing. Val was right when she and I spoke a few months ago: we are all so lucky to have you leading the way!
Don’t knock yourself too hard. It happened, you did the right moves to correct it and it is now part of your experiences. In fact, I forgot what you were apogizing for… 😀
I heartily agree with Daniel M.’s response and he beat me to the reply I would have have written – well said Daniel. Also as a micro-startup, you guys are helping me thoroughly understand the in’s and out’s of the (huge) work involved. Just your list of “tools we use” made me put your team on a pedestal, so it would take far more than a bad build to change my opinion! Your openness and honesty is the future of company customer relations.
Cheers, and here’s to more of the same Excellence in the New Year!
Peldi, I can’t do any less than congratulate you for this.
As a customer of Balsamiq, but mostly as an entrepreneur in the making, I never cease to be amazed by your openness, your honesty, and your attitude towards your customers. Being so sincere in public can’t be easy, and I’m amazed at how easy you always make it look.
You really are an example to follow, and are raising the bar for all other entrepreneurs as to how we should behave.
Thank you for running an awesome company, and for being an awesome guy.
[Peldi: thanks Daniel, I appreciate it. I really do feel bad…]