Posts on July 23, 2011
webOS developer situation: unacceptable
Posted on 2011-07-23 16:57:00
Tags: palm rant palmpre
I develop software for a living, so I tend to be more tolerant of bugs, realizing that even though it seems simple to fix, that isn't necessarily the case. And I've cut HP/Palm a lot of slack in the past from a developer standpoint, but things have recently gotten to a ridiculous point and I have to throw up my hands and rant about it.
Since the TouchPad launched on July 1, the sales numbers for apps have been wrong. And not even wrong in an obvious way - one app has gotten exactly 2 sales per day, while every other (paid) app has gotten zero. There's no notice on the page that things are messed up, although there is a thread on the developer forums. Yesterday, after we were told they had identified the problem and a fix was in the works, the sales numbers dropped dramatically, and now we're told not to trust the numbers until we hear otherwise. And last week, the June app payments were sent out, but for the wrong amount.
I've cut Palm developer relations a lot of slack, since the people are very friendly, their policies are much nicer than Apple's (no fee to join the program or submit apps, no arbitrary rules for rejection, quick turnaround times on reviewing apps), and they seem to realize that the webOS platform needs as many good apps as possible and as such, treat us pretty well. But when I say things like it seems they're chronically understaffed, this is the sort of thing that I'm talking about. And I haven't even touched on the tiny screenshots in the App Catalog and the inconsistent "For TouchPad" labels on apps.
Palm has been a part of HP for over a year now, and I know they've been in a mad frenzy to get the TouchPad out, but the time for excuses is over. I'm not leaving the platform anytime soon but things like this sap my will to work on apps. Please get this taken care of soon!
Anything You Want review
Posted on 2011-07-23 23:34:00
Tags: reviews books
Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have a secret desire to found a technology startup, which probably comes from reading too much Hacker News. I'm pretty happy with my current job, and I don't think I'd actually handle the stress of doing a startup very well, so I doubt it will ever happen. But reading books like this push me towards it. It makes running a startup sound so exciting! (and skips over the long discouraging parts)
This is a collection of anecdotes about founding, running, and eventually selling CDBaby. It's a very quick read, and it's entertaining. My favorite section:
My friend Sara has run a small online business out of her living room for twelve years. It's her whole life. She takes it very, very personally.
Last week, one of her clients sent her a ten-page-long scathing email, chopping her down, calling her a scam artist and issuing other vicious personal insults, and saying she was going to sue Sara for everything she's worth as retribution for the client's mishandled account.
Devastated, Sara turned off her computer and cried. She shut off the phones and closed up shop for the day. She spent the whole weekend in bed wondering if she should just give up. Thinking maybe every insult in this client's letter was true, and she's actually no good at what she does, even after twelve years.
On Sunday, she spent about five hours - most of the day - carefully addressing every point in this ten-page email; then she went through the client's website, learning everything about her, and offered all kinds of advice, suggestions, and connections. Sara refunded the client's money, plus an additional $50, with gushing deep apologies for ever having upset someone she was honestly trying to help.
The next day, she called the client to try to talk through the situation with her.
The client cheerfully took her call and said, "Oh, don't worry about it! I wasn't actually that upset. I was just in a bad mood, and didn't think anyone would read my email anyway."
When we yell at our car or our coffee machine, it's fine because they're just mechanical appliances.
So when we yell at a website or a company, using our computer or our phone, we forget that it's not an appliance but a person that's affected.
It's dehumanizing to have thousands of people passing through our computer screens, so we do things we'd never do if those people were sitting next to us.
It's too overwhelming to remember that at the end of every computer is a real person, a lot like you, whose birthday was last week, who has three best friends but nobody to spoon at night, and who is personally affected by what you say.
Even if you remember it right now, will you remember it next time you're overwhelmed, or perhaps never forget it again?
This backup was done by LJBackup.