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Comment on "Paying for Beta Software"
by Joe — Dec 27
Having shipped my first release as an indie developer today, i've also thought long and hard about when to ship my app, and whether or not to release a beta or to charge for it.

Just last week, I found out a critical bug that caused potential data loss (ouch) in certain rare situations. Out of the 40-50 times that i've tried to deliberately simulate it, i've only managed to get it to occur once.

Like what Frank has suggested, I have saved up my money, and been living off my savings for the few months that I spent creating this app (and learning about Cocoa along the way). To tell everyone on the Internet the truth, my savings are drying up, and the temptation to Just Ship It got extremely strong during the last few days.

Before I managed to find the fix for that bug, i've thought hard about whether or not to do a Beta 0.9.9 release so that I could at least get some money to tide the times, and also get some feedback from the users on that bug. Except for this last nagging bug, I was satisfied enough with the core features to do a 1.0 release.

The pros for doing a paid beta release was obvious to me: Money to keep myself alive while I aim for the next release, and get useful feedback.

The cons?
1) Because the bug could cause data loss, face the wrath of Angry Users.
2) Deal with my conscience telling me that its just plain Evil to ship something with a known bug in it. ;-)
3) Face the wrath of Angry Bloggers that will write about yet another app that slaps a beta sticker on their product and charges money for it.

Thankfully, after an entire day spent chasing that elusive bug, i've finally managed to get it completely fixed so I managed to release it today as 1.0 and not a beta.

Just a post to show the thought process of one developer...

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