I have to give two speeches at CFUNITED, the ColdFusion technical conference coming up in Washington DC June 29th – July 1st. The first is a general keynote, in which I’ll talk about Really Great Products and why the iPod is so doggone popular even though it’s more expensive, and less capable, than a lot of other products that have failed in the marketplace. Also, as usual, there will be jokes, music, and pictures of Jennifer Aniston.

The second is entitled “Project Management the Joel on Software Way.” I’ll mostly be going over The Joel Test, but at the end I’ll leave time for a demo of FogBugz 4.0.

Michael Smith, who is organizing CFUNITED, interviewed me.


Eric J. Smith reminds me why having a great book about your product, by a great author, pays off in spades: “As I kept reading, I quickly realized that FogBugz could single-handedly manage my support requests, sales requests, bug tracking and project management for CodeSmith.”

The Road to FogBugz 4.0: Part V

I was really hoping to ship FogBugz for Windows and FogBugz for Unix on the same day, but it just wasn’t gonna happen. There were a bunch of little details we needed to get right on the Unix side and with over a year of development we had accumulated a few little things that Thistle didn’t compile perfectly. And it seemed a shame to hold up the Windows version (90% of the market) for the Unix version (10%). So on February 23, 2005, at 7:35 PM Eastern Time, FogBugz 4.0 for Windows went live.

I thought to myself, ah, now I can relax.

I have no idea why I thought that.

I should know by now that shipping software is the beginning, not the end.

We promptly got whacked. The phone lines lit up like a New Mexico license plate frame. Our weekly sales tripled. We could barely keep up with the phone calls and email inquiries. This is a good problem to have, and I don’t know why I did not predict it, but even if I had, I probably wouldn’t have done anything differently: I believed what Eric Sink wrote in The Hazards of Hiring: “Don’t fill a position until after the need for that position is painfully clear.”

And we won the Jolt Award, which is unbelievably cool (4.0 was too late so the award was for version 3.1):

Jolt Award

In the meantime, we’ve got another half dozen things on our plates at Fog Creek Software. We’re starting to get the kind of gigantic customers who want things just a little bit different, and they’re willing to pay so much money for it you’d be insane not to give in.

We’re working on rolling out a new scalable stack o’ servers to handle the demands for the next five years.

We’re gearing up for the coolest summer internship program you’ve ever heard of… our four interns will develop a brand new product from soup to nuts, and get the darn thing up and running and earning real money from real customers by the end of the summer — something that’s challenging enough without a filmmaker running around making a documentary about it, which, I hope, does not turn out like The Restaurant, Blow Out, or, god forbid, The Office. My David Brent streak is a mile long and will need to be actively surpressed. “I see myself as a friend first, probably entertainer second, and boss third…”

And we really, really need to hire more people, no matter what Eric says, which means we’ll need a bigger office, so that’s more work too, and life goes on.