Embarrassment, the First: We Blew Our Ship Date
Our first app, Hereby for iPhone, was meant to ship last month, in March of 2015. It did not. I don’t mind telling you that updating the ship date stung more than a little bit.
A lot has been written lately about the Apple App Store review process, and I won’t pretend our experience was trouble-free; there was certainly some amount of frustration and concern, and we did make one official appeal to the App Review Board. Thankfully, however, this resolved mostly in our favour, and we found the Review Board about as sympathetic as corporate communications over email will allow.
No matter the reason — and I certainly don’t intend to frame the App Store review process as a reason — Hereby is late. That’s nobody’s fault but ours.
In hindsight, it is now obvious that we should have settled a few basic legal matters early on. When we were just getting started, Jason and I wanted to worry less about business, and more about product. We thought we could handle whatever business what needed handling as a do-it-yourself General Partnership, and worry about getting legal representation and incorporating our company later. We were wrong.
When Apple’s Review Board required us to produce a custom end-user license agreement, replete with terms of service for Hereby, we were wholly unprepared. We had no existing legal counsel to turn to, and the search and establishment of such brings us to our current situation.
Now I’m not saying business can’t be done without first securing counsel and incorporating — that’s plainly not true. In our case, though, I think had we done that from the start, and had counsel to turn to when required, Hereby may have shipped in March, as intended.
In the end, it’s not so surprising; we’re two product guys who showed up at the finish line with a product the business can’t yet support. Shocking.
We’ve since secured one of the best startup lawyers in Vancouver, and our incorporation is pending. Our EULA and TOS for Hereby will be air-tight, but we’ve still got a lot to learn. I’m not sure how to fail next, but I’m pretty sure it will be embarrassing. Read all about it here, next month.