A user who hesitated before downloading our application (and who is now helping me), gave me the list of questions that he asked himself before downloading a free app.
He also added 'These criteria allow me to know whether the product is going to live a long time'.
If you are undecided about ThinkingRock, here they are with our answers.
1. What is the date at the top of the website (if any) - is it relatively recent?
At this point in time: last news dated 02 Feb 2007. See http://www.thinkingrock.com.au/index.php
home page for the latest.
2. What is the date of the last release?
Last release v1.2.3 was 12 Nov 06, next release is targetted for end of Feb 07. See http://www.thinkingrock.com.au/download.php
download page for the latest.
3. How often are their releases?
Every 4-6 weeks. This one taking longer due to technical changes. The releases will be modular afterwards so frequency should increased.
4. How old / mature is the product?
We started development in October 2005 according to the date on my test scripts.
5. How many people currently use it?
Difficult to know. In average we have around 140 downloads per day but some users might just have a try. I will estimate between 5,000 and 10,000 but could be more.
6. Has it had any media attention? (Not necessary but an added bonus).
A few articles and blogs as mentioned on the home page and on this forum.
These criteria let me know about stability:
(some of above are relevant)
7. Is their an actively used bug reporting system?
I have 10 years experience in software test management and thus everything gets recorded. As mentioned on our link page, we use Mantis bug tracker system internally to record development bugs, feedback from users, change requests (our ideas), bugs from users reported on the forum or by email to us.
8. Is their a forum with regular postings regarding bugs, and is their a response or action to fix it?
Yes, you are in it. I still have to catch up with many postings. If there is a next action required, I add the issue number (corresponds to the Mantis issue number) on the subject of the topic.
The last questions were:
The main thing to work out is do you both love working on Thinking Rock? As I have done quite a lot of reading on millionaires (and billionaires), and the most common three attributes of them are 1) They love what they do, 2) Absolute stubborn perseverance (aka Thomas Edison - he developed thousands of lightbulbs before the one that worked), 3) They don't see mistakes as mistakes, they see them as "learning".
We don't have such a financial target (I have too many other interests in life for that, the main ones being my 2 children and having a life) but
1) we love working on ThinkingRock. It has been a very positive experience so far, feeling good about helping others, in control of the application specs and touching all the aspects of a product launch. We also use it ourselves so I cannot wait for the Search, Recurrency (release coming) and 6 Level Model (after) to be implemented. I also want to look at the Freemind integration.
2) Stubborn perseverance - I leave that one to Jeremy as he is the programer and most of you knows how much perseverance you need for that.
3) We are old enough to enjoy all the learning curves.
Feel free to add more questions.
Claire and Jeremy