Blog Feedback: Version 1 Release Annoucement

5 months to the day! We have released version 1 of GTDNext.
Here is the announcement:

I can understand that you are eager to call it “released” and to be able to charge for it.

I believe the serious income will come when the app is more obviously “ready” - when it has all the usual stuff in a polished enough form, and is clearly better than other apps for some particular style of use.

Of all the Version 1 features listed in the blog post, the overwhelming majority are things that most other apps have, too - and theirs are usually more polished. It would take pages to list all the temporary shortcomings that most other apps to do not have, but a few examples might be the fact that you currently cannot rearrange the Next/Waiting/Someday lists at all, nether manually nor automatically; the fact that you cannot have subtasks with repeating actions; the fact that you cannot see subtasks for any tasks except in the P&A list; the fact that you have no easy-to-see buttons or templates etc for newbies to create actions and projects; the fact that you cannot drill down in the left menu; the fact that the graphical design looks home-made; the fact that there are no preference settings; the fact that … it goes on and on and on.

More interestingly, perhaps, when it comes to features that would have been distinctly differentiating and might have been able to offset some of the general lack of polish, I feel that these are not yet implemented to a functional level. True, we are able to make the action tree as deep as we want it, which is a step in the right direction, but then we cannot do much with that because the whole project action logic is twisted (and also confusing). If at least you had fixed all that you would be able to say truthfully that you have an app suited for those who want to map and automate a realistic action flow into their GTD lists. And that is what it seemed (between the lines) that you were aiming for in the first blog posts I saw. And that is what I initially believed when I (admittedly prematurely) wrote this kudos post: The fact that you sort of “almost have it” and then “refuse to make it functional” is more disappointing than if you did not even seem to aim for it (like Doit or Nirvana).

I imagine there is quite a bit of work left with the overall polishing and with the completion or dismantling of the weird project action logic. Beyond that I can see a few additional areas where GTDNext could make an effort to be more truly and efficiently GTD than anyone else and hopefully gain additional market share. I hope we get there. Thanks for your efforts so far. Best of luck :slight_smile:

Let me continue here in this thread with some thoughts that are also closely related to the new voting feature:

I think it is best for everybody to be very clear about the fact that some important features have already come to be taken for granted.

In cars, the windscreen wiper is an absolutely brilliant feature. I assume it must have been the wonder of the year at some stage. Truly superb in its simplicity and effectiveness. Would anyone choose a Volvo today because it has windscreen wipers? No; all cars have that. Would anyone refrain from buying a car that does not have windscreen wipers? You bet!

Put simply: You cannot gain customers by having ubiquitous features, but you sure can lose customers by not having them.

In GTD apps, the current state of affairs is, among other things, that people want to be able to read their tasks from a computer, tablet or phone. There is no question about that. And of course they want to have their lists sorted in various ways, depending on what they are looking for at the moment. And so on. There are myriads of “features” that are already ubiquitous today, not really considered notable features if you have them, but considered notable shortcomings (lack of polish) if you don’t. How is a vote on individual features going to change any of that? Right now there are votes spreading between phone apps, attachments and sorting mechanisms for lists (no, sorry, just the next list). How can you even compare those features and regard them as alternatives?

There is one very expensive way to be successful in terms of market share. Implement all the polish (features) you have ever seen in any app. At least nobody will be turned off by the lack of anything. Would I recommend this avenue for you, though? No, it will probably be too expensive.

And there is a sure way to lose, too. Be stingy on the general polish and have nothing truly essential that stands out.

And there is at least one way to win. Have an acceptable level of polish across the board, but make sure you have some top notch polish and real innovation concentrated in some “area of functionality” that at least some significant minority are starved for. Example (not recommended for you, but still a good example): Zendone and IQTell are capitalizing greatly on the fact that a significant minority of users are virtually dying for integration of their tasks with their reference and support information (email, Evernote). These apps both have shortcomings (lack of normal polish) in some areas, but their fans accept this because their desire to to integrate reference information is so huge. Both apps have tons of different features centered around reference integration and the associated workflow (and have spent tons of manhours developing it, too). Another “area of functionality” that I would not recommend for you either, is performance monitoring. This is often requested in forums (pomodoro timers, logbook statistics and what not). Doit are working hard to innovate in what they call “reviews” (historical reviews), showing pie charts of completed actions from the past day, week, month etc. You’d be a late starter in all these areas (and I personally also think these areas are of minor interest).

But wouldn’t it be absolutely great if GTDNext, in the same way, could tap into some virgin “area or functionality” and be simply the best, or the one and only, for those users who really want plenty of functionality in a given area. From where GTDNext is standing at the moment I can see at least two simple and obvious such “areas of features”, but I realize that success depends on the creators also being willing to be creative in that particular area. Inspiration and love are important.

Does GTDNext have any “areas of features” where you plan to excel significantly and have a true impact on people’s productivity?