inessential by Brent Simmons

NetNewsWire acquired by Black Pixel

It was the thrill of my career.

I expect to have more thrills, but none exactly like that, none so surprising, with me so green, with so many good things to learn still ahead of me.

I never wanted to give it up, that first success and that good feeling of keeping it going. I slowly came to realize that one person couldn’t keep up with all of it, though, and that hanging on forever wouldn’t be fair to the software and the people who use it.

So I found it a great new home at Black Pixel. I can’t imagine a better home, and they’re going to make NetNewsWire great. I can’t wait to see it!

I’ve worked with Black Pixel a bunch, more than enough to know they’ve got a high-energy team and they’re serious about engineering, design, QA, and making high-quality software. And they’re fans of NetNewsWire who are totally revved-up about taking it to the future.

Some of the guys I’ve known for years: I have a bunch of good friends there. Most of the company is here in Seattle. Their office is on Queen Anne, next neighborhood over. (They’ve promised me I can come and visit NetNewsWire’s new home any time!) They’re small-but-growing, already an indie success story.

I’m enormously proud of head pixel and rocket scientist (no kidding) Daniel Pasco and the company he’s built.

Imagine turning over something you created and then worked on for nine years. You’d want to be damn sure it was going to the right place.

I did.

I’ve given myself permission, as I should, to look back over the whole thing, the good and the great, the mistakes, the sloggy days and the fantastic days. I could wish for one thing or another, or dwell on errors, but I’m not going to.

I’ll allow myself to say to myself, “Brent, good job. You created an app that was successful beyond your dreams. You worked damn hard and you had fun.”

Sheila had fun too, by the way, during the Ranchero Software years. And she deserves a round of applause for working so hard and well. She loved it.

Of all the many, many things I’ve learned in the past nine years, it’s that the best part isn’t money or winning awards or the small fame that comes with a successful app, it’s when people write to say they love the software.

If that was you, then thank you. That meant so much to me. You kept me wanting to make it ever better.

Every single one of those notes was and is a treasure.

Another thing I loved was my beta group. Many of them have been on the list for the entire nine years. Best beta group ever. (They were very nearly co-developers who just didn’t happen to write code.)

I start new things. More about those later.

If you want more details about NetNewsWire, check out the interview on Daring Fireball. I share the interview with Daniel Pasco (if you can call my verbosity “sharing”) — and Daniel’s the guy you want to listen to about NetNewsWire, not me, because he’s the guy with the team that’s going to make it rock harder than ever.

Way harder. And I am so psyched. NetNewsWire’s best years are still to come.