inessential by Brent Simmons


Decades ago, when I was working for Dave Winer at UserLand, I learned about the concept of follow-through after a major release.

If you’re an app maker, it might seem like your goal is to get to release day. Get the app done, make it available, publish an announcement, and then get back to coding. Let the world do what it’s going to do.

One bang, and then back to work, in other words.

But that’s not going to maximize your chances for a good release. You need to follow through — you need to keep going.

Some of the things you might do, in no particular order:

  • Publish tips on using your app — one a day or so
  • Update your website with feedback, testimonials, and good reviews
  • Be available and communicative about your app
  • Go on some podcasts
  • Write about how release day went
  • Write about plans for the x.0.1 version
  • Field bug reports and feature requests gratefully
  • Thank reviewers who’ve done a good job
  • Make it as easy as possible for reporters and reviewers to get access to your app and to you
  • Work to build a community of customers, on Slack or similar

I’m sure you can think of more things to do — the above isn’t everything, and every app is different.

But the key is that you don’t just do the release and then stop. Instead, show that you‘re responsive, show that your app has momentum, show that you care enough to keep showing up.

For me, at least, this is the fun part. I realize that’s not true for everybody — but you should do it anyway. 🎩