I've got some good news. My team and I have been grinding away for about a year and a half to release a redesigned version of our audio enhancing software FxSound, and it's now live!
A lot has changed in the process of building this product. I bought out the other partners. I hired some new team members, and let go of some old ones. We've adopted a new payment system, new website and branding, new licensing tech, new and improved audio processing, and a new business model.
For years we've sold our software as a one-time purchase that provided our customers access for life. And every few years, we'd develop a bunch of new features to be launched all at once as a new product. Customers could pay to upgrade to the new version if they'd like, but were not obligated to. They'd retain access of their older version, but frankly, we'd stop supporting it for the most part.
This left us with a bunch of legacy versions that we're getting more outdated and buggy by the day. Feature requests would go ignored, as we didn't feel motivated to make improvements to legacy versions that we were no longer making money from. It's kinda shitty, but it's the truth.
With the new FxSound, we've moved to a subscription model. And with this change, we basically have to improve upon our product. Otherwise our customers will unsubscribe. So while we've already gotten some negative feedback on the change, I really think it will end up being a win-win.
But damn if bad feedback doesn't hurt. I wouldn't say we released an unfinished product, but there are some more advanced features that are still in development that some of customers have come to expect. And they have not been shy to let me know about it.
Getting this software out has really been objective number one in my mind for over a year. I had been implicitly expecting some sort of triumph of relief when I reached the mountaintop that is getting this piece of audio enhancing software out into the world.
That lasted for about a minute.
Then it was back to work. Back to putting out fires and getting battered by customer support emails. Back to getting after the next thing. There's always a next thing, isn't there?
My mind seems to think that the satisfaction that will come from achieving some goal will make all my daily pains go away. But satisfaction is comically fleeting. My only hope now is that I'll be able to remember this fact going forward.
You know those people who grind their way up a grueling climb, pant and stumble their way for miles up a steep incline, and when they finally make it to the top of the mountain to see a gorgeous 360 degree landscape of trees and blue skies, drop all their shit and stay there for good?
The view from the top is nice for a moment, but the ego's thirst is never quite quenched.
So why not just be happy now? Obviously this is easier said than done, but I think it's a question worth asking. What's really preventing me from being happy now? Is it really just that I need to reach some far away goal for my business? Or find a girlfriend, or move to a new city?
That's not to say that some of these things might be worth striving for, but nothing like this is going to be the magic fix for everlasting happiness. If I really believe that some future outcome is the solution to my problems, then in some sense, I'm implicitly putting a cap on what's possible for me now.
Finding happiness is hard fucking work. Meditating isn't fun. I don't like hashing out my insecurities and traumas with a therapist and my writing. I do it because I know that in the long-term these practices will help me find peace in spite of my present circumstances.
And sometimes I think attaching my happiness to some far away goal or outcome (that's often outside my control) is taking the easy way out. It's taking the onus off of myself to do the work that will help me find happiness now.
There is no finish line. Not until death. So why not learn to enjoy the climb? Both business and life is a continual learning process, and I look forward to smiling my way through the stumbles to the top.