Side effects of developing for yourself

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Marco has more self-awareness and discipline than most of us:

Instapaper is a one-person operation, and all of its development needs to fit into my free time. I originally made it for myself, because I had a need for it, and I didn’t even tell anyone else about it for months. It ended up being useful to other people, but that was a fortunate side effect. … This development and feedback pattern has a number of interesting side effects and corollaries.

I use every new feature myself in a long test cycles — often weeks or months — before deciding whether to release it. I rarely use other beta testers, only bringing a handful of people into testing before major releases or major changes to the storage engine, and they never see features that I haven’t already been using for a while.

So how does this differ from what Allan Odgaard is doing with TextMate 2?

The key word here, one Marco uses over and over again, is use. He isn't chasing a perfect abstraction or trying to outthink 30 years of engineering work. Instead, he makes stuff he wants to use and enjoy today, then (when he's ready) he shares that stuff with his users.

This is the right way to code for oneself. Marco's approach is practical, not ego-driven, and results in good, usable software. I dig it.