Last month there was a mad rush to finish Horse Crazy before the deadline hit, I was updating people right and left, and then…
(Cue the sound of crickets.)
Nothing. Deathly silence.
What happened, was the deadline hit? Was the product launched? Why was nothing more said?!?
The True Story Behind The Last Minutes Of The Rush
Early Friday morning, about 3AM, I’d just completed a build that I thought would pass the App Store reviewers. I sent it off to the beta testers but decided to go ahead and upload it. I had until midnight Friday, although I wasn’t sure whether that was local time, Apple time, or what, so I decided to just go ahead with the upload.
Here’s the scene: I’m sitting at my desk with the Bee-Gees playing softly in the background, the Horse Crazy build is ready to upload, iTunesConnect is open so I can make the last tweaks to the description, etc., and I hear…
“You’ve got mail!”*
Looking in my in-box I see I’ve received a letter from Apple and I think it must be Steve Jobs telling me they’re really looking forward to my submission. Instead, it’s an email telling me that Horse Crazy has been deleted from my account because I missed the deadline and I’ll never be able to use that name again, not even if I live to be 400 and nobody else even wants it.
I did a search in my email box to pull up the previous “You’re running out of time” mails from Apple so I could wave them in the air and defiantly shout, “You jumped the gun!”
I screwed up.
After my 30 days of rushing to get an artist on board and code the app I discovered I’d put the wrong date on my whiteboard. The deadline was that Thursday, not Friday. *gulp*
Why I Didn’t Say Anything At The Time
You can imagine my embarrassment at creating such a stir about doing the game in 30 days and then not hitting the deadline because of a stupid error like getting the date wrong.
But that’s not why I didn’t say anything.
I sent an email off to Dwayne (the artist for HC) asking him to grab the name and we’d just publish the app under his account. I waited and waited for a reply and when HOURS passed with no word from him I figured he was completely disgusted with me cracking the whip over him and then messing up so badly.
It was a seriously stressful day.
Turns out Dwayne was out of town and didn’t even see the email until the next day. (I don’t think he hates me, although I haven’t asked him straight out.)
Until we had some kind of plan in place I didn’t want to “spill the beans” and let someone else go grab the name (it is an awesome name, after all) so I just clammed up about what happened.
Since I hadn’t heard from Dwayne I decided I needed to do something — so I went into iTunesConnect to see what other name I could find that would work, just in case he couldn’t get HC.
And I discovered something that I think is incredibly stupid — Apple doesn’t consider punctuation when it comes to app names.
Which means Horse Crazy will be published under the name Horse Crazy! in the near future.
(Yeah, I think it’s incredibly stupid but I jumped through that loophole as fast as I could.)
So someone else is probably going to publish an app called Horse Crazy, someone else will do Horse-Crazy, someone else will do Horse, Crazy!, etc. (I had thoughts of grabbing as many as I could, creating “mini-apps” whose guerrilla function would be to point to the “main” app, but I don’t even have time to do the stuff I *need* to do, so bagged that idea.)
So that’s the whole sordid tale. And the moral of the story is one (or all) of the following:
- Double check the due dates of your deadlines.
- Don’t leave things (like writing an entire app) to the last minute.
- Making lots of noise about something ahead of time could backfire.
Actually, I don’t mind the fact that I screwed up in such a public way — probably has something to do with my training as a circus clown (1980 Graduate, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Clown College).
Or just that I do it often enough that I’ve gotten used to it.
The good news is now the counter has been reset and we can take our time and finish Horse Crazy! the way it should be done, instead of falling back to Plan B, and then Plan C, etc., in order to hit the deadline.
And no, this time I do not intend to wait until the last 30 days to get it submitted to the App Store. One dramatic finish is enough for me.
* Okay, my email doesn’t actually say “You’ve got mail!” but saying that I heard “Ding” doesn’t have the same effect.