February 12th, 2013

20 Months

On the most recent episode of the wonderful B&B Podcast, Ben and Shawn discussed Cultured Code and the company’s inability to ship their GTD client, Things with cloud syncing support. They went on for a few minutes about whether or not it’s fair to criticize Cultured Code for taking so long.

It is.

On December 21, 2010, the first article about cloud syncing was published to Cultured Code’s blog. 

An excerpt from that post:

The final release of cloud sync as part of Things is still off by a few months. But we plan to publish more details about what we are doing (and have been doing) every few weeks.

Here’s where we’re at twenty months later:

1. Cloud syncing still hasn’t been released.

2. Updates have been sporadic, at best.

As soon as they published that blog post, Cultured Code had a responsibility to follow through and provide cloud syncing in a “few months”, or at least provide a reasonable excuse as to why it was being delayed -and complaining that “syncing is hard” doesn’t count.

If we’re speaking in the most technical terms, Cultured Code doesn’t really owe their customers anything more than the app as it was the day they bought it -if Things ceased development the next day, that would be legal. But since they haven’t been acquired, they still need to make money, and Things is their only product. Lying to all of your customers isn’t a good way to make money. 

An apology isn’t going to fix this, Cultured Code needs to regain customer trust, and the only way to do that is by pushing really good updates, really often.