Friday, September 25, 2009

Time to Pony up...

Over at the CD Baby Relaunch Debate, Pony (from CDBaby) chimed in and asked "...while I'm here in New Jersey, is there anything you guys want me to ask for?"

Let's see...

While the firing of the entire IT department from bottom to top is certainly called for, we're not investors so it really wouldn't mean much to us. We don't want heads to roll and most of us understand the roll-back is a non-starter.

I've been in computers since before Bill Gates' famous quote on just how much RAM we'd ever need; and, admittedly, this is going to sound ridiculously pretentious and arrogant but CDBaby/Discmakers have proven they need remedial help in this domain so here goes...

You need to do the following WITHOUT fail:

a) Stop developing in Prod and establish what's there right now as CDBaby 2.0.

b) Divide your development team up as follows:

- 80% on CDBaby 2.1 which will be dedicated to critical fixes only (i.e. what's broke)
- 10% on CDBaby 2.2 which will be made up largely of Must-Haves (i.e. what was, but should not have been dropped from CDBaby 1.0)
- and the last 10% on tweaks, troubleshooting and prod support.

c) pick a firm date by which CDBaby 2.1 will be delivered and publish it far and wide *including* on your forward facing page to let paying customers know of the change that's coming and whatever scheduled downtime is associated with it.

d) pick a target date for CDBaby 2.2 and be clear to all when you state this date that it is only a target (it has to be in order to allow time to pick up whatever drops out of 2.1 in order to meet the firm date stated in "c" above).

e) establish and develop a back-out plan in the event 2.1 fails miserably, the worst that will happen is a quick reversion back to 2.0.

f) establish parameters to help the decision-makers know when to "pull the plug" if needed.

g) lather, rinse, repeat.

After you've gone through a few cycles of this, you'll get the hang of it and your community of artists will begin to breathe a little easier. It's the uncertainty that's been killing us.

Then, finally, you can repent by doing a huge world-wide multimedia "we're sorry" ad campaign (Superbowl commercial anyone?) and by taking a one-time hit in the pocketbook and crediting all artists *that stuck through it all* with one (1) free album set-up to be used at their discretion, is fully transferable, with no expiration date.

...or... save us all a huge amount of time and just let the baby die.

1 comment:

IndieDIY said...

You know... they didn't follow my advice to the letter, but they sure came very, very close and have undeniably kept my clientele.

My hat's off (again) to CD & HostBaby.