Fixing Bugs For My First Customer

Yesterday before I released v1.0 of OhBoard, I already conducted a huge amount of testing. But unfortunately, my testing was not perfect. A bug was caught by my first customer Phil Fishbein (Thanks, Phil!), I fixed it immediately, released an update, and Phil was a happier OhBoard user than before. I just want to share a few lessons I learned throughout the process.

When Phil sent me the tweet, I did not freak out. I knew freaking out would make the situation worse. I apologized to Phil and tried to chase down the bug. After 15 minutes, I was be able to find and reproduce the actual problem – the app becomes disabled when the window reopens/refreshes after deleting all documents.

Oops, gotta fix it. I replied instantly to Phil, told him it would be fixed in 30 minutes. Notice I didn’t jump right into Coda and fix the bug, because I wanted to make sure Phil knew exactly what was happening and wouldn’t cancel the purchase. (I am sure he appreciated it as well.)

After half hours, solution hadn’t been found, which meant I blew my promise of fixing it in half hours. I decided to let Phil know I’m on top of it and the update will be available as soon as possible.

Another 30 minutes was passed, I finally found out where the issue was located, changed the code. Yet I didn’t decide to package the app and upload the new version immediately. I felt like more crazy testing was necessary, because Phil would become extremely unsatisfying if this update contains another annoying bug. Luckily after 40 minutes of testing (in ways that you probably never used OhBoard for), no problems found. I shipped the update and told Phil the exact instructions on how to update.

2 lessons taught here:

1. It’s really important to keep your customers in loop. Simply send them a tweet/email every hour or so explaining how the process goes. The more details you give (just tell them what the bug is!), the better they will feel. I am sure they will value your honesty more than your mistake.

2. Try to test the app as stupid as you can after the bug is fixed. Because the changes you’ve made might caused other related issues that are not existed before. You already gave your customers a bad build, they apparently won’t forgive you for one more time.

Hopefully my lessons can turn your angry customers into passionate ones too!

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  • Chris V.

    Well done, not many give service like this. It is rare but they are the ones that succeeds in the long run.

  • Anonymous

    I am just getting started, so I want to be completely transparent and succeed this way (rather than the million-dollar advertising campaign). And I will keep doing this even when OhBoard grows a lot bigger.