I apologize if you are already familiar with this but one of the reasons Pivotal Tracker does not end at the finish state but at the deliver state is because SCRUM requires a constant client feedback to remodelling scheme.
I don't quite understand the intricacies of SCRUM but that's how it states it's essence can bypass waterfall. This idea of combining NANY w/ beta testing w/ milestoning.
I don't know how entrenched this are to SCRUM but Pivotal Tracker also adds velocity (a point based game that keeps you from starting other tasks if it does not fit the velocity of the previous operation's work) and it recommends all "stories" (their version of entries) starts with the sentence "A user should be able to".
Then as the task is delivered, the client must accept or reject the result.
I don't see how it can be superior or inferior to a site like Stack Overflow but as far as ideas on what to say, it provides a clearer boiler plate.
Neville's posts in blogs on the other hand are the opposite. They are reactive.
It's a subtle distinction but take this conversation:
June 30, 2012 at 12:28 pm
I came close to buying your product this past week, but was discouraged by the prospect of committing to (yet another) orphaned product.
I don’t understand why you would abandon a good project in order to compete head-to-head with EverNote. EN has the cloud pretty much covered in this category. Some of us, however, are paranoid about the security of the cloud-based solutions. Google, many governments, and even RSA have been hacked. Desktop (maybe cross-linked to apps on tablets) seems better except for generic, non-personal information gathering.
Just some thoughts.
@Mark, The plan is enable Surfulater content to be migrated to the new app, to the extent possible. So the app may well be orphaned, however what’s important is your information and that will carry forward. Security of our information is often times important and there are various ways to protect content from prying eyes, encryption being the obvious path. Your own Private Cloud may well be another possibility.
Surfulater and the like have a limited future unless you can access your information from any PC & OS at any time. Furthermore collaboration and sharing are all important. To meet these needs we must move away from the current model of Desktop apps.
Neville can only speak from an assuring statement because the client or in this case the potential customer is not part of the feedback loop. If the client then in the future determines the current client is not up to par with the orphaned client, Neville would have to adjust in reverse. Sticking to his own plan while trying to adapt the fanbase' needs. Even if he does pay close attention to this particular person's needs, it won't scale.
If the fanbase can send to Neville the specific idea that they want to keep (even if they can't explain it), then Neville can just focus on replying via providing screenshots which in turn kills two bird in one stone. New screenshots generate excitement but specifically replying to the concerns of the customer generate loyalty and encourage more direct feedback that speeds up and focuses the feature request by the clients while honing the prototype of Surfulator Next before it gets past the stage.
Of course this is just all in theory and not even theory that I fully understand. It's not like Neville is new to making a great Surfulator software, it's just the difference between the two things. One flow provides excitement and the other requires the dev to say back, "Yes there are features like collaboration but we won't be ignoring the other feature." In this case, the other flow also provides a boiler plate for someone who does not know what to say to say something they want to the devs while also alerting the responders to what is helpful vs. unhelpful responses in getting their needs met.Example:
If you hate that the old Surfulator is being orphaned and you still want the software, it would be silly to tell Neville, "A user should be able to use an orphaned feature." This gives pause before the responders even send out this complaint and it also keeps Neville from responding in an assurance rather than feature delivery sentence.
It's also multi-applicable despite the simplicity of the boiler plate.
A user who does not understand why Neville wants to compete with Evernote will also understand how silly this sentence is, "A user should not be able to compete with Evernote" and this realization can help them tailor their needs to the software itself before they even post.
Even multi-feature focus complaints can't dodge this. A user who says they are not upset but have little interest in collaboration can also see the silliness behind "A user should not be able to collaborate".
This makes it easier for a dev to design around an interface that can host both ME features and collaboration features. Something that isn't really foreign in other services but by not following this formula of talking, Neville and the responder has to deal with the obvious sentence: "Sharing and collaboration are but one set of requirements for future applications and the easiest and best way to accomplish this is via. a database which can be accessed from any PC anywhere.'
While other better cloud services don't even worry about it. Collaboration is not one set of requirements, it's a no requirement. Most praised collaboration cloud services that have worse collaborative features get away with being praised as great collaborative services precisely because they just treat collaboration as a bookmarklet or a right click menu instead of a whole set of features but at the same time they don't also under-deliver on the collaborative features because the theme of the services are based on features and not collaboration. You don't have to lump collaboration with a meta-entity. A feature that can send via e-mail is still collaborative but it's an e-mail feature not a collaborative feature. A print feature can allow real world collaboration but it's a print feature not a collaborative feature. (Remote printing for example is both a collaborative and convenience feature but it's primarily a printing feature.)