The Monday after a big merge
This is a blessed Monday — the first one since early July that I am not sitting on a bloated diff that I’m antsy to merge.
I merged in the editor changes Thursday, and I am thrilled with how they turned out. (Thank you everyone who submitted feedback + bug reports over the past few weeks!)
What’s next? is a question I’ve been asking myself over the past few days, and the answer is, I think, boring — the rest of the year is going to be focused on stability, marketing investments, paying down some technical debt, and operational excellence:
- I mentioned a few weeks ago that I spent a few days babysitting. One of the big takeaways I had from that experience was that Buttondown has a lot to go before it’s as turnkey as I’d like it to be: I imagine a world not too far off from this one where Buttondown requires around five hours a week of engineering labor and five hours a week of operations/services labor, both of which I can hand-off to contractors I trust. While Buttondown’s roughly there from a time standpoint, it’s definitely not from a documentation standpoint. There are a lot of warts and weird corners that make sense to me and my brain but would be incomprehensible to a theoretical outsider. I’d like to pay down some of that knowledge debt: clean up parts of the codebase, automate things that take me three minutes but would take an outsider an hour, write more things down.
- I mentioned last week that I’m deep in some refactors on enabling teams & SAML support. Those are going well, and also perfect ‘cozy work’; it’s fairly rote and I get to do some cleaning as I go, and there’s very little meta-work I need to do around it.
- Marketing pages. So many marketing pages. (At least the changelog was fun.)
All of that being said: I am really, really happy about the new editor changes less from an aesthetic & experiential perspective (though that too!) and more from a technical debt perspective. Features that seemed onerous and clunky to implement are now much, much simpler — I pushed support for specifying custom slugs and canonical URLs for a given email in around an hour because I’m back to a relatively simple state machine for what constitutes an ‘email’, for instance. There’s for sure a laundry list of smaller paper cuts for which I couldn’t quite justify the distraction a month ago but now they feel approachable and lovely and fun to implement. This feels very good.
A lot of this writeup has been about product and less about business, which is to say: there hasn’t been anything too interesting to write home about on the business front, in a good way. Growth is stable and good; the new marketing site is performing well; I still harbor daydreams about moving off of Heroku (and that might be one of the big early projects of 2023) but at the moment that feels like more of an engineering goal than a financial one. I feel well-situated to end 2022 in a good place, and to begin 2023 — the first full year of “Buttondown as a real, actual business!” with a clean slate and some fun goals.
(Oh, and happy Halloween!)