Reflecting on 2017


As we prepare to wrap up 2017, I wanted to take a second to say a few things to the community.

Over the last year, we had one of the most stressful, but rewarding, development cycles we’ve ever had. There’s no doubt that when the 717 released at the end of 2016, we still had a lot of work to do; a lot more than we realized. The amount of support and patience the community has given us is humbling. In my opinion, we’ve learned more from the initial missteps, than we would have from a perfect launch. We got an opportunity to learn first hand, what not to do, as much as we learned what to do.

The Community Opt-in Beta has given us insights into how our product is used. As well, it has shown us the problems users encounter that we never see, and has helped us identify such a wide range of inefficiencies or problems in the system that will help us pave the way for future products. In the years we’ve been in this market, the Community Opt-in Beta was, by far, the most effective testing method we’ve had. Although our intent wasn’t to launch into a beta, that style of testing method is likely to be part of future products – before the official “final” launch, of course.

Launching TrueGlass and RealLight, technologies that the community, as a whole, was excited to hear about, was a fantastic experience. We had looked forward to making them possible for years, and to finally have done so, is motivating and exciting.

With that said, I know I speak for all of us in saying that the future looks brighter and more exciting now than it ever has. We’re looking forward to the official major update to the 717 early on in 2018. We also have two other projects we’re getting ready to put into full-time development (which we have held off on to make sure the 717 was where it needed to be). One of these will come as a surprise, and one of them will come as exciting news to those waiting for it. We have a bigger, more refined team now and a much more optimized workflow – this will no doubt be reflected in future products.

If you’ve met any of us, at events throughout the year or online, you’ll know that the one thing we all did our best to do was to be honest, transparent, and responsive, both internally and externally. As we continue to grow, there are no plans for that to change.

From all of us at TFDi Design, thank you for the lessons and the opportunities this year, and we’re looking forward to exceeding expectations in the coming year. Have a safe, fun, and Happy New Year.

Posted in Community.

Collin Biedenkapp

I am the lead programmer at TFDi Design.