Well, technically I released version 1.0 of BudgetSimple for Windows last Sunday night. But being the bad blogger that I am, I haven't found the time to post about it. I decided to just release early. It didn't have quite all the features I wanted, but it seemed pretty bug free and functional, so I figured I might as well get the search engine juice flowing, and start getting feedback.
I started by just adding a link from BudgetSimple.com, and then sent an email to the top 20 most frequent users of the online version. From there I gathered my list of over 5,000 BudgetSimple users, and emailed some of those that stopped using it a long time ago.
To get feedback/bug testing, I approached it like this. Everyone can download the trial, and if you want a free copy, just write back with any feedback at all. I figured only people who like the software will bother writing back, and plus they would give me hopefully valuable feedback.
I've emailed about 2% of my users to far and I have to admit the results couldn't be better. Quite a few people took me up on my offer, and had great things to say about the new version. A few people reported bugs, and did a really great job about helping me track them down. Compared to Chimney Sweeps, this group of users is much easier to work with. It seems most of BudgetSimple's users are mothers, people with debt, and housewives. Which is a pretty broad spectrum of people, but it's a group you might stereotype as being computer illiterate, but so far every user has been very savvy and helpful. I've ended up releases 4 minor bug fix releases. I plan a minor feature release in two weeks.
I also started an AdWords campaign, just to test the water. As I posted over at BoS, it didn't seem like it was working at all, but now I think Google's display is just broken. I can see that I am getting impressions and clicks from my Account Snapshot, but the campaign pages still show zero impressions. This weekend I hope to get the BudgetSimple blog back up and maybe have a nice post written.
I also put out a PAD file. I found this to be fairly useless in the past, but I have a feeling I just need to play with it more. And yes, I've already won many awards from the download sites ;P.
If you want to try this early version, and get some free budget software, you are welcome to download it yourself, and feedback gets a free license! :)