Unless you’re a big company with lots of marketing dollars, rarely does a product launch start with a bang. It’s a gradual process – first you show a few close friends and family members, then some coworkers from your previous job, then some friends of friends. The word starts to spread as you and your partners furiously hack away, trying to make the product stable enough to stand up to a pummeling from the general public. So there’s no big kickoff; just a quiet emergence. And if your product offers something of real value, awareness in your target market will grow steadily and strongly over time.
So it is with Heroku. James, Orion, and I have spent the last several months developing what we think fills an important niche in the Rails world: a hosted development environment that is dead-simple to get started with. How many people have gotten excited about learning Rails, only to be stymied by the complexity of installing local development tools – before they even get the chance to write a “Hello, World” program? Or how often have you thrown together a small app for personal use, something that would be really useful to a few friends – but it’s too much bother to deploy it onto a public-facing webserver? These are some of the problems that Heroku will be able to solve in the very near future. (We have grander plans for the long term, but we’ll save that discussion for another day.)
This blog will serve as a changelog for our product. As we deploy new features and other changes we’ll post here. Incidentally, this is as much to coordinate between ourselves as it is to communicate with our users.
If you don’t have an account on Heroku yet (as of this writing, only a handful of people do), sign up on our waiting list. We hope to be able to start slowly sending out invitations within the next week or two.