The short story: despite our intention to get Method out into beta in November, we have now moved the beta to start in January.
The long story: talking to the accountants and consultants at the Sleeter Conference last month revealed some interesting insights that caused us to sit back and make sure that when we do go into beta, we go in with the product you are looking for – right from day 1. So we have been making a few tweaks!
Observation 1: Method isn’t just about industry-specific templates. After talking to accountants and consultants, and hearing the pain points of their clients, Method to them can be the full blown management system we intended, but for others it can simply be a small utility that can extend core accounting functionality already present in QuickBooks. I found this interesting since it is a departure from what our experience has been in the industry-specific software world for the last 9 years.
Observation 2: 3rd party logins wasn’t just a "nice-have", it was a fundamental. In fact, it was the first thing everyone asked for at the Sleeter Conference. Here are some examples I heard people tell me:
“My client uses subcontractor sales agents in multiple states. They just need to have them log in and see just the estimates and customers assigned to them.”
“My client is in New Jersey and needs to put Purchase Orders into her QuickBooks and have her supplier log into a website from Wisconsin and view and modify those Purchase Orders.”
“Our client needs to have their customers book appointments on their website that automatically become QuickBooks estimates.”
3rd party logins (where someone logs into Method via a normal website, and only sees a small, restricted portion of Method) was something we had planned to introduce late into beta, not at the beginning. But since this is so important, we have decided to add those features now, ready for the start of beta.
Observation 3: The general feedback from accountants and consultants was that QuickBooks Online was lacking. For starters, the full blown feature set normally found in desktop versions of QuickBooks was not present on QuickBooks Online - which prevented large companies from moving to it. But more often than not, it was the speed of QuickBooks Online that we heard complaints about. It was too slow for data entry, too slow to switch from screen to screen, and no way to keep multiple screens open at once. This, we found very interesting – since in many ways Method is an alternative to QuickBooks Online for those wishing to keep their QuickBooks on their desktop. We had always designed Method to be fast. Really fast. But, after hearing how important speed was, we starting further tweaking Method with one ambition: Method isn’t going to just be fast, it must be the fastest web application our users have ever seen.
Tweaks have set us back time-wise, but the results are worth it. You’ll see that Method is the fastest web app you have ever seen. Add that to your list of why Method blows everything else out there away.
In closing, we can’t wait to get this out there to you, and we really appreciate everyone’s excitement and passion for wanting to get going on the beta – but beta will begin in January, rather than November as we had originally intended.