Open request for a public roadmap


#1

Dear Stefan-

I’m a long-time Paperpile user. Paperpile is a great product. I love it and have recommended it to many. That won’t change.

However, I’m also frustrated. I come to the forum site periodically to check on questions or bugs, and often leave disappointed. The root cause of my frustration is that the forum response is almost always some version of “We know. We’re working on it. No ETA.” Some requests are marked “planned” or “active”, suggesting that we might see progress soon, but then languish for years. Nearly all of the bugs and features I’ve cared about have not been addressed or delivered. (Examples: Why is it taking so long to get an Android app? What’s the status of duplicate merging?)

I’m not the only one with this frustration. e.g., Paperpile development progress).

As an engineering manager, I know that roadmaps are extremely difficult to build and that committing publicly is daunting. However, roadmaps are an essential part of communicating priorities and setting expectations with your customers.

So, I request that you create a public roadmap so that customers understand what you’re focusing on, what your not focusing on, and when we might expect delivery on issues that are important to us. Airtable or Trello would be great options.

Again, thanks for the great product. I look forward to improvements in both the product and the communication about it.

-Reece


Paperpile development progress
Feature suggestion: Export link for bibtex
#2

Hi Reece,
Thanks for this post. I’ve already addressed most of those issues throughout this forum in different contexts.

The problem with public roadmaps at this stage is that progress is not linear and progress does not always map to public features.

We are in the process to transform Paperpile from a webapp to a multiplatform solution. You can already test Paperpile on iOS, Android and our Word plugin on macOS.

That takes time, in particular because we have rewritten and extended our infrastructure massively. Why? Because it will allow us to address many of the issues raised here in the forum more easily. We already see this work paying off behind the scenes.

These efforts will translate in more feature releases also for the webapp eventually. I hope we can get to a point soon where things have settled so we can reconsider how we share roadmaps of individual features.


#3

Where can I test Paperpile on Android? As far as I know, it’s available only in the private beta. (I applied eons ago – twice, I think – and was not accepted.)

I would not have posted a request for a roadmap if I thought that my expectations for product communication had been met. Given discussions in other threads, I know that I’m not alone in perceiving this communication gap. However, you seem set in your direction and it’s not productive for either of us for me to press the point further.

Either way, Paperpile is helpful, so thanks for that.


#4

@carlos Invites everyone who asks on the forum for the Android beta. (We have not sent out mass invitations to the thousands on our waiting list yet. We time the beta invitations so we optimize the insights we get from the users at different stages of the app.)

We offer a public forum where you can talk directly to the founder who is involved in all product decisions.
Not sure if you get this anywhere else.

We try to comment on all threads and the fact that we flag something “planned” or not (as in the majority of cases) is a public roadmap to some degree.

I would love to improve communication but I honestly think that the underlying problem is that people are just frustrated that it takes a long time to do all these things. I 100% get that and that’s why we focus so much on our product at the moment.

And as I said before once things have settled with the big projects and platform consolidation we will be in a much better position to provide roadmap information on individual topics.


#6

Hi, when you mention android, do you mean mobile chrome web or app? for me, mobile web version is good enough. when can we have it? @stefan


#8

Our mobile efforts are currently focused on making android and iOS apps. We hope to bring much of the functionality from our chrome extension into these. For example, we just added the ability to import papers from your browser by using the OSs’ sharing menus.


#9

I just want to say how impressed I am with the responsiveness and with the usefulness of the product. Features are generally very well thought-through. Like everyone else, I have some things I would like addressed right now, but I am pleased with the pace of progress.