The Harpoon Blog

Harpoon 3 Progress Report

by Andy Johnson in News & Updates

Back in May of this year we posted a teaser announcing our work on a completely new version of Harpoon. Our plans for Harpoon 3 have been shaped by hundreds of conversations with agencies, studios, and freelancers over the last couple of years, as we’ve documented and organized every bit of praise, every complaint, and every feature request. That feedback combined with our own vision for the product have paved the way for a new version of Harpoon that’s better in every way.

Since that original teaser post we’ve been awfully quiet as our team has been heads down and focused on designing and building v3. We’re now ready to start publicly revealing some of the goodies we’ve been cooking!

Internally I’ve been using Harpoon 3 for a while now. It’s incredible. Yes, I’m biased, but I have no doubt you’re going to feel the same way. There are dozens and dozens of new features and improvements across the entire spectrum of managing your team's time and finances, from time-tracking and invoicing, to forecasting and budgeting. Harpoon 3 is a big leap forward when it comes to keeping your agency healthy and profitable.

I can’t share and document every new feature here as that would require multiple blog posts, which you can expect in the weeks following the launch.

Instead I’d like to share my personal top 3 favorite new features just to give you a taste of what to except:

Value, Cost, & Yield: Put your calculators away. You’ll now be able to see the value, cost, and yield (potential profit or loss) of every hour your team records in Harpoon for practically any scenario you can think of. For example, with just a few clicks you can see how many hours your contractor worked on web development tasks during the first two weeks of December across three projects for two different clients, what the value of those hours are, how much those hours have cost your business, and what's the potential yield of those hours if/when you decide to bill your clients for those hours. It’s a new level of flexibility and financial insight you’ve never had before, but you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

New Project Budgeting: We’re providing new ways to budget for your client projects. Whether your project is being billed by the hour, based on a fixed fee, or even non-billable, you can now track a project’s budget based on time and/or money. And Harpoon will even help you predict how much profit and margin you can expect to make on a project based on your budget settings. This allows you to make adjustments to your budget at the start of the project instead of at the end when it's often too late. That's just the tip of the iceberg, but I’ll save the other new budgeting features as a surprise. You’re going to love them!

Automated Forecasting: This is Harpoon’s existing expected revenue tracking features on steroids. Not only does Harpoon 3 automatically track your unpaid invoices and future recurring invoices as expected revenue, but we now take into account all of your unbilled hours along with all of the unbilled portions of your fixed fee projects. This means you can always see at a glance exactly how much revenue your business can expect to collect even before you invoice your clients! And Harpoon will automatically keep track of the different “states” of expected revenue. So as an unbilled hour is added to an invoice, and as that invoice gets paid, Harpoon will automatically update your expected revenue projections without you needing to manually keep track of things on your Schedule. And it works the same for fixed fee projects as well. It’s like magic as it turns your Harpoon Schedule into one of the most powerful financial forecasting and goal-tracking tools your team has ever seen.

I said I’d stick to sharing only my favorite top 3 features, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Harpoon 3’s beautiful new design and responsive layout, it’s new invoicing customization options, new Dashboard widgets, project archiving, auto-send scheduling for invoices and estimates, new reports, the Schedule’s new project visibility filters, the ability to clone timers and view a timer’s history, client account summaries, and the list goes on and on! Every corner of the product has been improved, updated, and/or completely redesigned.

The Elephant in the Room

“That’s all great, but when will it launch?!” In our original teaser post in May we mentioned being on track to launch v3 sometime this year. Well here we are at the end of the year and I'm writing a progress report post instead of a launch post. So obviously we still have some work to do. But we’re getting close.

We're wrapping up the final features, but most of our work at this point is testing to make sure all of the product’s financial calculations remain 100% accurate across every possible scenario. Creating these tests, running them, and making adjustments as needed takes time. And as excited as we are to get Harpoon 3 into your hands this isn’t something we can afford to rush. Harpoon isn’t a todo or note-taking app (not to downplay their importance). You’ve entrusted us with your business’s financial data and we take that responsibility very seriously. So we’ll take whatever time is necessary to ensure your data continues to remain secure and accurate when Harpoon 3 launches.

So at this point we feel very comfortable committing to “we’re getting close,” but we won’t commit to a public launch date until all the testing is finished. We know that means putting the burden of patience on the shoulders of our customers, and for that we thank you greatly for your support.

Until then please forgive us for being a bit quiet on social media or other channels. It just means we’re completely focused on delivering something wonderful into your hands. And hopefully after all is said and done you’ll agree it was worth the wait!

P.S. Some of you have kindly asked to help out with testing the beta of Harpoon 3. Currently we have all the testing help we need and can handle. But feel free to contact support and we’d be happy to put you on a waiting list just in case more slots open up before the big launch. Thanks!

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