Shipping a Beta

So you have done a demo of your application and your users want to use it for themselves.  How ready is your project to move from barely working prototype to an actual product?  Demos are deceiving.  Remember you only take a picture from the pretty side.

To be able to ship the prototype to beta is a huge step and sometimes can take too long.  Every day that goes by that the product isn’t in a user’s hands is another day without oxygen.  You are swimming further and further from the line.  Toe the line and ship that beta no matter what.

Some Questions to Help You Get Started

  • How does the user install or get your software?
  • Do you have a quick start 1 page tutorial or guide on basic usage?
  • Does it work in your user’s environments?
  • Does it really solve the users issue?
  • How often do they use it?
  • How fast can you ship another beta to fill all the holes they are sure to run into eventually?