Stop using the “beta” label
As you’ve probably noticed if you read the previous post, Goplan launched a while ago. If you look closely however, you may notice we didn’t call the launch a beta like it seems most people would assume (this is web 2.0, right?). Here’s the reasoning behind that decision:
Beta software has been labeled that way in the past few months because it’s a trend. You launch something you feel isn’t quite “ready” so you tag it as something that gives the user the idea that it may fail. This is mistake number 1: if you launch software and are passionate about it, avoid having it boil down in the hands of the user. You should focus on making it work, not excuse yourself using by using the “b” word if it doesn’t.
Launching web applications is a risk – a risk you have to take, as the developer. Calling the product a beta doesn’t alleviate that. Fact is, if it involves people’s assets or (even) a small part of their lives, the risk is on you. Launch it if it solves a problem, not if it creates several. Any other decision would be mistake number 2.
If its a test, call it a test, and a beta isn’t a test. Lets face it, we’re never sure something will work right. We’re never sure the way we thought about something is the way most people would – and that makes testing a necessity. But make it clear that you are still unsure about certain things, that people can trust you’ll listen, and that you’ll avoid whatever mistake number 3 might be.
Just don’t label your web applications beta.