Wednesday, January 03, 2007

there is no beta

Let's face it.

Try going on a beta-date. Stinky. Dead tired and poorly attired, with only $1.50 in your pocket. Chances are, due to being unprepared and lacking any serious attempt to get your act together, your first date will be your last, with this particular person.

Why release a product that "sort of" works? You think calling it "beta" will coax users to forgive your heinous act of wasting their time and frustrating their goal-directed efforts? You think persons in need of functionality will waste their time and energy with your buggy, dysfunctional product?

Early adaptors, you say? You think usability is low on their scale of values? You think they can more easily recover from the severe shock that after learning an interface, the damn thing won't do much, and does it badly?

There is no "beta".

It either works or it sucks.

Nothing is "under construction" in the online realm. It either exists, or it's vaporware. You don't publish half-horse charlies to the web, you slacker. Spend 6 days with NO SLEEP OR SEX, but with extreme influx of massive Frappacinos and Cowboy Pizzas, Runts and rotator cuff injuries, working on your site to get it right, through pain and sleepless delirium, to get it PERFECT...and then publish the stupid, motley mess.

You're either the real deal, or you take a hike. There are too many near-perfect products available for any serious geek to toy with your crap product, do free usability analysis, fix the code, re-write the content, and spread the word when you don't even provide sidebar buttons.

Consumers are producing, promoting, and distributing their own original work in various media, and the works of others. Very little money is involved. The undernet economy is the invisible network of digital activity empowered by the web, where everyone contributes something, or many things, to everybody's web sites and digital endeavors.

The world is demanding full blown ecommerce. People really want to learn everything via the internet. They want to go to a web page, see a product comparison chart, read some unincentivized user reviews, and make a purchasing decision, a buying act that had no input from traditional advertising, sales pressure, or marketing strategy.

The consumer-producer is large and in charge.

Bloggers contribute free relevant content to other blogs via comments.

Web artists contribute art, free or priced, to online art galleries.

Digital musicians display free or priced mp3s of their music. The smart ones provide mostly free downloads, with much hype about an upcoming, fairly priced, new album and video.

Create online, promote online, sell online, distribute online, share online.

Do everything online. Move everything to the internet. Practice continual improvement in all things. Hate and attack mediocrity. Fire the sandbags and whiners. Hire the bizarre creatives and industrious obsessives. Demand hard-nosed business attitudes and spontaneous, freely expressed innovation and cross-hierarchical criticisms from every employee.

Encourage stepping on toes when those toes point in a bad direction.

Let the mail room guy and the bitchy sales clerk tell the CEO exactly what time it is. Let the service department determine marketing strategy. Study the competition to find loopholes and examples of what not to do.

Fire the lazies and hire the fighters. Shake everything up to full demolition of entrenched habits and perspectives. Force a sudden evolution. Fight an eternal revolution.

It's that simple.

That's how the right survive and the strong thrive.




your pal,

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