Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How to launch software

Interesting read. The GMail launch was one of my favorites too. IMHO It's always a good idea to introduce users gradually to innovation while having short release cycles. Once you think the product is ready (and this may take a while) you can start the hype. Maybe that's why GMail is still in Beta and still has 'invites' although anyone can sign up at this point.

100-word Version: How to launch software
What you should have done all along: the Gmail Launch. Have users from day one. Give it to your friends and family. Keep improving it based on their feedback. Let them invite their friends. Automate the process, giving everyone some invite codes to share. Codes protect against a premature slashdotting. Iterate. Take off the code requirement. People will come across it and become real users. Then build buzz. Have some kind of news hook. With Reddit, we switched from Lisp to Python. Start marketing.