But would Twitterified have received these positive reviews, had it not moved to open beta? I think not. The service was in closed beta for a couple months, which allowed me to kill a few gremlins I found in the system, but even so it did not attract enough adventurous users for its own good. So, I followed the “old” web 2.0 advice: release the product ( early ), even if you feel that it is not ready. Of course, I need to keep an eye on all feedback and fix problem s as soon as they are reported. I do not think that an open beta can work any other way. Fortunately, due to the tool’s nature, feedback can be found in a very obvious place :)
I consider myself lucky because I already have some experience with scaling applications – thanks to clicdev.com and past experience as a web host – and as a very clueless user interface “victim” I do spend a lot of time thinking about all the ways that an application could confuse me. But even so, that’s no reason to dwell in closed beta country. When I look around, it seems that no matter how talented and how successful web entrepreneurs have been, products launched as closed beta have always had a hard time making it as a mainstream product.
Not that I am thinking of Twitterified’s minuscule critical success as
anything mainstream, or that I would dare compare its audience to Pownce!
But, interestingly, when I look at Pownce and who its backers are, it doesn’t
seem to have achieved the success it seemed poised to. Of course, I am not
singling out Pownce. It just happens to be one of the projects I found really
In conclusion, I do not think that I will every launch anything in closed beta again. It’s just not worth it!