By John Houghton on January 24, 2014
Winemakers know it, software developers know it, but some people outside these industries sometimes don’t understand. In 1979, Orson Wells delivered an infamous outtake for a Paul Masson wine commercial when he said, “We will sell no wine before its time.”
Understandably, the pressure is great upon the vintner as well as the software publisher. You can’t make any money or meet promised deadlines until you release your product. But the drawback of releasing a poor quality product is that your customers will immediately know what’s going on, and you will tarnish your brand. When you taste sour wine, the experience is unforgettably unpleasant. When you use an app that is buggy and crashes, you become frustrated and delete the app. For both the winemaker and the mobile app developer, their reputations will quickly become diminished upon release of a bad product. Customers are unforgiving and will not forget.
The same is true for showing a customer a product. If it is half-developed and you’re showing the state of things for a work-in-progress, that’s one thing, but you have to understand that first impressions can be long lasting. That is why, when you are going to beta test an app with customers, the app should be in reasonably good shape, and it’s best if it has been fully tested, and all of the quality issues have been resolved. Beta testing is the time to get customer feedback on the app’s form and function, and not to have them relieve the resource burden of your testing.