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Oct 19

Beta: The Web 2.0 Neverending Clearance Sale

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There was a shop in Ilford, Essex that always had a sign up announcing its closing clearance sale:


One day I realised that the same signs had been up for 5 years :)

The tag “beta” is starting to feel similar to this. Beta has been given many values:

  • Not quite ready yet but give it a go
  • Functionally complete
  • We want to get this out there quickly before it is finished
  • If it crashes and burns you may think it is due to not being a final product and will not blame us as much
  • It’s cool. If you are using something beta you are bleeding edge and a hipster. A beta product for an alpha geek

Maybe we should have a time limit on clearance sales and beta tags on web products.

If your product is in beta for a few years, it isn’t beta anymore. Surely you have worked on it during that time?

Maybe if you have thousands of users that rely on you, you should get rid of the beta too :)


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