His comment got me thinking about the whole Web 2.0 beta fixation. It has been discussed before that pretty much every Web 2.0 service seems to be in a semi-permanent state of beta release, as new features are rolled out, tested and refined.
The way I see it there are two ways you can go down the beta route;
- Release some cool functionality, not quite tested sufficiently and hope your users will understand
- Release limited functionality, but with good testing and hope your users will understand
One is high risk, high return. The other is the opposite.
TradeMe’s decision to take the cautious route – to release a pretty well tested but somewhat bland offering does smell a little of corporate hyper-caution. Would TradeMe in the pre Fairfax days have damned the torpedos and released a kick arse product and sort the bugs out while it was live?
TradeMe is in an enviable position, they own NZ’s internet traffic so can do pretty much as they please. However if it was anyone else releasing a travel site in beta form, TravelBug would not have gained any sort of momentum.
Incumbency is such a nice thing to have….