is NOT in beta

Garry and I have been in a lot of meetings recently talking about Posterous. Most of the time, the people we are talking to have used the product and know what we’re working on. Sometimes they haven’t. And a couple of those people asked us if we are “in beta.”

Fuck no. “Beta” is just an excuse to release buggy software and not have to take responsibility for it. is NOT in beta. We write the highest quality code we can, and if shit breaks, we take responsibility and fix it.

While I do think there are certain reasons to do beta releases of software, I don’t believe in mass distribution of software in “beta” quality. I really hope we never have to do that for Posterous, or anything else I work on.


  1. Damn – I thought this was a proper Web 2.0 app. I was hoping it would be flakey, constantly changing, and offline a lot. Where’s the fun in something that just works like it should, huh ?

  2. @anthony marco: "But you can never be as cool as Gmail unless you’re still beta. "Exactly what I was thinking!@Sachin: posterous definitely works too well for a beta, if this was the beta I’d totally fear the final product 😉

  3. Yes, Posterous works very well! Now, it would be great to have some to features like Google Analytics compatibility and FeedBurner support 😉

  4. Are you saying then that you prefer the Microsoft model? Release a ‘version 1.0’ to the world which your users then get to debug for you.

  5. Absolutely not. garry and I extensively test every feature we work on and we don’t release it until we’re absolutely confident that it’s very high quality and ready to be used by everyone. We do make mistakes, and we do accidental release bugs…but we would never ship something that we know is not high quality.

  6. You’re lucky you don’t have to depend on crappy third-party vendors. Some of our shit on PE is in beta simply because we can’t rely on what our vendors (*cough-wireless-carriers-cough-cough*) tell us "works", so we have to find out ourselves and see how it breaks!

  7. Wait — you *don’t* want to be like Google and leave products in beta for years, robbing the whole beta concept of all meaning?How about making theta versions, so people will think you’re Scientologists? (No offense if you are Scientologists.) Wait, I know: release your next version in omega, and work your way back through the alphabet to alpha over the course of several decades.

  8. My hope is that Sachin’s drive against the whole beta-nonsense will catch on. We never really needed software development milestones to turn into marketing slogans. Now that one is upon us, maybe heavily tested products like Posterous can impress the sales people into making ‘beta’ go away.

  9. Interesting. I completely disgree with this line "Google’s ‘beta’ products like Gmail and Google Docs are about as good as anyone would expect." I actually think the majority of their beta products are quite buggy and poor. Gmail is good, docs is buggy as hell.

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