Yesterday saw the first public release of our online staff leave planner Timetastic, otherwise known as a “beta release”

It’s the first time we’ve opted for the soft launch approach and the benefits so far have exceed our expectations.

What is a beta launch?

We believe the most important thing in bringing a new product to market is getting the product out in the market as soon as possible. A beta launch is effectively launching as soon as you are comfortable to do so. This differs to delaying launch until every piece of functionality in a spec is packed in and fully tested.

To do this we focus on the core functionality only, in the case of Timetastic this is:

  1. A booking form
  2. A calculation system to keep track of your days
  3. A calendar so you can see your booked holiday

The benefit to a beta launch is getting the feedback of real users as early in the product life-cycle as possible.

It’s highly likely that although you believe you’ve solved the major problem, the chances are real users will view the problem ever so slightly different. Finding out what makes users tick as early on in the process will help you save masses of development time and produce a much stronger product.

Has it worked?

We’re only 24 hours in but already we’ve had valuable feedback from good sources. We’ve straightened out a few bugs and are already reworking elements of user experience to make the whole system feel more intuitive.

So yeah, it worked. Why don’t you join us too, the beta is available to anyone, and we’d love to get your feedback.

You can signup here.