Shaky Ground or Shiny New Whistles?

I had a meeting with one of my client’s employees and he seemed to only focus on delivering new features and working out stability as time goes by.

It brought up an interesting point while attempting to deliver your product to your customer. Where do you draw the lines? When you release new features do you release them so your customers have the newest, coolest feature or do you wait until they are fully stable. Obviously, I think most people would go for reliable, cool features but at what cost? How long will that take to release some new feature fully stable? So, then a company must decide what the consumer tolerance is. How long will a consumer deal with a poorly released feature?

Take a page from Apple’s playbook recently, they released the iPhone 3Gwith software and features that weren’t ready for primetime. They hedged those concerns by limiting supply and allowed consumers to waddle in a pool of core features that did not work well. Dropped phone calls and browsing your Contacts worked when it seemed like it felt like it. It was a good thing that you never call people or need to find their information on your PHONE. But what was Apple to do? They had to please consumers and shareholders by releasing new features over stability. However, how long would it take if Apple waited for a complete stable iPhone? A few months after they release of the iPhone 3G and stability was just now promised today!

However, that being said I don’t believe many consumers or shareholders want a company to wait, they want to move product.

How would you suggest companies balance this out?

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