There are good reasons for some start-ups to run in stealth mode for months or years of their early existence.
I had briefly used Joost’s client-side Mac video viewing application in its early days, back when Joost had very little content … then forgot about it.
The dilemma is harsh: you want to launch as early as possible to:
- start the buzz machine
- stake your claim to the space
- tantalize current and potential investors
- maybe, possibly, potentially, hopefully start to pull in some small amount of revenue
- and, of course, reassure your mother that you have a real job, actually work, have prospects, and aren’t aimless, drifting, shiftless, and just too stubborn to admit it
But the problem is obvious: launching too soon can blow your buzz as users eat your dogfood and throw up … never to arrive at your dinner table again.
That’s exactly what happened to Chris. In this case, however, Joost is lucky enough (and, frankly, has enough market momentum) to warrant a second look – occasioned by the release of their app on a new platform: the iPhone.
The question is: have they learned their lesson? Apparently not, as Maxcer reports:
The 1,813 reviews on the Apple App Store seem to agree with me: Joost has lots of promise but it fails miserably. The average rating is two stars. Many users, though, noted that they were basically waiting for a non-buggy updated version from Joost.