May 6 2005

The “Don’t Be An Idiot and Launch a Product on Friday” Policy

Feedburner is releasing a new set of features on Monday.  I got a note from Dick Costolo – CEO – saying they were all set to go but were going to adhere to the “don’t be an idiot and launch a product on Friday” policy.

This was eerily reminiscent of our release policy at my first company (Feld Technologies) in the late 1980’s.  We had a policy that we’d only release on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.  We were a custom software company and had clients around the US – in the age of pre-Internet, Carbon Copy / PC Anywhere, and Fedexing disks around, if you screwed up on a Friday, you were miserable.  In addition, if you weren’t ready to go by Friday for a Monday release, your weekend sucked.  So – we solved the problem by limiting the release window.  I don’t think our clients ever really noticed this in the affirmative sense, but we certainly sucked less because we didn’t ruin their Friday nights, weekends, or Monday mornings.

Release early and often, but never on Friday’s.