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When is a closed Beta Launch a good idea? When is it not?

As the title suggests, I am curious about what all of you think about closed beta launches. Have you ever done it? What have your learnings been? How do you feel about beta launches as a user?

In my opinion, closed beta launches are good for consumer products when you have identified a real pain point and want to make sure your product is robust.

What is your opinion?

  1. 2

    I prefer closed beta launches for any product that is going to live on a third party marketplace, like the iOS App Store for example. This is because bad reviews can really be a killer on those marketplaces so I want to limit the risk by keeping it to a few users that will work with me to identify bugs as opposed to leaving a bad review and leaving.

  2. 2

    There are a number of situations where you might want to onboard certain users or groups of users in advance of letting the whole world in. I can think of a few of them actually for things like certain kinds of markets, communities, etc. Probably not a SaaS but I wouldn't rule it out. I can't help but note the timing of this post because kern.al just crossed the 5,000 user mark and I joined it just a few weeks ago and they kind of vetted who they let in, not sure if they still are. I was actually hoping they didn't go for massive membership. Sometimes there is a benefit in limiting access to things as well like certain niche dating apps.

    1. 1

      I can see what you’re saying. Especially in communities, it makes sense to build a core member base first

  3. 2

    Make sure you have some way to drum up enough initial users that you actually get enough people to join to get useful feedback.

    Given how hard it can be to get initial users anyway I'm not sure how different it is from a full launch?

    1. 1

      That makes sense. Getting the first few users is critical either way

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