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.

  • Actually, I think Monday is a bad day for product announcements as well.

    Monday is the day of figuring out what’s going to happen in the upcoming week, attending staff meetings, and — most relevant here — cleaning out the stack of spamola in the email inbox.

    Nope, Tuesday is the day!

  • There seems to be an assumption here that startups keep 9am-5pm M-F business hours. I’m not sure how many startups actually have those kinds of hours.

    We often launch on weekends or evenings when traffic is lower on our website. It’s the best thing for our customers.

    Greg Linden, Founder & CEO,

  • I follow the general thought process but I have to say we do most releases on Friday night around midnight. This is largely due to the 24×7 nature of our ASP business. On a weekday we have to have everything put back together by 6am MST or the wheels come off. Releases on fridays allow us to recover from upgrades ‘gone bad’ on friday night. On weekends we have capacity to handle traffic flow on a subset of our archetecture. The down side to Friday night is you have keep people in-the-game to verify “it’s really working” before they leave for the weekend. Otherwise Monday morning, our busiest day, is a trainwreck.

    Todd Vernon, Founder & CTO, Raindance Communications

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