Release Early and Often

It’s August and there must be extra “release mix” in the water in Boulder (in addition to the city supplied Accelerate and Endurox.)  I come from a land (MIT) where “demo or die” is the motto.  Since I started doing Internet-related stuff in 1994 I’ve often chanted “release early and often.”  There is nothing like exposing your software to the world to get quick feedback.

Intense Debate – another one of the TechStars teams – has started to release their comment replacement system out into big bad world of blogs.  David Cohen – the ringleader of TechStars – has integrated Intense Debate into his ColoradoStartups blog and describes how it works in his post Intense Debate – Exposing comment “Dark Matter.”

In my The Dark Matter of the Blogosphere post I discussed the lameness of the blog comment infrastructure.  Intense Debate is addressing “the future” of this with a complete blog replacement system that plays nice with existing blog comments (one of my other investments – BigSwerve – is addressing “the past.”)  Right now Intense Debate supports, Blogger, and Typepad; Movable Type is coming soon (and – once it’s ready – you’ll get to play around with it on this blog.)  They are in a controlled beta to insure that they are 100% stable with each blog platform – if you are interested in getting on the list to experiment with their stuff, sign up for the closed beta.

Last week I had an afternoon meeting with the founders of several companies, including Intense Debate, BigSwerve, Lijit, and NewsGator – each who are working on different parts of the Dark Matter problem.  I’ve also been talking to a handful of other folks that are going after various parts of this problem.  I’m starting to get my mind around interesting ways to address the extremely large number of comments out there in the wild.

  • Thank your for the link, Brad. We are really excited to be in this space and fill such a void.

  • Amish

    Get Lijit, Intense debate etc. to all team up to build a comprehensive super blogger – single, they may not survive, combined – they can really push the envelope a lot further.

  • David

    I call this the “ready, fire, aim” strategy and works well in launching practically anything new.

  • funny coincidence

    a YC startup called Disqus asked me if they could use my bog to demo their new comment system at tomorrow’s YC day in Boston which I’ll be attending.

    I said yes and put it on my blog last night.

    had no idea that there was an almost identical company coming out of Techstars.

    Just shows once again that different people come to the same ideas in different places at the same time.


  • @Fred – After you’ve tried Disqus for a week or two it’d be fun to have you try Intense Debate and compare them. That’d also be a good test of whether they “lock in” your comment data (bad).

  • @Brad – I thought they both are currently working on import/export solutions, but those aren’t ready yet… which would mean “losing” comments if you unplug either solution. But since you were the first one implementing ID, perhaps you have some experience with it…

  • Nice post. Do you like britney ? You can find Britney's new Songs and MTVs at

    Britney Times

  • It's a difficult thing to listen to feedback from your initial users, the first 25,000, and do the opposite of what they recommend. You alienate your "support base" etc etc. Tough situation.