"Launch" is overused

080407 In the old days when a software product reached a state where it could be sold, we referred to it as General Availability (GA).  You might still be using some of these terms in your shop: Beta, Release to Manufacturing (RTM), Release Candidate (RC) and GA.  These are states to help us understand where the product is in the development process. We used the term "launch" to represent something big.  It meant more than a press release and a Powerpoint presentation.  But over time the marketing guys have hijacked "launch" and have overused it.  A new website is "launched".  Translation: a new design of our website has been uploaded to our server.  The get-rich-quick internet marketers have diluted "launch" to something quick and tactical.  Very smart on their part, I have to admit.  We still have a psychological connection to "launch" as being something big.  We launch ad campaigns, cars, drugs, beverages, airlines, ideas, programs, and all sorts of things.  Maybe "launch" should now be added to the gobbledygook of overused terms like scalable, enterprise class, robust, state-of-the-art, extensible, open architecture, cutting edge, and mission critical. We borrowed the term "launch" from NASA.  NASA use "launch" in two ways.  One to refer to launching a mission (the big idea) and another to refer to launching a vehicle (the event).  When the rocket leaves the launch pad, the mission isn’t over, it’s just starting. What are you launching?
David Daniels

David Daniels


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