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From Paper to… Vapor II

FC Now reader Carl Fransman makes a good point in his comment early this morning: “While some things are simply bad ideas, many new technologies are probably ideas before their time. Today’s problem is the need for quick results – largely driven by the investment community. New technologies and industries rarely succeed in the short periods required by today’s business.”

All very true, but I think the very term “vaporware,” though, means products and services that have been promised and promoted — but that which aren’t released or actually available. The Net clearly isn’t vaporware; it exists.

For example, the Wired piece indicates that RadioShark was originally scheduled for late summer. Then its release date slid to September, October, November. People who ordered theirs six months ago still haven’t received it.

I guess my question is really this: Should organizations promote and promise products and services — going so far as to sell them actively — before they’re finished and actually available? Is this a valid form of sales and marketing? Is it overpromising and undelivering? Or is it just a matter of project deadlines slipping?

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