Preparing for the buzz


From what I’ve seen and heard, Palm did an amazing job creating what might be the ultimate smart phone. Their new model, called the Pre, provides a user interface and web browser on par with the iPhone without the downsides. For me, this means having a user-replaceable battery and cut-and-paste. And they obviously planned out the product launch at CES quite effectively, since lots of blogs and magazines were talking about the product right after the unveiling.

So far, Palm nailed the product launch. But there’s one problem: when I tried to visit the site to learn more, it crashed my browser. So I restarted Firefox and tried again. Same result. One more time, I thought. And for a third time, the site took down Firefox. Given that every other site I use was working fine, I’m guessing the problem was on Palm’s side of things.

Amidst all the excitement, perhaps Palm neglected to test their updated site in other browsers besides Internet Explorer. After all, there’s a countless number of things to do right before a new product launch. But the more important the announcement and the more buzz it generates, the bigger the cost in terms of lost attention and earnings if your basic touch points aren’t working.

So when you write up your product launch plans, remember to test your website, phone system, and email to make sure things are mostly bug-free and your systems are ready to handle the load. Otherwise, your best-case scenario (where everyone wants to learn more) could turn into your worst nightmare (when bugs or capacity constraints prevent them from reaching you).