Thinking about stealth vs anti-stealth companies

Some companies never ever announce new products until they are about to launch or the day of the launch. They keep the products in stealth mode until they are good & ready.

The classic example is Apple. I can’t imagine the gang in Cupertino shipping a product with the word “beta” on it.

Other companies like to show off prototypes/demos/products well before they are “real”

Google, Microsoft and others are in this category.

It’s not better or worse. It’s just different.

The same thing is true with startups. Take 2 different Spark portfolio companies as examples.

Tumblr rarely talks publicly about future things on their product plan. They work like crazy and then release insanely great products. They are working on some super cool stuff but I can’t see David talking about it or blogging about it until its launched.

Boxee on the other hand wears their plans and product ideas on their blog sleeve. Most of the time we know what cool stuff is coming down the path.

Which is better? I don’t think that is a fair question.

I believe that companies need to be true to themselves and do what feels natural.

But most of all, think about the user first. That is the key.

And I’m proud that both of those companies do just that.

(photo via flickr)