The term “beta” is commonly associated with software development, providing a sense of assurance. When a digital product encounters issues, behaves unexpectedly, or offers a subpar user experience in its “beta” phase—indicating ongoing development and experimentation—users tend to be more forgiving. They become collaborative partners, offering valuable feedback and suggestions for enhancement. There’s an additional sense of satisfaction for users when their input influences subsequent versions.

This dynamic contrasts with the perspective of “finished products.” In that scenario, users have limited patience, and any flaw is often perceived as a compelling reason to discontinue using the application. At Making Sense, we embrace the concept of being in a perpetual state of “beta” to foster continuous innovation, adaptability, and user collaboration.

Embracing agility

Organizations are dynamic entities, constantly evolving amidst changes in processes, people, technologies, challenges, markets, and regulations. In this ever-shifting landscape, the pivotal concept is “agility.”

A forward-thinking organization operates in a perpetual “beta” state, engaging in continuous self-analysis. Whether launching a digital product or a platform, the organization learns from its observations, tests the knowledge acquired, and, based on these insights, suggests improvements. It may even withdraw a product from circulation, replacing it with alternatives better aligned with user needs.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution or guaranteed success. Some applications may soar to success, while others may falter upon launch. However, beta organizations don’t adhere to fixed formulas. Instead, they view successes and failures as valuable learning opportunities.

Over time, as habits and needs evolve, successful applications may fade into obscurity, while those initially struggling may experience a resurgence. Beta organizations don’t hastily commit to applications that excel immediately or dismiss those facing initial challenges. Instead, they leverage both scenarios as platforms for learning and continuous improvement. This adaptive approach ensures an ongoing cycle of innovation and growth.

Organizations are not static entities. They are constantly changing. The processes, the people, the technologies, the challenges, the market in which they operate, the regulations. In this context, the keyword is “agility”.

An organization that is in “beta” continuously analyzes itself. It launches a digital product or a platform, learns from what it observes, and tests the knowledge acquired. Based on what it learns, it proposes improvements or even takes the product out of circulation and replaces it with another or others that are better suited to the needs of its users.

There are no magic or unanimous recipes. Some applications will be destined for success and others will probably fail when launched.

With the passage of time, appropriate corrections, and changes in habits and needs, those who were successful may fall into oblivion and those who failed in their first attempt, after having achieved a deeper understanding of people’s needs and the particular characteristics of the product, may have a lucky break. Beta organizations don’t “marry” applications that do well right out of the gate or discard those that struggle to get off the ground. They use both to learn and improve.

Discover, discover, and discover

The continuous discovery model operates on the premise that there is an ongoing opportunity for exploration and, simultaneously, the imperative to validate all presumed knowledge.

Given the rapid changes in the market—be it the emergence of new stakeholders, unexpected or disruptive competitors, groundbreaking technologies like generative AI, or evolving consumer demands—the key lies in an organization’s readiness to respond to these stimuli. A “beta” mentality enables agile responses, allowing for necessary modifications without being tethered to the status quo or fearing mistakes, adapting swiftly, and leading the charge into the next phase.

When collaboration flourishes

A “beta” organization requires a dynamic technological partner capable of adapting and committed to continuous improvement. Success hinges on this seamless collaboration.

At Making Sense, we curate agile teams perpetually dedicated to validating, establishing, and sustaining the market fit of digital products. Recognizing that confronting uncertainty requires a skilled team combining flexibility, curiosity, introspective ability, a penchant for learning, and an execution-oriented mindset.

Furthermore, we advocate for continuous discovery, ensuring each new project contributes maximum added value to the business. In essence, we assist your organization in maintaining a perpetual “beta” mentality.

It’s crucial to clarify that being in “beta” doesn’t denote being halfway or incomplete. Instead, it signifies a perpetual humility to embrace new learning, innovate fearlessly, remain open to growth and adaptation, and leverage each wave of change to emerge better and stronger.