Pros and Cons of Pre-Announcing Upcoming Features

In general, I advise against pre-announcing upcoming product features until you are so close to releasing it that you can practically taste it. But your circumstances might differ, so here are the

The Cons: Reasons to NOT pre-announce upcoming features

  1. You could stall the sales process.  Instead of buying what is available NOW, prospective customers might decide to hold out and wait for the new version.

  2. Earnings and impact on financials, public disclosure rules, forward looking statements, etc.

  3. Significant risk that product will not come out exactly when you think it will and might be missing some key features. 

  4. You tip your hand to your competitors.

  5. Potential legal liability if you don’t actually deliver.

The Pros: Reasons to pre-announce

  1. To deflate a competitor’s big product announcement. 

  2. To get favorable press or analyst coverage.

  3. Because Sales People are demanding it, in order to placate their customers and prospects. Be warned this will come back and bite you: If you give them what they want and pre-announce, then you will have to deal with the backlash of Sales People who can’t sell the current product until the new one is released.

Sue Raisty

Product management geek, born-again engineer, adoptive mother of boys, coach & mentor, mountain trail runner, tinkerer, no-bull communicator, wannabe writer, room mother & compulsive researcher.

Silicon Valley, California http://blog.sueraisty.com