Vaporware in the Social Media Space

A common practice in the enterprise software industry (and beyond) is to announce products, make a lot of noise about it, but slowly roll it out in pieces over the coming quarters or never at all. This is called Vaporware and I’m starting to see small examples of this in the social media industry.

As a response, I’m going to start calling out vendors that do that. Why? it protects buyers from getting caught up in the hype of an announcement, flashy videos, and buzzword industry-changing definitions. I fill the space with enough buzzwords myself, there really isn’t any room left for vendors.

Graciously, I will list of vendors on this blog post that make big pronouncements without demonstrating their products, highlighting their vaporware. I encourage you to support this so we can establish a precedent in our space to announce and show products that are actually working –not just promised.

What say you, should we do such a list? I’ll need your help in calling them out, they’ll get a list similar to this one of brands that have been punk’d.

Update: Related and if social media vendors do announce, they should eat their own dogfood (or drink their own champagne, as I learned from my new friend Dana). I’m keeping PR folks busy.

Here are some requirements for vendors as they launch: On day of announcement they should be able to show a demo of their product. If it’s an enterprise product, or complicated, then show a video with it working. Consider using a customer reference or a test case to demonstrate how it’s been working in the past. I like what John Furrier said, that sometimes products are still getting the bugs worked out and that’s fine –but in any case, show that the product exists.