The Temptation of Vaporware

Vaporware is a term coined to describe software and hardware products which were talked about by the companies working on them, long before being ready for the market. Many such products never end up getting to the market, at all.

In fact, looking the term up on Wikipedia will lead you to a reasonably lengthy article which starts as follows:

“Vaporware is a term in the computer industry that describes a product, typically computer hardware or software, that is announced to the general public but is never actually released nor officially cancelled.”

While the practice of creating vapourware products has been used successfully or not by several companies to gain market penetration or hinder a competitor’s chance of getting such penetration, such practice can lead you into a pernicious trap. Once you’ve started talking about products which you haven’t yet finished, or sometimes even began to develop, you might find yourself hard pressed to deliver on the vaporware vision you created.

I’ve had the opportunity to see more than one company make this mistake, sometimes even multiple times.

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