For those that have been paying attention, last Monday was a day of big changes for Business.com as it marked the release of our new data platform and contextual content delivery system that is unique in B2B digital media. On the surface, we have moved from a directory site to one which delivers high quality, functional content, resources, and tools to help executives throughout their buyer journey. Under the hood, the metamorphosis was even greater. On the data side of the equation, we built a proprietary big data platform which collects millions of customer interactions and intentions. This data drives everything from decisions on our content strategy to an automated progressive user experience on the website.
Oh and yeah, we also built a robust custom CMS which makes it easy for non-technical staff to create beautiful and unique looking pages of all content types.
Here's the best part: despite it taking us six months of development time, we were able to release the new site to the public with zero downtime. As of the writing this post, over 24 hours have passed since the transformation of our site and there has yet to be a major defect reported. I can't blame people for thinking I'm embellishing because, frankly, my past experience with major releases has told a story of frustration and letdowns due to complexity of the release. Like you, I was conditioned to coding death marches in the run up to release followed by the sinking feeling in your gut when the whole thing blows up in your face; be it through massive site outages or realization that what you delivered isn't what the customer was expecting. Prevailing thoughts on software releases are the longer the project drags on, the bigger the chance of it being an unmitigated disaster.
Which is why agile development and iterative releases are so beautiful. It helps avoid that unmitigated disaster and helps promise a successful product launch. So much that we wrote an entire article on it here. Take a cruise over to the article titled Disrupt the Market, Not the Users With Iterative Development and learn how to release early and often, what SMART tasks are, on focusing less on estimation.