Posted 1/29/2019 14:36 (#7281833 - in reply to #7281374) Subject: RE: Beta
Southern Minnesota Between Freeborn & Wells
Beta is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. Alpha is the first. When a new product or software is created the designers try it so they are the Alpha testers. When they feel it is somewhat or mostly acceptable, they may release it to a group of people referred to as Beta testers. These people are supposed to be aware that the product is new and may have some flaws. Often Beta testers are given some type of incentive for running the product or software and reporting what doesn't work or what could be improved. Thus these folks are called Beta testers because they are in between the designers and actual paying customers.
Some years ago when Raven came out with their SideKick chemical injection system I was asked if I would be a Beta tester. I agreed, installed and tried the product. I was among a group of 5 testers. We were asked to go to Sioux Falls and discuss the product with the engineers. For the most part, the product was fine and we were able to keep the systems free of charge.
Just last Fall, I was contacted by a company rep about purchasing a new replacement part that they were considering. I was told I could buy it at a reduced price. I held firm and explained that other Beta testing I had done was always free and that I never had to purchase the product. I asked why should I buy their unproven product to give them my opinion and advice. Apparently this worked as the rep then offered me a couple of samples to try for free. After season I returned the test units and was reimbursed in a sense with new OEM parts. I don't know if the product will be for sale next year or not.
Lately it seems that companies are tempted to skip this "Beta Tester" step and just release the product. This has led to some of us to say "the customer is the Beta tester".