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Let your staff and customers play

Google just announced Gmail Labs, where their engineers can test any and all new ideas that pop into their heads, and real customers can try them out and give feedback.

You need to steal this idea. 

Here’s why public, open beta tests are fantastic:

  1. The engineers get to have fun and innovation is encouraged (at a company that says YES instead of NO)
  2. Customers who get a sneak peek feel special
  3. It attracts your true word of mouth talkers — and gives them plenty to talk about 
  4. Free focus groups 
  5. Free quality testing 
  6. Amazing ideas from your customers — better than anything you can come up with internally 
  7. Freak out your competitors, who start chasing every one of your ideas, however crazy it may be

More detail from Google here

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