Who Are Your 'Guinea Pigs'?

For resellers/integrators, it always feels uncomfortable rolling out a new product for sale to your customers. Granted, not everything 'new' is always 'risky', but the less is known about a product the worse the uncertainty is.

This blog post suggests testing first on 'the three Fs":

"After it passes this first step, try it (new product) out on the three Fs – friends, family and focus groups. An outsider might catch obstacles that were overlooked.

“Once we determine the benefits, we have to figure out the low hanging fruit in the market – who needs this service?” Again, the three Fs can provide essential information in this regard. You can also go right to the source. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions to prospects "

Personally I have never used these '3 Fs' as test subjects. In fact, the opposite was true - the last thing I wanted was to flub up a design or install buggy equipment for anyone, much less family or friends.

I think this advice is crazy, but maybe I am wrong. What do you think? Are your friends & family your 'test subjects'?

You are nothing like crazy! I am also like you. If I flub somebody up the less they know about me is less that I know about them is better. Anyway my family or friends cant help much, im prett sure they dont know any hanging fruits, plus as an added minus they dont speak the lingo like I. So i have to always find new guinea pigs.

It depended on the product, but a lot we did using fellow co-workers or family. They'd get the product for free, along with install while being made aware we are testing, and doing trial runs. The intention is to remove it afterwards unless they want to pay when we find it works well.

My dad is forever installing weird new products in his home. At any one time, there could be fourteen different cameras or more, mounted in, on, and around the house.

We have 2 customers (they both are on IPVM and know who they are), who are open to trying out new hardware and software offerings in production at their sites. Often they will make sure to put test equipment in less critical locations (back office, locations where other cameras/devices are), but it is very valuable for us to have hardware and software in real world environments. Theyre also aware of each other as customers, and will often compete to see who gets to test the latest/greatest cameras...