Debate

Should There Be Fewer Releases in B2B SaaS Products?

Sprint mentality has made us all release-focused. Whether it’s in engineering or marketing, organizational calibration around shipping new things can cause a sense that more is necessarily better, even though we know that there are instances in which that’s not the case.¬† But novelty is not just an obsession¬†behind the scenes. As consumers, we also expect to see new things all the time, or else we get bored. Look, a shiny object!

What kind of bearing does this mindset have on B2B applications? If we expect the same from our business software as we do from those products we use in our lives outside of work, does it mean that B2B businesses need to release more and more often?

In our poll this week, 66% of you believed that there should be no difference between B2B and B2C release schedules. Our debaters stressed the importance of releasing according to what customers can digest — if they’re ready for more, you need to meet their needs. If you’re releasing too much for them to use effectively, slow it down.

What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

Probably

Fewer major customer-facing releases, perhaps, due to the increased overhead of customer education, adoption rates, and product marketing in B2B businesses. But it should be possible to release code as frequently as consumer software, and I think that minor fixes should be released on a regular cadence.

Matt Zito
VP Products, Resy
Wrong Question

Release when the customer wants to consume your product. Period.

Kirsten Butzow
Product Coach, Pragmatic Marketing
Not really

This is a continuous discussion as B2B SaaS companies scale, but at the minimum, bug fixes, patches, hotfixes, etc. should be on a regular cadence, in our case weekly. This also depends on the product and how it is deployed for its customers, but, if you are a B2B SaaS shop, and again in our case, weekly is a bit too quick for new features for customers to keep track of; quarterly is just too long of a timespan to deliver customer value and keep the business and product responsive to customer needs; monthly feels like the right timing for us to allow customers to test their environments and absorb and adapt to functional changes.

Tom Witczak
Director of Product Management, Okta
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