I came across this interesting article last week. I’m a big fan of Google. I like the way they think. Interestingly, Sara and I had long discussion (we’ve agreed to disagree) on the whether Google is really an evil company or not in how they run their AdSense program. That’s another post.

So, Chrome came out of beta but Gmail remains beta-licious for who knows how long.

So, why is Chrome out of beta and Gmail not? Chrome is a downloadable application and Google wants market share. So far Chrome has a respectable user base that has mainly come as a result of word-of-mouth and advertising. However, Google want’s more users. Google wants Chrome to come pre-installed on machines along with internet explorer or firefox. In order to get this, they had to get out of beta. Enterprise markets need to trust that Chrome is going to work and with “beta” attached to the name, they’re not going to feel comfortable. This is why Chrome has dropped the beta tag.

So then, why is Gmail still beta? This video clearly explains the difference:

Gmail is server-side software that is still being developed. Improvements are added on a regular basis. The “beta” communicates to us that they’re not done creating.

So whether you believe this or not, Google has two standards of beta. On one side they dropped beta to communicate that their software (Chrome in this case) is dependable and secure. On the other side they’re keeping beta to communicate that they’re still being creative. If you like what you’ve seen so far, hang on and see what we cook up next.

So, let’s shift to our ministry.

What are we doing that that needs to come out of beta? Is it our policies and procedures? Is it the way we train volunteers? Is it our expectaitons we place on our volunteers? Maybe it’s the way we approach parents? Are these things communicating dependability, security and stability? If not, we probably need to see what needs to be done to pull them out of beta. Strengthen them, give them direction and make them what they need to be and proudly stand behind them. That’s what it means to drop the beta.

What are we dong that needs to be in beta? Maybe it’s a program that crusty, old and unrelatable. Is what we’re doing flexible? Is it evolving into something better? Does it have a framework to support change? If not, we probably need to see what needs to be done to pull it into beta. We need to create the culture among our volunteers and parents where they don’t expect things to always be the same becasue we’re willing to do whatever it takes to reach a generation that is constantly changing. That’s what it means to add the beta.

What do you think?