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The big elephant in the room that nobody here seems to be taking into consideration: 37Signals charges their users to use their product.

The Hollywood launch allows for such a case, whereas this example makes that much more difficult. Do you force beta users to pay? Do they pay the same amount as others? Etc etc.

Hollywood launches allow you to broadcast a product as "finished". The issues Aaron cites seem to arise from broadcasting the "finished" announcement when the product is clearly not in that state.

I think GitHub did a free beta launch, followed by a few iterations with feedback, and then they started charging users.

That's reasonable for beta users, especially if they get a discount for their feedback.

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