New software products – how open should you be?

My day job is at Red Gate. Although we focus on tools for SQL Server and .NET, I’m currently concentrating on making a fledgling Microsoft Exchange tool we’re working on a commercial success. Here’s a bit of background on what we’re doing.

I think most business software sucks. It’s buggy, poorly designed, unusable and expensive. It’s sold by complacent companies who do not care about their customers. If you’ve got an iMac at home, and use Google, Flickr and iPhoto recreationally, why should you put up with crap at work?

I think we’ve found a potential niche for a tool for Microsoft Exchange. I can’t tell you much about it, but if you’re an Exchange admin then your life is going to get better. This tool will you make you smile.

This creates a dilemma, and I’d like your advice:

How much should we tell people about what we’re doing? On the one hand, the more we talk about it, the more likely it is to succeed. On the other hand, we’re months away from even a beta and we don’t want to tip off the competition.

So what would you do? Post here.

Also, we’re looking for people to join the beta program and participate in user research. If you’re an Exchange admin and are interested then drop me a line. If you’ve never taken part in a usability trial then it’s an experience worth having. Plus we pay $100 (amazon vouchers) for an hour of your time. My e-mail address is