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Oct 28

Ever thought about being an iPhone beta tester?

Here’s a few pieces of advice I’d give to folks interested in being beta testers, having just begun beta testing for my own company.

First off, why be a beta tester? Well, beta testing can be an awesome glimpse into the world of disruption and innovation. It can be a great way to meet bright entrepreneurs who share your interests, and may even shape future tech trends. Plus, a lot of companies will provide you with perks if you sign up to be a tester — for example, some might give you a free product. Others, premium status without paying.

Plus, I can honestly say that beta testers are the lifeblood of an early stage startup. You guys give the most important feedback: early feedback. This helps to shape where our product goes in the future. This is no hyperbole: you are among a startup’s greatest assets in the early game. Beta testing should make you feel good because you’re doing a wonderful service.

Without further ado, here goes:

1. Get to know the guys/gals involved. I love it when a beta tester wants to talk to me about Memoir Tree. After all, this is my professional baby. I’ll talk your ear off about it. So, don’t be afraid to ask to the people behind the app. It’s a great way to meet new people with similar interests, and maybe earn more long-term perks for yourself.

2. Familiarize yourself with the time commitment. Some betas require a lot of your time. Others, less. Try to identify the time spend early, so you aren’t caught playing catch-up — or worse, suffering from boredom.

3. Know your UDID. If you are signing up for a private beta, make sure to know your UDID (*U*nique D*evice *ID ). It’s true, Apple is apparently phasing out the UDID. It’s still there, however, and will be for the immediate future. And for many companies, the UDID the easiest way to provision a private app for your device. Here’s a tip on how to find yours.

4. Have an interest, if not a passion, in what you’re testing. This might sound like common sense, but it’s something worth repeating. You should have at least an interest in the product your testing. Why? Because you’ll care about the finished product. Therefore, (a) you’ll be happier to test it; and (b) you’ll give more honest feedback, because you want it to work.

Hopefully this rambling dissertation is helpful to someone out there in the amorphous Internets.

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