We've had our app in beta for the past few months and we recently launched a major update which gets us to the point where I'm happy calling it a version 1.
There's still a million and one things to do and improve, but that's not going to change any time soon!
The only thing we need to properly launch is to turn on the payment integration so new accounts are charged for their subscriptions. We're planning on giving the current beta testers a number of free months, so it won't impact them.
It's primarily aimed at the business market, although the beta testing has shown it to have a wider reach than we first thought.
My main problem is one of timing and a worry that Christmas isn't the best time to be launching our product. Will a launch at this time of year be ignored because companies are winding down for the holidays and being more difficult to get press that's noticed?
What does everyone think?
If you're thinking of launch as a mainstream press event, then you're probably right that it will be difficult to get noticed. In tech / general startup press, though, now's a better time to seek press mentions, because there are fewer companies launching or making big releases right now (though, in the week before Christmas, many companies do big promotions that get a lot of coverage).
But if launch is just the point at which you're open for customer sign-ups, start going for them! You can always categorize it or write about it as an "early release" or "soft launch", and do the "hard launch" with press announcements later.
Don't do it!
There's no advantages. Just wait until Feb when everyone's head is back in the game. Spend this time to line up an awesome marketing blitz or do a ton more QA so the product is amazingly solid.
I don't see the issue about timing. "Launch" when it is ready. Unless you are timing it to coincide with an industry event like a trade show or other highly visible thing it really doesn't matter. (IMO)
Why wait - you are only delaying feedback and revenue by putting it off.
I think right now is possibly too late, unless you want to try to put a holiday spin on things. For instance, on Flickr, the popular photo sharing website, they have the option for users to buy other users a pro account. If you had something like this, you could possibly have businesses who have a target market with other businesses buy your service as a gift... possibly (eg. businesses could buy your service as gifts to their customers, which would be businesses).
I'm not too sure how well this would work, but if you could somehow make it relevant to the holidays it might help. :) Let us know what you decide to do if you don't mind.