Is It Real or Is It Vaporware?


By Dan Holt, Co-Founder and CEO of BillGO

Imagine this: You’re at a conference, watching a 7-minute pitch for a new product. They describe their technology, which would significantly help your business. You rush to work out a deal, looking to realize the benefits of a partnership as soon as possible. Then, it starts… is this vaporware? You and your engineering team start digging deeper and realize this technology is far from ready. Turns out, vaporware has been multiplying at a higher rate than ever before. Is it the pressure to “wow” people in a short pitch?

It’s called vaporware, and it’s a problem that’s plagued the tech industry for decades. With the expansion of the 7-minute pitch, it’s easy to be dazzled by new tech that could be no further along than your grandma’s Snapchat account. Our customers have told us that they’ve experienced more vaporware in the high-growth fintech industry than anywhere else. While that’s concerning, it won’t deter us from celebrating the amazing progress the industry has made developing fintech software.

Here are some tips to avoid vaporware:

  • Make sure the technology is real. Some companies try to sell their technology before it’s even been created. Our advice? If you’re skeptical, send a test through to verify that it’s real.

  • Use your network. Does anyone else in the industry know about this company and the technology that they’re selling? If not, dig deeper to see what you can find.

  • Get your team involved. Chances are, you’ve got an engineering team that can help you vet the technology. Get them involved sooner rather than later, so they can help you determine the viability of what you’re being sold.

Because vaporware is such a big problem, you should be cognizant of the risks associated with it:

  • Security risks. If something you’ve been sold doesn’t work as advertised, it poses a risk to the security of your company, and even your customers.

  • Revenue risks. You make a big decision based on revenue. If that doesn’t pan out, your company may take a big hit.

  • Reputation risks. You put your own reputation on the line. If the vaporware causes issues, it may hurt or ruin your reputation at work.

It can be frustrating when there’s a bunch of hype about a groundbreaking technology full of promises, but there’s no release date in sight. That’s in sharp contrast to BillGO. We developed the fastest, most robust bill payments engine available, and proved that we can process payments for hundreds of banks, 24×7. BillGO is a nimble startup – we do what we say, and we’re constantly innovating past what already exists in the payments industry. And, we’ll be at Money20/20 in Las Vegas from October 22-25, 2017. Schedule some time to meet with us!

jeroen bours