Don’t launch, release.

There are two terms I hate in our industry.

Launch Date

The first is the dreaded “launch date”. Every time I see it on a calendar I think of a monkey in a helmet, strapped to some 60’s-style missile blasting into orbit, and subsequently exploding well before then. We’ve tried very hard here over the past months to replace the term with the word ‘release’. Launch = violent ending, release = bye, I love you, and see you soon.


The second term I choke on is “postmortem”, used to describe a team getting together after a project ‘launch’ to discuss the piles of wet ash covering the floor. Every time I’ve participated in one, it’s been a project manager of questionable utility leading a team of disgruntled programmers on a futile hunt for those ghostly wouldabeens. What do we use here? Honestly, we have no other word, but I think term “release follow-up” suffices and gives things a more transitional, and less death-like timbre.

Language makes a difference. A simple adjustment to the words describing a teams milestones go a long way towards making a project’s cadence a tribute to accomplishment rather than an ode to suffering. Of course, if you’re literally shipping dead bodies into outer space, then by all means, launch it.