Release early, release often is crazy
Unix is arguably a giant text adventure. The people who rave about it have usually forgotten two things.
- Not everyone loves learning arcane stuff about computers.
- The people who use the software they write are technically sophisticated, didn't pay for it, and don't mind so much when it doesn't work.
If you release early and often to this kind of user, you get detailed bug reports and sophisticated constructive criticism.
Back in the real world, if you release early you get angry frustration about disruption from people on deadlines who feel that because they paid for the software and it doesn't work, they are entitled to instant remediation.
In the context in which it was advised, the point of releasing often is to avoid biting off more than you can chew, and get it tested and bedded down before you start on the next iteration. This is extremely good advice and is actually the basis of Agile when it's done properly.
What it does not mean is "foist half-baked software on an unsuspecting user base creating a shit-storm of support tickets that will prevent you from finishing it".