Pricing / entry cost for this tool
see3d at writeme.com
Sat Nov 26 19:40:29 CST 2005
I know you qualified that as *development* tool, but I am just
thinking *tool*. I don't look at Dream Card differently than
Elements, or a low end CAD tool, or an outliner... All are
"consumer" tools to me. I look at the utility of each to me to solve
one type of problem. Being a hobbyist, I use a lot of different
tools, but not at the same time. In fact, the reason I buy a tool is
because I have just one project that I need the tool for. I might
use Rev like crazy for a few months, then not use it at all for a
year, then back at it again. I also have a lot of woodworking
tools. I buy the lowest cost tool that will do a reasonable job,
then If I wear it out, or find it is the most used tool, I will
replace it with a professional grade one. If I were to go for the
professional grade software, or wood working tool in everything I
have, I would have to spend $100K in tools and if it were all
software tools, $30K/year in upgrades --that isn't going to happen!
However, If I really got into Rev and was going to generate income
with it, I would upgrade to a Professional version --just as I would
with any other tool that warranted it.
I see examples of the multi price point tool products from successful
When I buy a table saw, darned if they don't all have a similar user
interface. Expectations also change with the size of the
investment. If my cheap $100 saw (which lacks some features of the
expensive one and comes with a short warranty) breaks, I try to fix
it, or junk it. Whereas, if my expensive saw breaks, the manufacture
better damn sure get their asses in gear and get this tool fixed now
--and they do!
In the case of RR, I think they are taking the right approach. They
primarily listen to and support the professional customers --exactly
right, that gives them focus. They maintain one interface and code
base across their products --essential for limiting the incremental
work involved in the lower priced products, since the company is too
small to support multiple efforts. Since Rev is complex to fully
learn all the features, Hobby programmers that grow into
professionals, do not have to start over in the learning curve. I
just can't think of a better planned way of doing this with the size
that RR is now.
Being the type of customer that (if I weren't retired) could
potentially turn Pro, I can speak from how I view these products. I
view the RR product line in a favorable light, but Transcript is rich
and complex. The biggest roadblock I see is making the documentation
into something that captures the wisdom of this list that can be
searched with only a concept of the problem to be solved instead of
what the solution is called by someone else. It is too big a project
for RR to tackle. It can only be done by this list. But that is
another thread on another list.
BTW, in the early 70's I was a freelance consultant for early Intel
8008 based product developers. I wrote an 8008 emulator for a
minicomputer that I designed, and ran Intel's development tools on
it. I could turn around compiles 10 times faster than my customers
using Intel's native development tools. I provided hardware or
software consulting. The thrust of my consulting was to provide
initial solutions, then provide the training to the customer's
engineers to take over the project as soon as possible (I had my own
products to develop, but needed to generate additional cash from
consulting). So my perspective does span a broader range than just
the inventive hobbyist.
On Nov 26, 2005, at 3:24 PM, Dan Shafer wrote:
> A well-thought-out and appreciated post.
> But, as with others who have offered this viewpoint, I am compelled
> to ask you to provide even one example of a development tool
> company following the strategy you describe below that you say is
> "being used by the most successful companies today."
> And I'll expand on that a bit. Not only can I not think of a single
> *development tool* company following the strategy of trying to
> serve two markets with a single product, I can't even come up with
> a single successful software company doing that. When I think of
> successful software companies in the desktop universe, I think of:
> Macromedia (about to be swallowed by Adobe if that hasn't been
> finalized yet)
> Apple (partly)
> Maybe Oracle (which is a dev tools vendor in large part, but not
> much on the desktop)
> Adobe doesn't have a low-cost entry version of Acrobat or inDesign.
> A trial version, yes, but when it expires you pay through the nose
> to keep using it. Same with Macromedia. Apple supports low- and
> high-end users in a couple of its strategic markets, but with two
> separate products, not a low-cost version of the high-priced one.
> Real has a free player but if you want to start creating Real media
> streams you're gonna pay a bundle.
> So where are these software companies that are following this two-
> market strategy successfully? To the contrary, I think the secret
> to a successful company -- in any sphere -- is focus. Do what you
> do well and let others do the stuff you don't do well. If RunRev
> had a couple hundred people, *maybe* they could figure out how to
> serve both markets with great success. Short of that, I am
> On Nov 26, 2005, at 8:52 AM, Dennis Brown wrote:
>> I think that they are more likely to stay in business with the
>> current model --it is the model being used by the most successful
>> companies today. They are growing (I assume) slowly as the
>> product matures. At some point I expect this model is going to
>> propel them forward into a larger company that can offer better
>> general support and product bug fixes (I think bugs cost more to
>> fix than adding minor new features), while continuing to support
>> the professionals needs.
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