Participation in Improvement List

Dan Shafer dan at
Mon Jul 8 13:43:01 EDT 2002

>On 7/7/02 6:43 am, Ken Ray <kray at> wrote:
>>  Now as to your comment about providing access to the improve-revolution
>>  list, I don't know why it is restricted. Perhaps someone from RunRev can
>  > comment on that directly.
>It seems right that customers
>who are able to pay more to support the product should play a greater part
>in its development.

Ah, and here is where we find our fundamental disagreement. I've been 
in this business a long time (some would say too long) and it is my 
universal experience that the more input you have from real-world 
users into a product and how it works, the greater quality you can 
put into the finished product. It is also my universal experience 
that there is absolutely *no* correlation between how much money a 
customer spends on your product and the degree of either his or her 
passion or expertise. In fact, it is often exactly the opposite. 
Those who would be your most passionate and vociferous advocates and 
feedback mechanisms are those who cannot justify spending large sums 
of money on a single development tool.

So while the economic justification for your position seems 
intuitively correct, it is often very wrong-headed when viewed 

>The use list is read by people here - in fact I read it myself.  Suggestions
>are taken on board and some level of unofficial support is provided, but
>generally users do answer each others questions.  Its not as good as having
>direct access to our tech support mailbox, and you don't get involved in the
>alpha and beta test releases either, but it is enough for many of our users.
>If you need more than that then you have to pay for it, and what you get for
>paying the extra price is very good value.  In fact, it is inexpensive
>compared with other tools, a great way to support Revolution and be
>supported, particularly if you're using it day to day.

I agree that those who pay a higher fee should be entitled to a much 
greater level of support. No quarrel there at all. My problem is that 
it seems to me that you have perhaps confused premium support (which 
is an outgoing customer benefit) with valued input from customers 
(which is of more benefit to you than the customer).

Now all of this may just be confusion caused by the name of the 
mailing list. I mean, I think you have said you want and value *all* 
customer feedback on improving the product. So maybe you need to call 
the other list something like "premium-support" or some such thing, 
without changing its purpose and role.

It would be less confusing for a pain-in-the-butt newcomer like me! :-)

BTW, I *fully* agree with the idea that betas should be restricted to 
a small group and that your highest-paying customers get first crack 
at that. I'm sure you also have a small group of insiders who may or 
may not be Pro license holders whose opinions you value sufficiently 
that you include them in beta programs and that is as it should be.

>Kind regards,
>Kevin Miller <kevin at> <>
>Runtime Revolution Limited - The Solution for Software Development
>Tel: +44 (0) 870 747 1165.  Fax: +44 (0)1639 830 707.
>use-revolution mailing list
>use-revolution at

Dan Shafer
Technology Visionary - Technology Assessment - Documentation
"Looking at technology from every angle"
831-392-1127 Voice - 831-401-2531 Fax

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