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My final plea for a roadmap

 
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greyhat64



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 245
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:42 pm    Post subject: My final plea for a roadmap Reply with quote

In one of my forum posts I put forth what I thought was an original idea - to have somewhere to see the developing future of the product, a roadmap.

I've since realized that this was a part of Stoltze's and Quantum's, and sfm's suggestions as far back as 2004.

As an argument you stated that,
Quote:
Only about 10% of our customers registered on this forum and most of them visit this forum only when they have some problems or questions. About 98% of them had single(!) question.
You also noted recently,
Quote:
Here is another example: version 7.42 Beta (with some bugs) was downloaded over 10,000 times. Within a months we have received 0 bug reports
Three points:
  1. There's a big difference between bug reporting and prioritizing product improvements. My roadmap suggestion is for the latter.
  2. According to the footer on this forum you say, "We have 2350 registered users", I'm sitting here asking myself where the other 7,650 users?
  3. Of those three forum users mentioned earlier, only Stoltze continues to be active.. Do you see a pattern?
You have a really great product, and I'm no M$ apologist, but the way in which they best market their product and stave off the competition is by keeping their customer base involved and informed - even if they do sometimes overpromise.
If I were part of your marketing team I'd be looking for new, innovative ways of involving that very large, silent userbase. A product roadmap is one of those ways.
And believe me, I only push this point because I believe in your product so passionately! I see so much realized and so much more to do, as I'm sure you do also.
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KS-Soft



Joined: 03 Apr 2002
Posts: 11772
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
According to the footer on this forum you say, "We have 2350 registered users", I'm sitting here asking myself where the other 7,650 users?

Most of our customers (people that purchased our software) never registered on the forum. Its an option.
We are receiving more requests by e-mail. I cannot provide exact number however I think about 60-70% of our customers never asked a single question.
Note: We have more than 10,000 customers

Quote:
Of those three forum users mentioned earlier, only Stoltze continues to be active.. Do you see a pattern?

Yes, I see. We should pay attention to your (customers) ideas and consider your opinion however we should think a lot by ourself and have our own vision of the software because several active customers cannot do everything instead of us.

Quote:
You have a really great product, and I'm no M$ apologist, but the way in which they best market their product and stave off the competition is by keeping their customer base involved and informed - even if they do sometimes overpromise.
If I were part of your marketing team I'd be looking for new, innovative ways of involving that very large, silent userbase. A product roadmap is one of those ways.

Thank you for your trust. Regarding marketing... Well, probably we do not have such marketing plan because our goal is different from purposes of big companies.
We are not trying to sell software to everyone, we are not spending money on advertising and we do not need to sell million copies. Actually we do not want that. Because huge customer base will require huge team for support and I believe this will reduce quality of our service.
In other words we prefer to sell superb product to 1000 customers than sell garbage to a million.

Regards
Alex
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greyhat64



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 245
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(I'm almost done. . .)
Quote:
. . .because several active customers cannot do everything instead of us
I agree that you need to 'own' the product, but a product roadmap doesn't take that away, it merely helps to solidify a long term strategy by encouraging participation and communicates that strategy to, at least, the active customers like myself. As moderator you could have as much control over what is posted as you like. And you could accellerate or put on ice any discussion as you see fit.

You may have a product that is so good that only 30-40% ever ask a single question, but once again, this is not about questions/problems, it's about addressing the future. On the other hand, I have a hard time imagining that number being entirely accurate with a product as feature rich and robust as AHM, especially with as many interim upgrades as we see. Change almost always generates call activity.
Maybe it's the superior customer you attract.
I'm probably stating the obvious but comparing the number of calls against renewals, upgrades, and lifetime license holders instead of total sales would give you a better picture of your active user base.
'Nuff said, I'll bug you no more. About this anyway.
I'm loving v7.46! Any plans to add OPC error traps any time soon?
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