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It's no secret...


DJDM

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... that I am a big Propellerheads Software fan. I have always said that their company (who I do not work for) is a special blend of talent and sophistication.

The post below is by Tage Widsell who is the Props marketing weasel. It's in response to a query by a user that is suggesting that they put a countdown clock on the front page of the site so people would know when the next update is coming out.

I feel his response says so much about the simple grace and intelligence of this company that it really makes me proud to be both a user and a small part of the release. I honestly wish that more companies worked with this set of standards.

 

I guess we should put this in a FAQ or something... - Tage 2004-04-28 09:02

 

We get this question every now and then, especially when it's been a while since the last major release. Funny enough, I held a lecture together with Fredrik Solenberg at the Royal Institute of Technology yesterday, dealing a lot with these and other quality issues, so recapitulating what we said yesterday...

 

Now, why won't we say something about what's coming next? There are a number of good reasons for that:

 

* The work is done when the work is done. By simply making sure that you know that the application works before you announce it means that we can be reasonably sure it's going to be a good release. In comparison, we have a good track record for this. Since ReBirth 1.0, we have done 10 major releases and only 3 patches.

 

* We like to sell what we have, not a fuzzy promise about a shiny, bright tomorrow. We think a company should be able to say: This is what we have. It's good enough. Far too many software companies announce updates far in advance as a promise to users that new stuff is coming. Far too often, these promises turns into dissapointment when the developer can't deliver.

 

* Without a deadline, we don't have to rush it. There's nothing more threatening for a quality release than a countdown. The few times that we've had release countdown clocks on this site is only when the development is done and we're waiting for manufacturing, logistics etc. Working against a deadline means that developers have to take timing into account. This isn't a concern they should have to think about. Their one and only concern should be to deliver top quality software, when it's done.

 

* There are different ways to run a software company. Some developers release a new minor revision every two weeks. Some (like us) will rather deliver significant upgrades with longer intervals instead. Both approaches work, but we think using our products is more about making music than downloading Reason 2.5.x every nth week. This makes development more efficient (less testing) and compatibility less of an issue (oh I can't open that song. I need to download a new update). Collaboration has always been a big thing with Reason and doing few big updates certainly helps. Have you tried opening someone elses Quark document?

 

* We've had som pretty dull experiences with announcing too far ahead. Reason 1.0 is a good example of how not to do. We premiered Reason at the NAMM show in January 2000, and we honestly believed we had about three months of development left until release. Wrong. It actually took us close to eleven months to finish the project, putting the developers under severe stress, creating loads of badwill and unhappy customers. We don't want that to happen again.

 

So... When will we have some product news? The answer is simple: When the work is done. We normally announce a product as it is ready to enter beta testing. This usually means six to eight weeks before the Golden Master is ready and the app is off to manufacturing. So, you could say that we are n + 8 weeks away from the next release, where n is not a very small number.

 

That said - what's coming is going to be very cool.

 

Best regards,

Tage Widsell

the marketing guy

propellerhead software

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BRAVO!!! (standing and applauding)

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Originally posted by Dan South:

When will ReBirth be available for OSX?

lol Good one Dan.

I don't think they ever will. They seem to have pretty much backburnered ReBirth. My guess is that they have not seen enough in Rebirth sales since Reason was released. I guess that is the price that we pay for them being such a small company.

 

Do you use ReBirth? You don't strike me as a big ReBirther. Got any cool mods? :)

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I wish all MI companies adhered to this philosophy, be they hardware or software manufacturers.

 

I have never been a big fan of vaporware, nor is it likely that I will ever be. I just do not see any real reason in favor of it, and I believe that there are quite a few reasons against it, some of which were summed up quite well by Mr. Widsell.

 

I think that new products should not be announced until they are in boxes and ready to ship. The only downside to this philosphy is that things may take a bit longer; however the wait is usually justified, IMO.

 

dB

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Originally posted by Dave Bryce:

I wish all MI companies adhered to this philosophy, be they hardware or software manufacturers.

 

I have never been a big fan of vaporware, nor is it likely that I will ever be. I just do not see any real reason in favor of it, and I believe that there are quite a few reasons against it, some of which were summed up quite well by Mr. Widsell.

 

I think that new products should not be announced until they are in boxes and ready to ship. The only downside to this philosphy is that things may take a bit longer; however the wait is usually justified, IMO.

 

dB

All software companies, especially in niche markets should do this
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Originally posted by progfusion74:

Originally posted by Dave Bryce:

I wish all MI companies adhered to this philosophy, be they hardware or software manufacturers.

 

I have never been a big fan of vaporware, nor is it likely that I will ever be. I just do not see any real reason in favor of it, and I believe that there are quite a few reasons against it, some of which were summed up quite well by Mr. Widsell.

 

I think that new products should not be announced until they are in boxes and ready to ship. The only downside to this philosphy is that things may take a bit longer; however the wait is usually justified, IMO.

 

dB

All software companies, especially in niche markets should do this
Man, you can add me to that Amen corner. I've worked for software companies and have been on the in house development team for other companies and I gotta say if management, marketing and development were honest to each other and the public we'd see better software. That attitude reminds me of a Fast Company magazine article about how NASA develops software for various space projects. Real world business could learn a lot about the management of expectations from that article.

 

That being said I guess I better change my signature tagline ;)

RobT

 

Famous Musical Quotes: "I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve" - Xavier Cugat

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