My Big Concern about Logos future for ownership model

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 7:17 AM

Wild Eagle:
Look, Faithlife already cutting prepub lowest price guarantee for ownership costumers

But this was in response to a lot of feedback from many customers complaining about some of the outworking of that policy - and the announcement of the new policy seems to have been generally well received.

Maybe an indication of the many disparate views that people have around these questions.

Posts 1417
Wild Eagle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 7:24 AM

Graham Criddle:

Wild Eagle:
Look, Faithlife already cutting prepub lowest price guarantee for ownership costumers

But this was in response to a lot of feedback from many customers complaining about some of the outworking of that policy - and the announcement of the new policy seems to have been generally well received.

Maybe an indication of the many disparate views that people have around these questions.

Graham, why would LN have 1 year of lowest price guarantee vs non LN costumers half year only? Both paid the same price for prepub, but one has more benefits, and another one is getting sliced with benefits in a half. It just shows how Faithlife is treating ownership costumers. 

"No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying." Leonard Ravenhill 

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 7:31 AM

Wild Eagle:

Graham, why would LN have 1 year of lowest price guarantee vs non LN costumers half year only? Both paid the same price for prepub, but one has more benefits, and another one is getting sliced with benefits in a half. 

No one is getting their benefits cut in half. Everyone gets 6 months. Now members get an additional 6 months.

If you're going to not pay for Now, you can't complain that you don't get the extra benefit, or think that your benefit is only half as good as their benefit.

Posts 263
Greg Corbin | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 7:32 AM

Mark:

Sad to think that a heavy investor may be considered a liability.  Heavy investors are not interested in seeing their investment drained.  While there are outlets for our thoughts and ideas, I do not think they are seriously considered.  The business has grown, and some long term investors have the feeling of being a liability.

I do not believe that Bob is saying he views heavy investors as a liability. He is saying that he is struggling to reconcile the ownership model that 90% of customers came into the product with against the new realities of the market. That happens in every business.

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Wild Eagle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 7:44 AM

PetahChristian:

No one is getting their benefits cut in half. Everyone gets 6 months. Now members get an additional 6 months.

Come on PetahChristian, lets be real. I am not going to be fooled with "additional" wording, when Faithlife takes from everyone something and then gives back "additional" to LN. Look in reality, benefits, sales, features, costumer service is getting sliced. 

If I had 100% of a pie, and Faithlife cut to 50% supposably to everyone but gives 50% back to LN, the outcome is : LN still owes 100% of a pie, but non LN's pie is sliced in a half. 

"No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying." Leonard Ravenhill 

Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 7:45 AM

For what it is worth I have invested in a Logos Library since my seminary days...which was a while back.  I have very limited monetary resources invested into the product and plan to continue that practice due to the changing nature of e-books as a general matter.  It also disturbs me, along with my confidence in FL, to see the company continually (imo) trying to stretch itself to reflect other companies in the technology market with "cutting edge" products, marketing, and subscription models.  To my mind the endless reminders that FL is a business seeking profits leads to the only reasonable conclusion is that its ownership will ultimately sell this company at huge margins at some point in the future to my determent.  I will continue to own and use two different bible products until the market plays itself out.  

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Wild Eagle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 7:48 AM

Greg Corbin:

I do not believe that Bob is saying he views heavy investors as a liability. 

If heavy investors are not buying anymore, than they are liabilities to Bob, thats a reality and Bob states that. 

Bob Pritchett:

While I appreciate our long-time users (a lot!), more and more often I hear from someone who 'invested thousands in my library, so please fix this / help me / etc.' -- but whose last investment was 5+ years ago. (That didn't happen for the first five years...because math. :-) )

I get that if you invested thousands you may have all the books and functionality you need, and may even want the product to 'stop moving' so you can just master the tools you need each day. But if you want us to be here to update things for iOS 14 or Windows 12, we need to find a way to continue revenue.

"No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying." Leonard Ravenhill 

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scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 8:06 AM

Wild Eagle:

Greg Corbin:

I do not believe that Bob is saying he views heavy investors as a liability. 

If heavy investors are not buying anymore, than they are liabilities to Bob, thats a reality and Bob states that. 

Bob Pritchett:

While I appreciate our long-time users (a lot!), more and more often I hear from someone who 'invested thousands in my library, so please fix this / help me / etc.' -- but whose last investment was 5+ years ago. (That didn't happen for the first five years...because math. :-) )

I get that if you invested thousands you may have all the books and functionality you need, and may even want the product to 'stop moving' so you can just master the tools you need each day. But if you want us to be here to update things for iOS 14 or Windows 12, we need to find a way to continue revenue.

I may then be a double liability as I am long term but do not have a large library compared to others.  It is large for me - for my budget, for my needs as a layman.  I see less effort being put into purchasers as they, by %, decrease in the customer base to the point FL can say said purchasers are indeed a low % of customers.

As renting is pushed by FL, less new customers will buy big, giving FL a self-fulfilling reason to move further away from the purchase model.

I want my buy-model library to take me through to my death.

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 8:49 AM

Mark:

Apparently I am in the small group that over the years invested heavily into FL.

It shouldn't matter how much or how long someone has invested.

There are customers living on a fixed income who can't afford to spend a lot on Logos books or Mobile Ed, but they're just as valuable as people who gave more out of their abundance.

I'm grateful that FL has been around all this time to develop the software and resources, and I'm sure Bob is grateful for all the customers who support(ed) the company by purchasing the software, whether they are new or long-term customers.

As for ownership models, God owns everything and everyone. As for the future, all that's going to matter for eternity is God, and the great gift He has given us. What should we really be concerned about, in the light of eternity?

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Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 9:15 AM

Just my two cents ... 

I have invested thousands.  It's taken a number of years.  There are still many things on my wish list that I would like to have in my library that add up to thousands more.  (Always looking for a sale to pick something up from the list.  Smile

The latest release of Verbum 7 libraries was another occasion to add some resources at a discounted, bundled price.

I like my Now membership with the most up-to-date features and preview resources with discounts for ownership if I so choose.

I like having access to my Mobile Ed courses streaming on the big screen through FaithLife TV.  I can sit in my favorite chair with my laptop and do things as the instructor demonstrates and then start over and watch from end-to-end.

I'm hoping the whole arrangement keeps going and is a model that sustains FL operations. 

Smile

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 10:04 AM

Mark:

Sad to think that a heavy investor may be considered a liability.  Heavy investors are not interested in seeing their investment drained.  While there are outlets for our thoughts and ideas, I do not think they are seriously considered.  The business has grown, and some long term investors have the feeling of being a liability.

Mark ... maybe your future is worse than you think ... big-spender, LESS discounts .... 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/06/cookie-monsters-why-your-browsing-history-could-mean-rip-off-prices 


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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 10:30 AM

I am concerned over the direction of FL and it's claim that an ownership model is not sustainable. Now it is true that it requires massive servers to do everything it does fully (mobile will virtually not function without them and many new features on the desktop need them). But these requirement for servers are built in by design. Most Bible software works just fine device only. I do not see Olivetree, Accordance or WordSearch moving to a subscription model. The argument to me sounds like someone talking about designing a ship with holes in it and then stating one needs to subscribe to pay for the pumps to keep it from sinking. If this is an unsustainable model perhaps you need to take a hard look at it and decide how to fix it before more people decide to jump ship. To be perfectly honest the direction towards subscription leaves me far less likely to desire to make only purchase in the FL world.

-Dan

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 10:38 AM

Dan Francis:
I am concerned over the direction of FL and it's claim that an ownership model is not sustainable.

Can we all be clear about this please?

Bob has never said that an ownership model is not sustainable. He's said an ownership model is not sustainable on its own. That's an entirely different thing, and not understanding it means many people are worrying unnecessarily.

Posts 196
Stephen Terlizzi | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 10:58 AM

Mark Barnes:

Dan Francis:
I am concerned over the direction of FL and it's claim that an ownership model is not sustainable.

Can we all be clear about this please?

Bob has never said that an ownership model is not sustainable. He's said an ownership model is not sustainable on its own. That's an entirely different thing, and not understanding it means many people are worrying unnecessarily.

I guess I fall into the heavy investor as well, given the thousands that I have spent over the past three years at Logos. 

I have also become hesitant to put more money into owned resources after the clear priority that has been placed on the Logos Now subscription model over the licensed model. If the licensed model is truly not sustainable on its own, then I am concerned that we will see an increased de-emphasize on it. I have already see a visible slowdown in the Verbum brand that has me quite concern.

On the more positive side, I am still very happy with my use of Verbum and it is an important part of my daily activities. It is more a lack of good feeling about the future growth of the product that has me worried.

Agape,

Steve

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 11:07 AM

I think Bob would hurt himself before he intentionally hurt a customer.

Any time there have been issues (and there have been plenty) he's gone above and beyond in my view to make things right. Even when ultimately the fault turned out to be mine and not his. He made things right.

Ultimately I've spent more in Logos than I have on my motorcycle, car, and home (don't get too excited I've spent precious little on all three). Actually, I've spent on books almost as much as I've spent on my education at seminary.

I truly believe Bob has our best interests at heart, and will continue to operate in that fashion.

I don't think he sees big spenders as liabilities. I know he values the input of those of us who speak out through the forums. He's changed course a few times because we vocal minority (Eg forum users) spoke out strongly against something (bram stokers dracula, the faithlife dating service as two examples off the top of my head).

I don't have it book marked; but I seem to remember Bob saying he wouldn't get rid of the ownership model in favor of the subscription model, just that each model appeals to different customer bases.

When I bought in (the second time - logos 4) If there had been an opportunity to pay monthly for a curated list (even at 50$) I would likely have done so instead. However now, ten thousand dollars later (actually roughly ~18,000$), I am pretty much completely sold on the ownership model. I have been a now subscriber in the past, and I may subscribe again in the future. But no one is making me. Honestly, the 5% discount difference isn't enough for me to subscribe at this time, but thats mostly because I'm not making many big purchases these days (economy related more than anything). I see that as a short term situation. The church is growing, they're consistently paying their bills. Maybe when L8 comes out, I'll buy collectors :) Until then I'm grateful for the library God has seen fit to bless me with. Grateful for an imperfect company that helps me (and the congregation through me) grow through the resources they have made available. I'm grateful its led by a man who by all appearances is a man of integrity and one who seeks to follow the Lord.

I don't have any plans to go anywhere else. To buy books in any of the lesser platforms, or do any of the other things some have mentioned.

What I will do - and what I suggest all of you do as well is pray for God to lead and direct Bob and the team at faithlife as they continue develop the company.

I know I am often quick to be critical when things don't go my way, and I don't want to be like that. I'm sure most of you don't either. Take a deep breath. Take Bob at his word. Take it to the Lord in prayer :).

L2 lvl4, L3 Scholars, L4 Scholars, L5 Platinum,  L6 Collectors. L7 Baptist Portfolio. L8 Baptist Platinum.

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 11:11 AM

Wild Eagle:
Graham, why would LN have 1 year of lowest price guarantee vs non LN costumers half year only? Both paid the same price for prepub, but one has more benefits, and another one is getting sliced with benefits in a half. It just shows how Faithlife is treating ownership costumers. 

The main point about the price guarantee is the option to allow sales prices on previous pre pub products, not to give benefits.

When put into practice, it means that titles can be on sale one year after they've left pre pub. The benefit only applies if FL lets something slip through unintentionally.

No complaints about this policy please. It serves a far greater benefit than occasional refunds (which might never happen anyway).

Past IT Consultant. Past Mission Worker. Entrepreneur. Future Seminary Student.
Why Amazon sucks: Full background story of my legal dispute with the online giant

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Wild Eagle | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 11:25 AM

Jan Krohn:

The main point about the price guarantee is the option to allow sales prices on previous pre pub products, not to give benefits.

When put into practice, it means that titles can be on sale one year after they've left pre pub. The benefit only applies if FL lets something slip through unintentionally.

No complaints about this policy please. It serves a far greater benefit than occasional refunds (which might never happen anyway).

I dont have complain about prepub 1 year policy. I love it because it helps to benefit the sales from other publishers. What I dont like about this policy is "LN have 1 year of lowest price guarantee vs non LN costumers half year only? Both paid the same price for prepub, but one has more benefits, and another one is getting sliced with benefits in a half. It just shows how Faithlife is treating ownership costumers." If LN and not LN costumers would both under 1 year, then I wouldn't raise prepub policy in this thread.  

"No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying." Leonard Ravenhill 

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DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 11:46 AM

Jan Krohn:
No complaints about this policy please.

Jan this is inappropriate.

Posts 72
Andrew116 | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 11:47 AM

I have an idea. 

Bob, I see your predicament. 

I might be missing something (please tell me, I'm interested!) but it seems to me that it would help to expand your customer base.

This should be possible since a tiny fraction of (even just English-speaking) Christians use Logos. In my church alone, we have 2000 people and I'm aware of only 2 or 3 people who use Logos. We have new Christians all the time, as well as people growing up in the church hitting adulthood all the time. So there are loads of potential customers.

The vast majority of the people I've just mentioned are very dedicated to learning and teaching the Bible well. Some 200 or so are Bible Study leaders, another 50 are youth group leaders. Having used Logos myself, I can see the benefits it would have for them! 

However, since they are lay-leaders they are not likely to spend big $$$ in one go. Seeing a price tag of $500 is a major deterrent. 

BUT once they are in the software, enjoying it, and seeing the benefits, then it's likely they would become regular purchasers of things here and there. That's what happened to me. Started with a small thing, then bought more.

And here's the major obstacle I see in Logos attracting new customers: the starter packages have nothing to attract a new buyer.

If you are already sold on the value of Logos and have invested the big $$$ already, then you look at the higher packages and see some things you like. But the potential new buyers I'm thinking of simply will not look at those packages. I have considered showing them the starter package, but in all honesty there's hardly anything that useful in there. 

My strategy (FWWIW) would be to offer a genuinely good deal on genuinely good starters-level resources

If Logos did that, I would without hesitation recommend every single youth group leader buy it if they can. The sweet spot for pricing seems to be under $250. The sort of thing that can be saved up for in a few weeks, or asked for as a birthday present. 

My strategy would be essentially to offer something so good that any serious lay church member or youth leader is tempted, at a price they can afford. Loss-lead if you have to, because once you have people in the door at an entry-level, finding the program really useful, then those people will continue to pay. For example every term, our church points out helpful books / commentaries to match up with the teaching series. If those are available in Logos, people could buy them there and integrate. 

All the features that Logos offers (the linking of books etc) that they advertise so well ('every book makes all your other books more valuable') only come into play once someone has enough of a package to get them going. 

A suggested package:   (note - minimal filler. In my experience filler confuses the new person, obscuring the resources that they will actually want)

Bible texts

  • ESV    $10
  • NIV     $10
  • KJV     $10
  • Lexham Greek    $0

    Dictionaries

  • New Bible Dictionary    $40
  • ISBE  (the new one)      $130

    Commentaries
  • Tyndale set                          $225
  • BST New Testament            $320  
  • Calvin’s commentaries         $150
  • Matthew Henry’s complete    $20

    Systematic theology
  • Grudem’s systematic theology    40

    Lexicons
  • Thayer’s  Greek   36
  • BDB (abridged) Hebrew   0

    $991 value

    $250 cost   (could offer it with FFS included for extra cost and also a rent-the-features version)

If that is unachievable, the package would still work with either BST or Tyndale removed (but not both removed). I have tried to create a broad package of resources I wish every youth group leader had on their shelf. 

The key for the youth group leader to be tempted: it has to be cheaper in Logos than it would be to go out and buy those resources. 

If this sort of package existed, I think Logos would see a lot more people invest. 

As long as the minimum spend to get something usable is $900, you will struggle to get new users. 

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 7 2016 11:52 AM

I saw that FL used the American Express slogan, "Membership has its privileges" on the Logos home screen to promote an LN discount.

I can't understand though why people would grumble about LN benefits. First of all, the annual cost is only $99! Second, FL didn't have to give LN members any benefits at all. The additional savings were all added well after LN was rolled out, so the truth is FL sweetened the pot and we got those extra benefits for free.

When FL gives us something for free, we shouldn't complain.

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