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This post has 389 Replies | 32 Followers

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 8:32 PM

abondservant:
Forcing people like myself who have paid 10k, and have 10k still being paid off are on the short end of the stick when it comes to subscriptions.

I don't have access to your individual email credit offer at the moment (I'm on the road), but I know that we're paying particular attention to users with significant investments in the purchased resources. If you've spent $10k with us, that's a significant investment we appreciate, and the difference in price between the two subscriptions is small in comparison. This should already have been addressed, or will be soon.

Posts 1932
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 8:38 PM

Bob

I appreciate the conversation that has started here. 

Posts 454
Bootjack | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 8:44 PM

I will say to you Bob, that I seriously appreciate the coupon sent this way. You didn't have to do that but I'm still very happy you did AND you're not getting it back!  :-)

Appreciate your responses!!! 

ASUS Rogue / 500 GB Samsung SSD / 500 GB HD / 16 Gigs of RAM/ Logos 8 Full Feature Set / Faithlife Connect Essentials 

Posts 180
James Hudson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 8:45 PM

Bob Pritchett:

Sean:
6. The rollout of this change was terrible. That's kind of the default for FaithLife. You really need to look into why that is the case.

We hear this criticism with almost every significant announcement. (I hear it internally when we make internal announcements.)

It could be you're right, and we're just incapable of communicating clearly... :-(  It's a hard problem -- if you just put something out for discussion casually, you don't have the details and specifics that people immediately want to understand it. If you put out the details and specifics, people complain there was no warning.

This time we put all the information together, prepared specific "your individual situation" emails for everyone, and designed it to take nine months to actually change anything (other than giving you new stuff for free immediately).

Yes, I suppose we could have just put a "Here's what we're thinking...." label in front of it... but in many ways this IS the pre-announcement. (While we think the plan is done, it's also nine months from full implementation, which is plenty of time to gather feedback and make necessary tweaks...)

Why not do a kind of ‘pre-pub’ or ‘community pricing’ concept to guage support for new ideas and features (as well as books) and what people would be willing to pay?

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 8:45 PM

Ruurd Offringa:
I'd love to see an option in Faithlife Connect where we could customise our package, allowing us to only choose the Logos portion of it.

I get how that would be attractive, and wish we could offer just that. And if we find a way, we will -- we have a long history of trying to deliver more value for less money over time. But until we can get the whole Church purchasing Bible software (we're working on it!) we need to find a sweet spot of the lowest price that covers the costs.

Cable companies want $50/month for 200 channels; they offer lots of configurations and plans yet it seems the total always comes out to $50... why can't I just buy the channels I want for 25 cents each? I just want four, and $1/month is much better than $50....

Except it might cost a lot closer to $50 than $1 to run the cable company and bring cable to my house, answer my tech support calls, send technicians out to re-string wires after storms, etc.

While this is a useful example about bundling in general, it's actually even more helpful in understanding that happens to Logos' revenue: Most early customer purchases are bundles, but as customers build bigger libraries they start buying single specific books over large collections... and over time, more customers enter that category.

(NOTE: While I keep coming back to this revenue explanation, it is a simplified one; our business is large and complex, and the customers vary greatly in behavior. And I'm not blaming anyone for buying fewer books -- you should buy what you need and can afford, and no more. I'm just trying to point out that just as you're trying to be wise with your resources, we have to do the same on the other side of the table; we can't (for long) spend more to deliver the product than we collect for it. And no matter what the reason for changes in customer spending patterns, good, bad, our fault or Amazon's fault or the economy's fault, we have to work with the math.)

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 8:46 PM

Matt Hamrick:
hanks for the year to try it out.

You're welcome. Thank you for trying it out.

Posts 3172
Forum MVP
PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 8:51 PM

Bob Pritchett:
Is there something magical about the Logos Now price point vs the Faithlife Connect price point?

$9.99 (a month) is definitely a magical price point.

For example, I would buy a $9.99 movie or ebook, but likely won't buy a $14.99 movie or ebook. Blame Apple for starting that price war Smile

$19.99 isn't magical at all. It's psychologically twice the cost, and there's some bias against it, even though it comes with more benefits than LN.

(Still I mentioned I'd pay ~$12/month for FL Connect, if it left out book/feature rentals. So there's some leeway to get some of us to pay more for a subscription than $9.99/mo.)

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 8:54 PM

Mark:
I am sad because it appear to reveal the true motivation, something we all have had reason to suspect and that is that one day, our investment in Logos downloadable is going to be outdated software just like Adobe Photoshop downloadable (Which no longer exists) is outdated, or Microsoft Office Suite is outdated.  Your sentence here is the reason for us who have invested heavily to worry regardless of what we hear.  It is the reason for slowing down our purchases.  We have been losing confidence over the years with the decision making process. 

I'm sorry you're losing confidence. But I don't think it's accurate to imply that there was some 'secret true motive' that's only now being revealed. The world changes. We participate in that change, but we don't control it. The move to 'downloadable software being outdated' isn't the result of some decision Faithlife is making. If Adobe and Microsoft have already gone that way (and if close to zero new software companies in the last five years have released downloadable software.... and if even the tools to create downloadable software are being abandoned by the tools makers...), then it's the change in the world, not the change in Faithlife.

The fact is, we're held on to downloadable software longer than almost any other consumer software company. And we're still not abandoning it, even if we must one day. Just like we abandoned Windows 3.x, floppy discs, CD-ROMs and DVDs... when we had to, and usually long after other companies.

Mark:
Why could you not first email long term, heavily invested customers these ideas of yours to get feedback before implementing what amounts to a shock?

Maybe we could have done this differently; we'll consider that for the next round of changes. But as I pointed out in an earlier reply, with nine months lead time before any negative change, this kinda is the announcement and discussion period, even if we didn't label it that way. On the other hand, labeling it that way wouldn't in this case have changed the things that need to be done.

If your doctor calls you into her office and says sit down, it doesn't really help for her to then say "I want to talk about you coming back in a week to talk about your test results." It may be gentler than saying "You're sick", but it might be better to get right to that conversation....

Posts 76
Matthew | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 8:57 PM

Bob Pritchett:

abondservant:
Forcing people like myself who have paid 10k, and have 10k still being paid off are on the short end of the stick when it comes to subscriptions.

I don't have access to your individual email credit offer at the moment (I'm on the road), but I know that we're paying particular attention to users with significant investments in the purchased resources. If you've spent $10k with us, that's a significant investment we appreciate, and the difference in price between the two subscriptions is small in comparison. This should already have been addressed, or will be soon.

Bob,

I too am a five-figure customer, and that's just what shows on the order history, it doesn't go back to 1995-96 when I was an undergrad Bible major and purchased my first copy of Logos on multiple CD-ROMs that you had to switch out when prompted ;) I haven't yet received the email, but Chris duMond is working to figure out why. With regards to decreasing book sales for us with large libraries, I can only speak for myself, but there are dozens of books I'd still like to purchase. Some our on my wish list and are a matter of having the money or a good sale. But many are stuck in pre-pub and community pricing where they languish often for years. I've got over $1,000 in pre-pubs just waiting (one was released yesterday). And then there's the new releases that are available on Amazon but not FL. I HATE Kindle books, especially with no page numbers (how is that helpful?). My first choice is ALWAYS the Logos version if available. But when you have to have it for class or you just want to read it, and it's not available in Logos, then my finite book budget goes to Amazon instead of FL. And that's true of the majority of my required readings, they're not available in FL. So while it's true that those with large libraries probably need less books than they once did, that doesn't mean that we don't still want/need to buy books on a regular basis. After all, there are hundreds (thousands?) of Bible-related books released every year. I know there are all sorts of reasons for what makes it into FL format and what doesn't, but I'd certainly spend even more than I did with FL if more of the books I want were available. 

Shalom

Posts 3172
Forum MVP
PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 8:58 PM

Bob Pritchett:
(While we think the plan is done, it's also nine months from full implementation, which is plenty of time to gather feedback and make necessary tweaks...)

This is what I appreciate about FL, that you can be responsive and make adjustments.

Sincerely hoping you can find the sweet spot where FL is profitable and successful, and we continue to subscribe and support the company!

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 8:58 PM

abondservant:
Bob: So you are getting rid of a program people did like, and do use, to prop up something that YOU like, but isn't selling as well? seems risky.

We're getting rid of a program that only a tiny fraction of our customers embraced, which didn't generate enough revenue to be practical even though the tiny fraction loved it, in order to simplify a very confusing product offering into a clearer plan with two options, both of which should be financially sustainable.

We're also extending credits to the people who did participate to address the cost of transition. And I am apologizing to you, right here, that we couldn't make it live up to our hopes in that configuration.

Posts 1084
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 9:01 PM

Bob Pritchett:
Maybe we could have done this differently; we'll consider that for the next round of changes. But as I pointed out in an earlier reply, with nine months lead time before any negative change, this kinda is the announcement and discussion period, even if we didn't label it that way. On the other hand, labeling it that way wouldn't in this case have changed the things that need to be done.

I'll be blunt; the 140% price increase (don't call it anything else) would not have gone down well no matter how you handled this. Sending the email out first OR plainly saying in the forum thread, "You'll be getting an email with a coupon that will help you transition to a feature set if this is too much for you" would have taken away a lot of the initial heat.

To be blunter still: you lost a lot of trust yesterday, and it's not going to come back.

 Logos Now Subscriber -- 22/2/2018

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 9:02 PM

Everett Headley:
That which we have asked for largely goes unanswered.  That which we don't ask for, gets pushed onto us.

You're fair to suggest that you all (collectively) are our most important constituency. I agree.

But the general accusation that we don't give what's requested, and force what isn't requested, is a little too general. We provide a lot of what's requested -- much of what we offer is at user request. We do offer some things not requested -- some of our best (and most popular) products and features are things we came up with that you didn't know you wanted, but liked.

But if what you're asking for is "more for less", there are going to be some limits in every business, no matter how customer-friendly. We keep trying -- and over the long arc of our business, I think the evidence is there that we have delivered that -- but it has to make sense for survival. 

Posts 180
James Hudson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 9:02 PM
I think your view of the future is wrong - the software industry (desktop) is not going to be rental (like tv has become) - many years later most people can only give 2 examples of software that has gone that way (Adobe and MS Office) and those 2 exist because they are practically monopolies in their sectors and so can force this on their users. Logos is neither a cable tv company nor a monopoly. I think the future is in mobile apps. Most people in my church own a mobile app for phones or tablets (and most do not use logos app!) this area needs most development. It’s what will get new people into the Logos ecosystem in my opinion. Ps another reason people may not be spending as much on books now is not necessarily because they have large libraries it is because the books are gradually getting more expensive (I buy books every week and I own 28000+) but the only reason I buy less now is because the prices are gradually increasing. (I think community pricing should be the only model you use - gets an intersection of supply and demand to maximise profit)
Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 9:05 PM

PetahChristian:
If I was a brand new customer, I'd definitely subscribe to FL Connect

I hope, and expect, that many people will agree with you.

PetahChristian:
LN was an amazing value

In a way, part of the problem... maybe too amazing...

PetahChristian:
but I don't think that early release access is worth $240/yr.

Probably not; that's why there's a lot more in there then that, but if those things aren't valuable to you, then it's not right for you. Which is okay, because...

PetahChristian:
I'll likely take my $X00 and buy the L8 feature set.

...that works too.

PetahChristian:
Thanks again for writing, and for listening. May God bless you and your company, Bob.

Thank you.

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 9:12 PM

Donovan R. Palmer:
Logos Now was a bit of a membership club and we were loyal.

I appreciate that. I just didn't get enough of the users as members, and the hybrid model was confusing new customers.

Donovan R. Palmer:
it sounds like us users (the tail) abused the program by wagging the dog and were just looking for the next features.

Sorry if I wasn't clear... I wasn't calling you the tail, I was calling 'new features sooner' the tail wagging the Logos Now dog.

At the start we had lots of feature ideas and data sets to add, but over time we realized we needed to pour resources into bigger things like re-writes of core technology, stability and speed and other platform improvements, porting to the web, etc. While some users may have appreciated those things as part of the Logos Now deliverables, many users were counting features / deciding on 'what's new' and deciding it wasn't enough to justify it... and those new emphases would hurt that new subscriber recruiting even more...

Posts 3172
Forum MVP
PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 9:13 PM

Bob Pritchett:

PetahChristian:
but I don't think that early release access is worth $240/yr.

Probably not; that's why there's a lot more in there then that, but if those things aren't valuable to you, then it's not right for you. Which is okay,

It's not that those things aren't valuable. I think you bundled a lot of value into Faithlife Connect (and like LN, it pays for itself due to the benefits). Back issues of Bible Study Magazine is a big deal that I just found out about earlier today.

The difficult thing to swallow is paying rental costs for books and features which I own. Is there any solution for that sticking point?

Posts 1084
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 9:17 PM

PetahChristian:
It's not that they're not valuable. I think you bundled a lot of value into Faithlife Connect (and like LN, it pays for itself due to the benefits).

Just because there's more stuff in it doesn't mean it's valuable for everyone. I, personally, am not the least bit interested in mobile ed unless they start offering post-grad or post-doc level courses, and I've not even glanced at FaithLifeTV (or whatever it's called) even once. The problem is FaithLife is continuously pushing us to go bigger and more expensive in order to just keep up. At some point, people will say, "Enough!", and for many people, this is that point.

 Logos Now Subscriber -- 22/2/2018

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 9:27 PM

Mark:
I still go to places where there is no internet access.

Which is why the downloadable, transactional model is still better for some users, and why we're still offering it.

Mark:
I agree with those who see it more as a program being filled with bloatware.

I don't want to become bloatware. Unfortunately that's a tendency as things mature, for two reasons:

1) As a general tool matures, it goes into more niches both to respond to users and to chase new market segments with targeted features. The first version of Excel did math on numbers. Later versions had features specifically for tax professionals, construction estimators, and soccer moms. That's bloat to me, but value to those specific people.

2) Somewhere along the way most users have their basic needs met, but still want fresh updates, free tech support, etc. Sometimes they even stop upgrading, ending the revenue stream without ending the support expense stream. Companies add bloat to increase (for some people) the value perception, to capture revenue from alternate sources (like PC manufacturers being paid to incorporate third-party software), etc.

Subscription models help cure this second bloat problem by keeping revenue and costs more in sync (though introducing other costs, like constant customer acquisition). But the transition can be difficult and expensive... 

This is my problem, not yours, but I'll share it anyway: the only thing scarier than the phrase "I've never heard of Logos" (which I used to hear a lot years ago) is running into lots of people who say "I've had Logos for years, I love it, it's so powerful, I feel bad that I only use 5% of its incredible power... no, I haven't upgraded it, even though I use it every week, because it already does everything I need and more, and I couldn't possibly read more books."

I suppose we could declare victory and dissolve the company... but A) we've got mouths to feed and B) even those users might someday decide they need an update, or support, and wish we had more than a skeleton crew around to serve them.

Again, my problem, and a relatively high-class problem as problems go, but a problem none the less... which is what keeps leading us to narrower feature areas (to capture niches in the market that haven't bought yet) as well as to new product categories (like Proclaim and more) where we can continue to deliver value and get paid for it.

I know, most users would like to buy once, and then just have us continue to polish the gem, making it faster and prettier and easier to use...  that's how I feel about most products I buy!

But.... math.  :-)

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 22 2018 9:30 PM

Bryce Hufford:
Not many other companies out there would do that.

Thank you for this acknowledgement.

Bryce Hufford:
your subscription revenue is going to decline

As I mentioned in another reply, Logos Now generated around 1.8% of revenue.... so while that's real money, and I'd hate to see it go, if it all went, and as a result we ended up with a new subscription product for new customers that was understandable and financially viable, even if starting from zero subscribers, and existing users went back to purchasing upgrades / books as they wished, it would probably work out better.

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