Page 6 of 20 (390 items) « First ... < Previous 4 5 6 7 8 Next > ... Last »
This post has 389 Replies | 32 Followers

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 5:27 AM

Greg Masone:
I hate all software subscription models, and prefer owning the software.

Greg, I think what you're proposing is (half of) what we're doing: we're going back to just selling the software, which should meet your needs and those of many others. And then, for people starting from scratch or who prefer subscription, we're creating a subscription offering.

Or am I misunderstanding?

EDIT: I was misunderstanding... I now see you meant charging for the updates to the software... but I think that would break more expectations from even more users than discontinuing offering Logos Now, though you're right it might be an alternate solution.

Posts 313
Thinking | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 5:29 AM

Thanks!

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 5:31 AM

danwdoo:
Are these connect tiers like the base packages where the books are periodically switched out for new ones with new versions of Logos?

Yes, which is one of the reasons it's hard to dynamically price them... they will be changing as our contracts change, as our base package libraries change, etc. (Just as which movies Netflix offers is changing every month.) We believe this to be a benefit, and hope you'll generally see the value grow, not just change. 

With that said, I don't expect the changes to be frequent, or massive. They may more often follow major changes in our base packages.

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 5:38 AM

m wilson:

Let's suppose your dream came true and the entire church used FL software: then what? Where will you get the new customers and new revenue streams that you WILL NEED since, your business model requires that you can never stop growing? When is enough ever enough?

This is a classic problem for all businesses; the answer is generally 'adjacent markets' -- hence Faithlife TV, Faithlife Proclaim, etc. (Sometimes it is demographics -- the country is growing too, and the population continues to increase....)

It would be nice to say "my business is done, and we can freeze at this size" -- and some very tiny businesses do that. (Restaurants, a flower shop, etc.) But that's harder when you're bigger or where you employ in categories where people's skills (and payroll expectations) grow more quickly than your pricing does. When you hire, say, software developers right out of college, you need more than 1% revenue growth just to meet their increasing pay expectations as they gain experience. A restaurant can just 'always hire the same person' at the same wage by having 100% annual staff turnover -- skills requirements are low, recruiting is cheap, and training is short. It's harder to do in our business.

And then add into all that our maturing (in years with us, not age!) customer base, which I described earlier, which spends less over time while keeping most support costs constant... 

You're right -- we have to keep growing.

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 5:44 AM

Thinking:
Notice that Bob is no longer saying that a subscription only model won't happen, he is now saying he doesn't "plan" for it to happen.

I'm sorry if I created confusion; I didn't mean to change any phrasing or plan... I do think it's a bad idea to say 'never' -- we hope to be here a long time and we have no idea what the future holds 20+ years out -- but we are not planning / hoping / designing for a subscription only world. In many ways the transactional world is much better for us; our business works better with larger amounts up front. But it's getting harder and harder to sign up new customers for that larger initial purchase, and even the technology platforms are moving to designs that discourage downloaded desktop software, which creates ongoing support / update costs even if users would have been happy to just 'stay with what worked'.

But we want to offer both, and nothing I said here was meant to signal any change in that plan.

Posts 611
Dave Thawley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 5:56 AM

HI Bob,

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain your companies decision to introduce this.  My concern is the way that everything is lumped together which I know your e-mail touches upon with an analogy.  It sounds like the reason for the product introduction is to keep revenue flowing in order for you to develop the product, run the business and make a profit.  This makes sense total sense from your side of the fence and I can understand why as a business you want this. From my perspective as a customer I want this too, if only to see the product develop and be available in 20 years time so we are on the same page there.   I would also like to thank you for the "break in" period and I have to say I feel you have looked after me personally over the next year so thank you for this.  My criticism is the bundling of features which we may or may not want seems unfair.  For example I have a lot of the books in the bundle you are including but I have to effectively pay for these again (month after month). How about doing something smart and including books we don't already own, or giving us a discount for stuff we already own. Also I love Mobile Ed but I want to own the courses for future reference so renting them for 6 months is for me pointless - how about letting us buy the courses as a very much reduced rate or even giving us them as part of the subscription.  What you have suggested  may be workable but I think you need to be customer driven and not revenue driven - aim for customer satisfaction and you will hit your revenue targets - aim for revenue targets and you are likely to miss both.

Please consider applying this product in a better way :-) 

Thanks

Posts 1949
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 6:00 AM

Bob Pritchett:

Contents of the collections will change over time as we're able to negotiate different terms, as we get usage data and history, etc.

If you know you're going to be a 20 year user, then you probably do want to purchase content

Bob

You have just convinced me that once again, my thinking is correct and I have a right to be confused by what you are doing.  Mark Barnes' question is the similar to what I had and posted on another thread introducing Faithlife Connect.  What if I want 10,000 resources?  FLC does not offer such a deal. Currently I have 18,500 resources, some which are no longer sold because you no longer have a license to sell them. 

Some people want specific books.  Can they rent specific commentaries, books, resources?  It seems by your answer that purchasing is always going to be necessary, and thus a hybrid is the only possible way to go. 

If your statistics say that many do not own for 20 years, I think you may be reading the statistics wrong.  There will clearly be a crowd that will own for a few years as they go through school.  But have you considered the possibility that the customer is not long term because the program is confusing, has a huge learning curve, expensive and changes like this that you are now presenting causes customers to be wary of what is going on. 

People want to build a library.  There are books I have collected which I do not need now but will need later and I want them in my library.  There are books you no longer have a license to sell which are in my library.  The subscription model has a place for a particular target audience and should be developed.  But I think you underestimate the desire of many to build a library.  How does offering 2737 books in the ultimate plan fulfill the desire of someone to build a library of their choice?  Perhaps if you offer a package where the subscriber can CHOOSE what 2737 would be in his plan....that would make it an attractive deal not just for ultimate, but for all the plans.

Posts 491
Bootjack | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 6:02 AM

Andre, do you actually save by waiting till Logos 8, especially if you're back to Logos 5 or 6. Personally, I had Logos 6 before hurling myself into LN. I figured I might as well buy Logos 7 and it will lessen the cost of 8 a little bit at least. What say ye? 

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

Posts 3222
Forum MVP
PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 6:02 AM

André Kamphuis:
Bob, do you expect Logos 8 to be released before our Logos Now subscription expires (November 2018)?   Otherwise it would be hard to know whether we should use our credit to buy the Logos 7 Full Feature set or to wait for the features that will come with Logos 8.

I haven't seen anything official about when L8 will be released, but Phil recommended that it would be better to wait for L8.

Bootjack:
I figured I might as well buy Logos 7 and it will lessen the cost of 8 a little bit at least. What say ye?

According to the Phil's post, it works out better to wait. L8 introductory pricing would be one reason for the savings. Not sure what other factors make it cheaper to hold off.

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 6:11 AM

Don Awalt:
The crux of the issue is that FL has developed a lot of extra stuff that is not profitable.

Don, this would be a great analysis, except that one thing is reversed: those 'extra things' aren't the unprofitable part... it's the 'free' Bible software that's unprofitable. Selling it in a bundle model (bundled with books, and now other stuff) is what made the whole thing profitable.

Don Awalt:
more ancillary products, services, offerings have been bundled in - and by necessity the price is doubled

Saying we should drop the ancillary stuff so we can keep the cost lower is a bit like saying the car dealer should not offer the free weatherproof floor mats, and just drop the price of the car in half. The floor mats weren't what was taking the price up.... :-)

At the root of this problem is that our component prices aren't lined up with our component costs.

When we build a bundle, of 'software + books + other stuff', we can price that bundle to cover the costs. And (for old and historic reasons) we acted like the cost to you was 0% for software, 100% for books, and 0% for other stuff.

That was never true -- the software got subsidized by the books. Now our costs are changing (need to code for multiple tech platforms, increased cost of software development, and more) while we've gotten better at books (they cost us less to make).

And at the same time, the market is changing: long-time customers want more books, want more attention on software development that while important, attracts fewer new customers (new customers notice new features; experienced customers want more performance and polishing), and less other stuff.... and the market is changing where publishers want higher royalties on the books and competitors (with different structures and costs) are pushing the price of ebooks down... and in-app purchasing on mobile (growing platform) wants a 30% cut of revenue, not profit...

So now we've got a cost structure for software + books + other stuff that may look more like:

80% + 10% + 10%

and users are saying "hey, I just want those software updates...maybe even just the free ones...and I have enough books and don't need that other stuff... so I'm willing to pay you 10% of the old bundle price -- just don't give me more books and other stuff I don't want."

Which sounds very generous if you think our costs are 0% + 80% + 20%. But they aren't.

I suppose one solution, as suggested here, is to force everyone to start paying for the software upgrades at a level that will cover their costs. But this is difficult for technical reasons (Apple doesn't let you update some mobile users and not others, and some updates are hard to gate to just some users without massive complexity)...

And in light of the firestorm we see here for annoying the (tiny!) percentage of users who bought Logos Now, how much greater would the firestorm be if we changed the long-promised 'software updates are free' model? I think people would burn down our buildings....

And this change doesn't break promises -- it just disappoints expectations. (We're delivering what we promised -- we just aren't continuing to offer this package in the future.) Changing the whole model to paid updates or your software goes stale / doesn't work on new operating systems would be actually breaking a promise.

Sure, other companies 'bake in' these future costs, but they have smaller software, generally sell subscription-only, and don't have 25+ years of legacy (and size) to support... and I'll guess they'll have abandoned their product / shipped completely new things long before 25 years pass....

Posts 71
Brian Huddleston | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 6:11 AM

Bob,

Thanks for the post.  I am like several others who chose LN as a way to support development efforts and use new features before they were offered in a package.  When I renewed this year, I wasn't thinking about a 6 week release cycle but about the features that I would likely use this year.  

If the lowest offering had the Sermon Editor and a few other features that I use in LN, I'd maintain a subscription.  Since FL has sent a discount code towards the purchase of a package that would get me those features, there's no reason for me to be upset.  You've been more than fair and we've seen a better web product and feature sets along the way.  

Wylie, TX

Posts 1890
Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 6:12 AM

Bob,

Thank you very much for the extended, detailed explanation behind the new direction. You don't owe us that, but I definitely appreciate it.

Despite all of the data that you have gathered, I think there's an incorrect premise in your explanation. It's not that we wanted new features every 6 weeks - it's that we wanted to have the easiest possible way to make sure we always had all available features (including datasets). If you had rolled out significant new features annually, that would have been fine - I know that I'd have them.

What I (and many others, based on all the threads) wanted was a known, fixed cost that ensured I'd have all the features. There are two reasons this is important: 1) I don't need any more large package book purchases; 2) FL's long-standing policy of not releasing feature-only upgrades on the day of major upgrades. As I said in another thread, if I knew for sure that I could upgrade on the day of release for the equivalent of $99/year, I'd be content. But we don't know what the day-of-release offerings are going to be, let alone the price. LN gave me predictability at an easy to swallow price point. That's disappeared.

Further, if LN users only make up 1.8% of revenue - you admitted it wasn't as widely adopted as you'd hoped - what makes you think that Connect will have any better adoption rate? As I look at the price points, a new customer could buy packages that he/she would own for the annual cost of a subscription, which would disappear if the subscription is not renewed. It's not clear to me how Connect provides more incentive to adopt than LN.

One last point: You made it clear that you're trying to ensure that you can have an appropriately profitable company - completely understandable. But the extra "benefits" in Connect Essentials surely cost something. So the price point for Essentials has to cover the costs for all Logos features plus 2 courses plus TV plus other resources plus whatever other "benefits" are included. What's the objection to offering a Logos-only subscription which doesn't have to cover those costs. As I read all the threads, the majority of respondents state that those benefits have been lightly used at best in LN and aren't actually of interest.

I suspect your response will be: "That's all understandable, Donnie. That's why you can still buy the feature sets." That would be a perfectly fair response, but it would still miss my main point: The purchase price point for feature sets when major releases come out is unknown and unpredictable. $99/yr solves that problem for me (and I think many others).

Thanks again for responding and answering so many questions. It's generous of you.

Donnie

Posts 334
Paul Strickert | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 6:16 AM

One trend I've seen in my part of the U.S. (and others have reported elsewhere) is a drop in regular church attendance.  Those who do attend, in my experience, seem less interested in serious Bible study.  To be honest, I'm alarmed that people show little interest in becoming more biblically literate.  I cannot help but wonder how this affects Bible software companies, especially Logos/FL, which caters to the pretty serious student of Scripture.

Posts 618
Stephen Steele | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 6:18 AM

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 appreciate you taking time to address these concerns.

I have invested over $19,800 in Logos but have been shunted onto Faithlife Connect Starter (which I have no interest in) and been given a coupon towards L8 which I'm confident won't cover the full feature set. I don't feel that in my case you are 'paying particular attention to users with significant investments in purchased resources'.

Up until L6 I bought base packages, and only changed that pattern because we were led to believe that Logos Now was the future. I appreciate that hasn't worked out the way you had hoped, but now I feel that my only option is to revert to the purchase model. However if I do that and buy the L7 full feature set (which my credit would just about allow me to do), I'll be missing out on features brought out since L7 was released which I've become accustomed to using under Now membership.

Even if I buy 8 I'll be missing out on ongoing new features for 2 years at a time until the next base package is released unless I pay for a subscription which is over twice the price of Logos Now. But even if I was starting again I wouldn't go down the Logos Connect model due to the paucity of quality resources even at the highest level.

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 6:21 AM

Mark:
Some people want specific books.  Can they rent specific commentaries, books, resources?  It seems by your answer that purchasing is always going to be necessary, and thus a hybrid is the only possible way to go. 

Maybe, at some point. But you're correct, it'll always be a hybrid, just as my video consumption from Amazon is -- I get lots of video in the subscription, the content of which constantly changes, and I also buy some specific titles that aren't available in subscription, or which I want to ensure I'll have future access to.

Mark:
If your statistics say that many do not own for 20 years, I think you may be reading the statistics wrong.

Only a small (vocal! and much appreciated!) minority of our customers use our software for 20 years. Many buy it and don't use it much after the first few months. Others buy it to get through school, and then their use fades. New subscriber customers may behave like other subscription models, with church as high as 2% per month.

Some people know they're in for the short term, and subscription is best. Others know they're in for the long term, and they should purchase.

Mark:
People want to build a library.

Some people do. Just as some people still buy DVDs and organize their collections, or purchase the music they like. Other people own zero movies, zero DVDs, and just subscribe to Netflix and Spotify.

We're trying to serve both audiences, and they are very, very different. (Another reason Logos Now particularly confused/frustrated new customers: it was half of each model....)

We know that some people do want to build a library. But we're running into many other people who just want 'tools to help me' and ask 'what's the monthly cost?'

Posts 781
scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 6:25 AM

Mark Smith:
Bob, I am just amazed that you'd ask me to shell out $200 a month for access to less than 3,000 resources (Connect Ultimate).

I very much appreciate, Mark, you taking the time to write an extensive reply [that I could not get to be quoted in its entirety].

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 6:33 AM

Donnie Hale:
What I (and many others, based on all the threads) wanted was a known, fixed cost that ensured I'd have all the features. There are two reasons this is important: 1) I don't need any more large package book purchases;

Well, if you do subscribe to Faithlife Connect, you can still have that predictability, just at a higher cost. Because you're kind of making my point... we were pricing Logos Now in a way that still anticipated we'd get revenue subsidy from book purchases. But you have (understandably) become an "I don't need any more large package book purchases" customer, which means we're getting less revenue than was expected/needed to support the feature development you expect.

Donnie Hale:
Further, if LN users only make up 1.8% of revenue - you admitted it wasn't as widely adopted as you'd hoped - what makes you think that Connect will have any better adoption rate?

Because Logos Now was (by definition) something we sold to people with a base package, and those base package customers turned out to (mostly) not care about it.... and it confused the messaging to new customers. Faithlife Connect is a clearer story (and a good value) for a new subscriber who isn't tacking it on top of a base package sale, and who may not be a 20-year user. And there may be many, many more people in the church who are willing to subscribe at a lower up front cost because their need is different. (Someone who signed up to be a small group leader this year... and who might not want to make a permanent, multi-hundred-dollar library purchase, or a student who wants to have extra tools to get through this semester...)

We still offer full purchase, and even payment plans, to make the permanent licensing accessible too, but we're realizing there are different customer profiles.

We may be wrong, in which case we'll adjust things again... but we're pretty certain there are people out there who aren't 'base + Now' customers, who want something simpler.

Donnie Hale:
The purchase price point for feature sets when major releases come out is unknown and unpredictable. $99/yr solves that problem for me (and I think many others).

I know, and I'm sorry that particular option is going away... but it wasn't solving the problem for the costs to support it.

Posts 650
Kiyah | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 6:53 AM

As someone about to graduate from seminary, I was thinking that Now would have been an affordable way to stay up to date on the software without adding to my library. I didn't think I'd be able to afford the feature only packages going forward, and I've pretty much gotten my library to where I want it with the exception of some "nice-to-haves" that I probably won't end up buying.

I don't think the primary value of Now was new features "every six weeks" so much as just up-to-date software without massive financial outlay. You could have been on an annual or semi-annual update schedule and it still would have been valuable.

But if some people thought that "cool new features every six weeks" was the most important aspect of Logos Now, they had a lot of help coming to that conclusion...because that's how you marketed the product. You aggressively marketed this product, and one of the main talking points was new features every six weeks without having to wait for the next major update. I mean, you did name the offering Logos NOW, as in I can have new features NOW instead of waiting two years. You marketed Logos Now in every way imaginable. Many of your Logos Pro training videos are basically extended length advertisements for Logos Now, since you always made sure to include menu options that people didn't have unless they had Logos Now. That added to people's confusion because they would try to perform the actions in the training videos to discover they didn't have the feature that was being demonstrated, and it wasn't always explicitly called out that it was a Logos Now-only feature. My very detailed oriented mind (I was an accountant/financial analyst in my former life) means I automatically look for those little details, but not everybody thinks that way. They assume that if you show them something on a training video, they will be able to do it in their software.

My point is that Faithlife creates a lot of their own problems through their own aggressive marketing/communication tactics. I see it over and over again every time you have a new product/service release or promotion. Every time, there is some level of confusion (usually mass-confusion) that can be directly traced back to vague/misleading communication or even out-and-out overselling of products offerings or promotions (meaning pretty much overstating or playing up offerings to the point that customers consistently think they're getting more than they actually are). You pretty much do have to have an accountant's or lawyer's eye for detail and precision to see what is really being said and what's not being said, and I see why the average person may get confused. You need to focus on clear communication in advertising going forward, or you will continue to have these problems.

As many have said, the greatest value you offer is the actual software itself with all of the wonderfully helpful features. It has been indispensable during my seminary education. I love the software and the powerful tools it offers, and I hope to have a reasonably affordable way to keep my software up to date going forward. I know you need to make money, and I want your to business to be sustainable. One major reason I chose Logos over Accordance is that I thought you were more up to date on the latest technology trends in software, and thus would be more sustainable going forward since I was making a big investment in the future of any bible software program I chose. Keep up the good work and remember to continue to focus on what you're good at. Sorry for the long post, but I've wanted to say this for a long time but never felt like typing this much before and thought it would be overkill. Smile

Live long a prosper, Faithlife...seriously, live long and prosper.

Posts 2062
Forum MVP
Randy W. Sims | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 6:57 AM

Bob Pritchett:
it's the 'free' Bible software that's unprofitable.

Stop developing free software. Sure, develop the engine, keep it tuned and running. That's what has been promised. Not all features have to be part of the base engine, do they? What if you kickstart features? Take all your feature ideas, uservoice ideas, write them up in a special area of CP and let people pay for the ones they want. 1) You get paid to develop it. 2) We get a say in what gets developed and the priority. It seems like this might have been mentioned before but I can't find it and don't remember the pluses/minuses that I'm surely missing.

RE: Faithlife Connect. I wish, instead of starter, we had Logos Now (or something with a better name than starter) at the lowest tier. Fine, raise the price to $12.99. No FTV, No digital books. Two pluses: Those of us who like see features as they develop would continue to have access. We might complain about the price, but we all know it's got to go up eventually, and it's small enough to stomach; 2) It narrows the price gap to the next level while increasing the feature gap which should hopefully tempt a lot of people to make that leap. It's a very worthy leap to those who can afford it.

Posts 3938
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 7:01 AM

Bob Pritchett:

Thinking:
Notice that Bob is no longer saying that a subscription only model won't happen, he is now saying he doesn't "plan" for it to happen.

But we want to offer both, and nothing I said here was meant to signal any change in that plan.



Thats good, I sorta felt like a guy on a sinking boat that was watching the captain leap into the sea.

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

Page 6 of 20 (390 items) « First ... < Previous 4 5 6 7 8 Next > ... Last » | RSS