Bob: The mistake of bloat v real value increases

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This post has 74 Replies | 6 Followers

Posts 7212
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 25 2018 9:35 PM

I’ll sit this one out 👍😁👌

Posts 130
Andrew116 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 25 2018 10:26 PM

I'm not writing any of these things to throw stones. Its because I care about Logos. It's because I love it. It's because it makes my life better. 

"One day Jobs came into the cubicle of Larry Kenyon, an engineer who was working on the Macintosh operating system, and complained that it was taking too long to boot up. Kenyon started to explain, but Jobs cut him off. “If it could save a person’s life, would you find a way to shave ten seconds off the boot time?” he asked. Kenyon allowed that he probably could. Jobs went to a whiteboard and showed that if there were five million people using the Mac, and it took ten seconds extra to turn it on every day, that added up to three hundred million or so hours per year that people would save, which was the equivalent of at least one hundred lifetimes saved per year. “Larry was suitably impressed, and a few weeks later he came back and it booted up twenty-eight seconds faster,” Atkinson recalled. “Steve had a way of motivating by looking at the bigger picture.”

(Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs, 123)

I'm not saying that Logos should run like Apple - Steve Jobs sounds like a tyrant at times. But he knew that little things like start up times make a difference to people's lives, and he helped people find a way to improve them. 

Posts 67
Paul C | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 25 2018 10:37 PM

DAL:

I’ll sit this one out 👍😁👌

Only cause you don't want butter on your keyboard.

Posts 334
Charlene | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 25 2018 11:47 PM

Ted Weis:
I just want well tagged resources and more available books.

That's it! That's what we want!

In the very early years (back in the early 90s), there were a couple of possibilities that I could have gone with as far as Bible study software, but I went with Libronix (actually CD Word) because you would be able to develop a library over the years and that is what I have done. THAT is ALL that I want. I don't want Proclaim, I don't want Faithlife TV, I don't want any of that. I just want the Bible software to work and to be able to keep adding resources to it. I do want the latest books/research. I do want the latest journals. So if Faithlife would start delivering those things in a more reasonable timeframe, then more Bible teachers and students would purchase them, BUT not for an arm and a leg! I remember when resources were relatively inexpensive, so people could buy more then. The prices just have increased so much that it makes it more difficult to buy.

So I don't buy as many resources as I would like and that is due to the cost. Nowadays when I am purchasing a book, I am also paying the salary of those working on Proclaim, Faithlife TV, etc. I can't afford that nor do I want to do that.

And I don't need all the bells and whistles for more "new things" concerning the software. Don't make it more complicated or even less people will buy it.

Plus deliver on past promises. In Logos 4 you came out with a great set of maps. Then in Logos 6 a major selling point was the Atlas and that was the ONLY reason that I went with that upgrade. BUT that was poorly done and undeveloped and I was sorely disappointed and it is even now harder to find the maps that are decent.

Throughout my sports life one thing that my winning coach said that always rang true, even in life. "Stick with the basics." That won us numerous state championships and enabled me to become a scholarship athlete. That is what LOGOS needs to do, is go back to the basics. Go back to what made you great and different from the other companies and stay true to that. Do that well and the income will come in.

I appreciate Logos and I use the software daily in preparation for my teaching, as well as working on my doctorate in Bible studies and history. But since Logos 4, I personally believe that the focus has not been the same and thus the company has stretched itself into so many areas (need I mention "dating"!), and thus the attention has not been on just the Bible software. Please go back to that. I don't want to lose my investment of thousands and thousands of dollars that I have spent with this company. I don't want to have to buy another Bible software program, but if things continue as is, then that decision is coming closer and closer. I am trying to hold that off as long as I can, but if Faithlife cannot go back to "being Logos," with the focus on the Bible software, then that decision will have to be made, as painful as it will be.

Please, Bob, put the focus back on what made Logos great.

Thank you.

Posts 3763
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 26 2018 2:54 AM

In my opinion, and as I expressed it already long ago, Faithlife is trying to do too much and it undermines its ability to focus on doing what it does better. It is actually bewildering to consider the number of directions in which Faithlife has gone now (logos books, vyrso ebooks, noet, mobileEd, Faithlife TV, Proclaim, church traditions, LN, Cloud, Connect, languages, etc, etc, etc). 

I am not sure whether this is the result of good intentions or felt as a necessity from a business standpoint (or a mix of both). I don't know how FL is actually doing as a business. I just hope it will not implode.

There have been missed experiments (Noet and LN being the most resounding ones) and those undermine customer confidence. I think it likely that the confidence of many LN subscribers has been shaken up by the recent change to Connect. FL needs to be careful with that or indeed will lose business to competitors. The "lifeboat" analogy does convey the sense of safety over against a leaky vessel.

This being said, it is worth also bringing into the conversation the things that FL does that are commendable practices and that we would do well not to take for granted.

  • One is the commitment to continued free updates of program core and resources. I know of one competitor I had purchased a number of years ago: I don't get a free "core" update to the new version when they have one. Some competitors do however. 
  • Quality free books. I do not mean here the LN offerings which, from what I have seen, are frequently not high quality (public domain stuff mostly), but the freebies of the month. 
  • Recently I picked up the last 9 volumes of Tyndale commentaries (all published after 2011) for a whooping price of $21! So dynamic and academic pricing also frequently result in great deals. Good luck buying these books in print for that price. I do find that there are fairly regularly impressive discounts despite the fact that users are always asking for more and price-matching. This does not negate the fact that some resources are incredibly high-priced.

I agree somewhat with the idea that strong availability of books is an important aspect of the value of logos although I do find that user suggestions that would have every book one likes available in Logos excessive. The CP program has suffered some. Nevertheless, I must say that once I was looking at a competitor and despite the high reputation of its features, I turned away because their offerings were comparatively few, more expensive, and their upgrades rare. The availability of resources is important and an ongoing need for a good number of users (especially in academics) but again, running after too many rabbits at a time causes problems. 

I think that Faithlife and other leading Bible software that are serious about Bible software development have already impacted the history of biblical scholarship and need to keep in mind the value of continuing to further that history and pioneering the capacity to do high level software-based research. What we can do now compared to previous generations is mind boggling and I have to remind myself when I critique scholars even from the 1980's that they could not do searches of the kind we can now. In my opinion, the long view would make this aspect of the software's development the most critical and significant. This is where the ongoing development and refining of tools remains important although even there too much scattering becomes counter-productive and affects the quality of what is released negatively. But it remains that Bible software still has largely the ability to go "where no one has gone before" as long as it represents real research needs and not just fancy but remotely useful features. 

The other aspect of Faithlife that I have only been able to moderately take advantage of (for lack of funds) is MobileEd. We must not underestimate the incredible value of what Faithlife has developed there and is offering. I agree with what one user said that some subscriptions models are largely useless when it comes to MobileEd (or too random to be dependable value). But on the other hand, deeply discounted courses or some better subscription models actually provide remarkable value. To think that users around the world can access such degree of education from home (if they can afford it, which I know is not a given) is again a significant development historically (think what your biblical education options would have been in the 17th century or even last one!). 

I am not saying this to "come to the rescue" of Faithlife and undermine the concerns that have been voiced in this thread. I mean this more as input on what I think Faithlife has done better or can do better. I also invite the conversation among ourselves as users to go beyond what each of us wants/prefers to a longer view of what is most valuable overall for the study of the Scriptures and to empower ministry. 

The question that remains is how can the course be adjusted? Every initiative has had its fan base and changes necessarily brings discontent (e.g., LN to Connect). I think for my part that I would be more willing to accept even far-ranging changes if it communicated confidence that FL has clarified its mandate, not just in general terms, but in a way that points to a solid sense of direction. Obviously such changes should be exceptional not frequent. Provided that proper compensations are provided where there is resulting loss and care is taken to manage transitions well (something I see Faithlife trying to do with Connect) the whole "boat" can find itself consolidated. 

Yet as I write this, I do so recognising that I am neither a businessman nor a programmer. I do not claim to have it all figured out. 

Posts 334
Charlene | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 26 2018 3:02 AM

Francis:

This being said, it is worth also bringing into the conversation the things that FL does that are commendable practices and that we would do well not to take for granted.

  • One is the commitment to continued free updates of program core and resources. I know of one competitor I had purchased a number of years ago: I don't get a free "core" update to the new version when they have one. 
  • Quality free books. I do not mean here the LN offerings which, from what I have seen, are frequently not high quality (public domain stuff mostly), but the freebies of the month. 
  • Recently I picked up the last 9 volumes of Tyndale (all published after 2011) for a whooping price of $21! So dynamic and academic pricing also frequently result in great deal. Good luck to buy these books in print for that price. I do find that there are fairly regularly impressive discounts despite the fact that users are always asking for more and price-matching. This does not negate the fact that some resources are incredibly high-priced.

Yes

Posts 2841
Michael Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 26 2018 11:54 AM

I suppose younger customers are wanting more features.  I do not use most of the features Logos already has.  I want the books.  I want the tagging.  I want the language tools.  I want quality commentaries.  I do not want the software to do more analysis for me.  I like the way that I study the Bible now.

Certainly, I am out of touch.  But I do not understand Faithlife's approach.  They have customers begging for them to sell certain quality resources (Carta, for example), but Faithlife's attention seems to be on marketing strategies that are mostly unpopular with their customers.

The only way an ole goat of a customer like me is going to make another major purchase is if Logos is selling some books that I do not have, but really want in my Logos library.  As of now, that is not the case.  (The last such purchase was the Fathers of the Church series.) 

I cannot imagine a single new feature that I would give you a dime to have.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

Posts 334
Charlene | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 26 2018 11:57 AM

Michael Childs:
I do not want the software to do more analysis for me.  I like the way that I study the Bible now.

Yes

Posts 7212
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 26 2018 2:06 PM

Paul C:

DAL:

I’ll sit this one out 👍😁👌

Only cause you don't want butter on your keyboard.

This however, made me spill the butter on my keyboard.  I tried to order something from Accordance using their coupon and this was the email response.  Now you tell me if this isn’t a reason to be concerned about. If not, why mention Logos specifically by name. Could something be brewing in the background that we users don’t know about? Life saving coupon is too much of a coincidence. Could the Logos ship be sinking and the competition just wants to help save some honest people some money so they won’t throw it in a ship that is sinking? Maybe it’s time to start worrying about something. What exactly? I don’t know, but I wish I knew.

Posts 7212
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 26 2018 2:17 PM

Ps.  So in essence everything they wrote in their blog where they offer the coupon and they describe problems with the Bible study software...They were in reality talking about Logos even though they didn’t  mention Logos by name in their blog, but they did so in the email I received...hmmm...

Posts 130
Andrew116 | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 26 2018 2:19 PM

Looks to me like a very unfortunate and improper slip of the tongue from a company that has prided itself until now on being above the L v A bickering. 

I dont see any reason to believe that a competitor knows anything about the true state. 

no doubt sensing some disquiet among Logos users they are hoping to capitalise, nothing more. 

And if they were as confident of their superiority as they make out, the discounts would not be as deep

Posts 10891
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 26 2018 2:28 PM

Michael Childs:

I cannot imagine a single new feature that I would give you a dime to have.

I'm even less Logosian than you. No updates; no L8. Older PC. But I can imagine bunches of features. Maybe the top 2, I'd pay $100 for.  

Ok, ok. I under-estimated. The top 1 I'd pay $500 for. And if they church'd the interface, $1,000. ('Church' means usable for fellow Bible study-ers.)

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 7212
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 26 2018 3:19 PM

Correction, guys!

Accordance emailed me and told me the first e-mail where they only mention that the coupon is valid only for Logos users who want to switch to Accordance is a mistake.  The coupon is intended for anyone who wants to switch to Accordance regardless of what Bible software they own.  They do not have any inside information and they DO NOT WANT Logos to feel they are being targeted.

So my apologies if I read too much into their email and posted right away.

Hopefully, all is clear now and no discord has been sowed.  That's the last thing I want.

Thanks guys!

DAL

Posts 5285
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 26 2018 3:22 PM

I am only a user of both Accordance and Logos I have no real insight into the background happenings of either company beyond what one former FL employee shared a while ago. It seems very suspicious that the Lifeboat offer came up just as this happened, but I do doubt that FL is sharing things with Accordance and take it as a coincidence being I have doubts of some Accordance spy network. I doubt that FLC is the he equivalent of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic but I also sit back and wonder about the wisdom of many projects like FLTV. Bob is running his business as he sees best if we don't like it there are alternatives, though none with so robust of offerings (that said how many of us utilized to a great deal of the many books coming in our packages, books that appear to me to have often been added to gain a higher resource count than actually useful. I have long worried over FL with many of its actions in the past  (but pauls "be anxious for nothing" was written for people like me) but we have been constantly reassured (and I have no indication it is a lie) all is financially ok and these things are done to ensure it stays that way. I never was a Verbum or Logos Now customer NOR do I see myself ever being a FLC customer. But I can understand the reasons for it in that there is a market for that, not sure how large but I have often said most people I know even pastors do not want to invest even the $300 to get started in Logos.... They have finally released a Basic to give people a real feel for the value people might get in Logos and finally offer people a real chance to get their feet wet before buying. I have no idea how many people will be lead into becoming subscribers/package purchasers from this move but I have told numerous people to download both it and Accordance, the once that I know moved beyond that point did go with Accordance as a cheaper price point, but that said I have talked mostly to lower end users like myself who don't use all in either software has to offer in original language study. Rather than Accordance Bibleworks or Olivetree the real danger to FL is that many are like the person above who said their friends would prefer to just google it. There will not be the quality there but in this day and age some people want quick answers with no depth... I for one am very happy to read and try to get my own answers from reliable sources be they in FL or other software.

-dan 

Posts 2319
Forum MVP
John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 26 2018 4:21 PM

DAL:

Correction, guys!

Accordance emailed me and told me the first e-mail where they only mention that the coupon is valid only for Logos users who want to switch to Accordance is a mistake.  The coupon is intended for anyone who wants to switch to Accordance regardless of what Bible software they own.  They do not have any inside information and they DO NOT WANT Logos to feel they are being targeted.

So my apologies if I read too much into their email and posted right away.

Hopefully, all is clear now and no discord has been sowed.  That's the last thing I want.

Thanks guys!

DAL

That's funny... They have a "Switcher" then "Life Boat" sale the day that Logos has a minor meltdown in the forums over LN and they don't want Logos to feel targeted.

I have no problem with the approach they took to marketing their product, but call it what it is, a direct shot at their competition when they were down. Bible Software is cut-throat... the industry I work in is not that tough. Business is business I guess regardless of the industry.

DAL, you don't usually let things like this slide... what's up?

Edit: Please read some humor into my post along with my observation.

Posts 635
Scott E. Mahle | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 26 2018 5:29 PM

John Fidel:

DAL:

Correction, guys!

Accordance emailed me and told me the first e-mail where they only mention that the coupon is valid only for Logos users who want to switch to Accordance is a mistake.  The coupon is intended for anyone who wants to switch to Accordance regardless of what Bible software they own.  They do not have any inside information and they DO NOT WANT Logos to feel they are being targeted.

So my apologies if I read too much into their email and posted right away.

Hopefully, all is clear now and no discord has been sowed.  That's the last thing I want.

Thanks guys!

DAL

That's funny... They have a "Switcher" then "Life Boat" sale the day that Logos has a minor meltdown in the forums over LN and they don't want Logos to feel targeted.

I have no problem with the approach they took to marketing their product, but call it what it is, a direct shot at their competition when they were down. Bible Software is cut-throat... the industry I work in is not that tough. Business is business I guess regardless of the industry.

DAL, you don't usually let things like this slide... what's up?

Edit: Please read some humor into my post along with my observation.

I'd give them an A for creativity, but they earn an F for attempting to back pedal after the fact. I've never seen Wendy's poke McDonald's on social media only to call it a mistake a bit later. I enjoy the rivalries! Some of the pokes are quite entertaining and very clever marketing.

Logos Series X Pastor’s Library | Logos 3 Leader’s Library | Logos 4 Portfolio | Logos 5 Platinum | Logos 6 Feature Crossgrade | Logos 7 Essential Upgrade - Large | Logos 8 Methodist & Wesleyan Platinum and Academic Professional

Posts 1870
LogosEmployee
Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 2 2018 2:37 PM

Check out Bob's announcement about the new migration plan for Logos Now members.

Posts 130
Andrew116 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 4 2018 2:14 PM

Here's a good example of something that would be a real value increase.

Here's what Topic Guide brings up for Socinianism. Only one entry found:

But Logos already knows I have more than that. It knows I have 6:

However, this doesn't even find the articles which are in the following dictionaries:

  • IVP New Dictionary of Theology
  • Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 
  • A Dictionary of Religious Denominations, Sects, Parties, and Associations

The IVP one is by no means obscure.

Topic Guide and Factbook are exceptional tools... yet only partially implemented. In fact it is one area where Logos has the edge over Acompetitor, but less so wherever it is partial. 

Investment into this area would be true value. 

Posts 2592
Beloved Amodeo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 4 2018 2:38 PM

Yes This a powerful observation!

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 130
Andrew116 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Mar 4 2018 2:53 PM

Yep. So it showed me 1/10 of what I had. 

I think this happens to me almost every day. 

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