Upgrading

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Posts 3938
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 9:38 AM

Bob had mentioned that with at the current prices they are operating at a .38% profit margin (note the decimal point).

 

They spent a couple of years working on this (apparently about 300 families), AND they are willing to give it away for free (in a couple months, I heard around christmas, but only Logos knows).

 

How can I complain about that?

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

Posts 60
Rustamania | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 9:39 AM

It does seem to be a communication issue.  I work for a technology company and have been reading the forums for about an hour.  I am just now understanding why the upgrade costs so much extra (extra resources), what the "free engine" means, and what a "cross grade" could entail.  I am wondering what the average guy who doesn't care as much as I do about technology and doesn't take the time to read through the forums is thinking.  It takes way to long to figure out what all of this means, when it could easily be explained in a simple format.  It is similar to how difficult it was for me to understand faithlife vs faithlife bible and how all of that fit together.

Posts 483
Gary Butner, Th.D. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 9:48 AM

Dean053:

Nathaniel Stamper:

I am with you. This is a huge let down by the company.

Unfortunately I get the increasingly impression that the attitude exhibited on the forums, if not by Logos itself, is along the lines of 'tough, if you don't like it, don't buy it, no-one's holding a gun to your head, stop grouching and be grateful'. I hope that impression is mistaken, but certainly many of the company's defenders on here seem to approve of it.

I think what most of the complainers are missing is that Silver 4 is NOT Silver 5, Gold 4 is NOT Gold 5, Platinum 4 is NOT Platinum 5, and Portfolio 4 is NOT Portfolio 5. Logos is offering both upgrades and downgrades between all packages.

 

Posts 1870
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 9:50 AM

Gary Butner:

If I recall correctly Logo 4 was introduced the same way, with the new tools only available with upgrades. The only marketing mistake Logos made in my opinion was in using the same package names on most of the packages. How many would be complaining if they had been offered upgrades from Gold to Senator, Platinum to Majestic, etc?

I agree, hindsight is always 20/20. I'm sure a naming shift would have created new questions, but it would have eliminated (in my opinion) much of the criticism about losing resources or repurchasing resources.

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

Posts 8601
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 9:51 AM

Gary Butner:
I think what most of the complainers are missing is that Silver 4 is NOT Silver 5, Gold 4 is NOT Gold 5, Platinum 4 is NOT Platinum 5, and Portfolio 4 is NOT Portfolio 5. Logos is offering both upgrades and downgrades between all packages.

Yes. And I still hold that changing the names altogether would have solved this dilema. 

Hindsight is always 20/20 and I'm a consumer not a decision maker.

Truth Is Still Truth Even if You Don't Believe It

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Warning: Sarcasm is my love language. I may inadvertently express my love to you.

Posts 1691
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 10:04 AM

Andrew Mckenzie:
The minimal cross-grade and free engine upgrade should have been available from the start to allow users who decide they can't afford the package upgrade pricing to not feel left out, cheated or some of the more colourful expressions some users have chosen to display their frustration.

When a new movie comes out, I can only take a family of four to watch it at the theater. (3D movie, as much as $12.95 x 4, plus popcorn and snacks we'll probably buy. Easily $50-60.)

If I wait six months (often less!) I can rent that movie from the DVD kiosk machine for $1, and all four of us can watch it with 25 cents of home-made popcorn.

When you go to the movie theater, are you angry that on opening night there isn't a kiosk with $1 rental versions of the same film right next to the ticket line? Should it "have been available from the start to allow viewers who decide they can't afford the theater experience not feel left out"?

- Is this wrong, or just frustrating?

- If the $1 rental was available the first day, do you think the revenue would be enough to cover the cost of making the movie?

 

With that said, I get the frustration. I wish that our tools could be cheaper, and we're always working to make things affordable -- that's why we have things at all different price points, offer stuff like Community Pricing, try to reduce prices and move things into bundles over time, etc. (If you look at your "per title" costs on any upgrade, you'll find it's a great deal compared to buying the books separately.)

But I also know that we are delivering some great value, and putting a lot of time and money into what we're offering. The new databases are cool -- I wish we could get them out to everyone right away! -- but I know that we started several of them before Logos 4 shipped, and it's taken multiple people more than three years to create them. I know that some of them will even continue to get more work and be automatically updated/improved through free download. And I know they cost a lot to make!

Nothing pains me like people saying they feel cheated or let down. That's not our intention at all; we really do see what we're doing as a service, and we want to serve well. But it also pains me to see people turning "just another business" into some kind of insult. Business itself isn't evil; by operating as a business rather than a ministry we are held accountable: if we don't deliver value, we don't get paid. We must deliver value for your investment, and we're here because we have, for 21 years. We live that accountability every day. And, at the same time, we're constrained by the "laws of business" -- supply and demand; buy low, sell high; how marketing and sales work, etc. -- just as we're all constrained by the "law of gravity." 

We have a different model than other software companies; the fact that we get paid only for content, and not for code, has forced us to keep building and expanding content offerings, and to try and bundle code and content together. We're also constrained by having a "pro" product. While more than a million people use the Logos platform, most of those are free mobile users reading the Bible. Our paying customer base is much, much smaller, and we're more like an exotic high-end engineering software package than we are like a mass-market consumer product. (And if you look at the upgrade price for high-end software -- or even mid-range stuff like Adobe's Creative Suite, I think you'll find we've a great deal!)

Expanding our customer base, though, is what will allow us to lower our costs, and that's why we do things like offer free mobile Bible reading apps and build out Faithlife -- some of those people join our "pro" user base and helps us spread development costs over a wider base.

Again, I'm sorry if anyone feels disappointed or let down. I hope that you'll think about the movie analogy, though, and give us a little time. Our long term goal -- of helping more people do more and better Bible study -- hasn't changed, and we'll keep trying to make the tools for that less expensive. It will just take some time to bring down the cost for each new tool.

-- Bob

Posts 1129
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 10:17 AM

Bob Pritchett:
Again, I'm sorry if anyone feels disappointed or let down. I hope that you'll think about the movie analogy, though, and give us a little time. Our long term goal -- of helping more people do more and better Bible study -- hasn't changed, and we'll keep trying to make the tools for that less expensive. It will just take some time to bring down the cost for each new tool.

 

I think your biggest problem was so radically changing the packages. I was shocked when I saw my upgrade cost from Portfolio to Portfolio was $821.06. Despite the value of the content, it just does not feel right. In addition, upgrading previous collections and books without making it clear gave the impression that the upgrade calculator was not working correctly. In otherwords, you created a perfect storm!

With that said after examining the packages I probably go with the Platium or wait for a cross-grade. Those costs are more in line with my past expectations. I certainly don't feel reaped off, just confused.

Posts 311
Michael Hite | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 10:20 AM

I have read most of this entire thread (including the remarks from Bob) and I have to say I'm disappointed - 

1. I am disappointed that some would suggest that Logos is going to receive some condemnation from God for being in the BUSINESS of selling a product. 

2. I am disappointed that some keep making the same wrong arguments over and over and over. YOU ARE NOT PAYING AGAIN FOR THE SAME RESOURCES YOU PAID FOR BEFORE! These upgrades offer new resources. Books and tools you don't currently own. You pay for nothing twice. You lose nothing you already own. If the resources offered in the upgrade don't interest you then DON"T BUY! But you are not paying for anything twice. Nothing has been taken away from you - you have been cheated out of nothing.

3. Many sound like the little girl from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - but I WANT IT NOW! We want cutting edge tools. We want new ways of searching and new databases that allow that searching. We want better integration, more, more, more and the general thought in the thread is - I want it for free or next to nothing and I want it now. No company can continue to innovate and then continue to give the product away for almost nothing - and LOGOS does give it away! Certainly they try to get you to buy more books to do that! That is how they pay to develop a product they make no money from.

4. I agree that I wish the cross grade was available now. I have looked at my upgrade resources and I am not that interested in the resources they have added. I could not care less what they call my package - I don't want to pay the price for the new resources right now. I would love the new datasets and features. I will wait for the cross grade - licking my lips the entire time. But even I understand the game - by putting paid upgrades out first, Logos may get people to evaluate their libraries, realize that they have some holes and PAY to fill those holes by upgrading now. If everyone is offered a no cost or low cost upgrade from the start they may not do that evaluation and may never pay to fill the holes in their library. In that event, Logos has paid tens of thousands of dollars if not hundreds of thousands and cannot recoup their costs. This is not deceptive or misleading, it is business.

5. "A laborer is worthy of his wages" - Luke 10:7. 

6. I agree that at times communication from the company could be better. I am not happy that some features never made it into L4 that should have. But if this new tool will benefit you - then support it. If not. Keep using L4 and enjoy the power it brings to your study of God's word and the hundreds of books you already own.

2015 13" MacBook Pro - 2 Ghz Intel i7 - 16 GB RAM - 500GB SSD - 2018 iMac Pro - 3.2GHz 8-core Xeon - both systems running OS 10.14.3 (Mojave)

 

Posts 824
GregW | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 10:25 AM

Michael Hite:

I have read most of this entire thread (including the remarks from Bob) and I have to say I'm disappointed - 

1. I am disappointed that some would suggest that Logos is going to receive some condemnation from God for being in the BUSINESS of selling a product. 

2. I am disappointed that some keep making the same wrong arguments over and over and over. YOU ARE NOT PAYING AGAIN FOR THE SAME RESOURCES YOU PAID FOR BEFORE! These upgrades offer new resources. Books and tools you don't currently own. You pay for nothing twice. You lose nothing you already own. If the resources offered in the upgrade don't interest you then DON"T BUY! But you are not paying for anything twice. Nothing has been taken away from you - you have been cheated out of nothing.

3. Many sound like the little girl from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - but I WANT IT NOW! We want cutting edge tools. We want new ways of searching and new databases that allow that searching. We want better integration, more, more, more and the general thought in the thread is - I want it for free or next to nothing and I want it now. No company can continue to innovate and then continue to give the product away for almost nothing - and LOGOS does give it away! Certainly they try to get you to buy more books to do that! That is how they pay to develop a product they make no money from.

4. I agree that I wish the cross grade was available now. I have looked at my upgrade resources and I am not that interested in the resources they have added. I could not care less what they call my package - I don't want to pay the price for the new resources right now. I would love the new datasets and features. I will wait for the cross grade - licking my lips the entire time. But even I understand the game - by putting paid upgrades out first, Logos may get people to evaluate their libraries, realize that they have some holes and PAY to fill those holes by upgrading now. If everyone is offered a no cost or low cost upgrade from the start they may not do that evaluation and may never pay to fill the holes in their library. In that event, Logos has paid tens of thousands of dollars if not hundreds of thousands and cannot recoup their costs. This is not deceptive or misleading, it is business.

5. "A laborer is worthy of his wages" - Luke 10:7

6. I agree that at times communication from the company could be better. I am not happy that some features never made it into L4 that should have. But if this new tool will benefit you - then support it. If not. Keep using L4 and enjoy the power it brings to your study of God's word and the hundreds of books you already own.

YesYes


Running Logos 6 Platinum and Logos Now on Surface Pro 4, 8 GB RAM, 256GB SSD, i5

Posts 1896
Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 10:25 AM

Bob Pritchett:

When a new movie comes out, I can only take a family of four to watch it at the theater. (3D movie, as much as $12.95 x 4, plus popcorn and snacks we'll probably buy. Easily $50-60.)

If I wait six months (often less!) I can rent that movie from the DVD kiosk machine for $1, and all four of us can watch it with 25 cents of home-made popcorn.

When you go to the movie theater, are you angry that on opening night there isn't a kiosk with $1 rental versions of the same film right next to the ticket line? Should it "have been available from the start to allow viewers who decide they can't afford the theater experience not feel left out"?

- Is this wrong, or just frustrating?

- If the $1 rental was available the first day, do you think the revenue would be enough to cover the cost of making the movie?

Bob, I love you. I love Logos. I love when I have to interact with Logos associates. I love the folks on this forum. I'm all-in on the software - I've placed 90+ orders in about 2 years. But (you knew that was coming ;), this is a horrible analogy.

Setting aside the "experience" of being in the theater, when I rent a DVD for $1, I get the exact same movie that was played on opening night. No one who simply wants to upgrade to the new version of the software is asking to get what everyone who is paying for "opening night" is getting at the "$1" price. I'm willing to pay an appropriate price immediately for the new features. None of the closest analogies I can come up with, Apple with its software+content or Amazon with its software+content, knowingly make someone who is willing to spend money today wait to be able to spend it.

One other comment on this... It would seem to me that it's in Logos' best interests to get the new software in the hands of as many of its loyal customers as possible immediately because of how heavily Logos depends on its user community to document new features and to provide a front line of support. You've basically stated you want to prioritize new customers at this point. We know from experience that new Logos users require a lot of hand-holding. But this business decision prevents numerous long-time users from running the updated software and learning it well enough to contribute to the community.

In another thread you mentioned being open to solutions... It would be a lot more palatable to me if I got to pick exactly which resources I purchased to effect the upgrade, versus having them pre-picked for me as part of one of the packages. Just tell me I need to spend $### on resources and I'm eligible, as an existing Platinum owner, to get L5 with all its new features.

Thank you very much for continuing to jump in on the forums with your perspective. I'm looking forward to getting L5 as soon as it makes sense.

Donnie

 

Posts 34
Yann Parodi | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 10:25 AM

 

Thanks Michael,

I like very much your answer.

Yann

Posts 3767
Forum MVP
Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 10:31 AM

Keith Larson:
I was shocked when I saw my upgrade cost from Portfolio to Portfolio was $821.06.

Hey Keith!  Good to see you around.  I've been off the grid awhile, I remember you from the early days of L4.

Gosh, I wish my Portfolio upgrade was a low as yours.  that tells me you have been buying more than me!!  Actually, I kind of expected any upgrade to cost quite a bit--especially at the Portfolio level because I perceive it as the Big Kahuna, so I expect a Big Kahuna price.  

Keith Larson:
upgrading previous collections and books without making it clear gave the impression that the upgrade calculator was not working correctly.

that makes total sense.  Perhaps Logos will make this more clear.  My assumption was that it was an oversight--you work with something so long (as in the developers and marketers) you forget how the small changes--not explicitly stated--appear huge to the uninitiated.  I hope Logos makes these things more explicit, as they have done so in the past.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 31
Mitchell Borrows | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 10:38 AM

I dont know of any company that charges for there upgrades. Apple is a great example of this. The iphone 5 came out but the platform of ios6 was available to everyone free of charge. Granted if you had anything older then the iphone 3s the upgrade was not available. I have had logos for less then a year now and have done nothing but rave to everyone about it!! The only sad part for me is that i have had it less then a year and even though wouldn't have to purchase it all over again, would have to fork out cash to at least get the benefits of V5. That is what is sad for me considering that its been less then a year for me. Still love logos and how much it has helped me with sermon prep and teaching prep. Really hope a cross over happens i guess. 

 

Mitchell

Posts 311
Michael Hite | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 10:46 AM

Mitchell Borrows:
I dont know of any company that charges for there upgrades.

Apple may be an exception but MOST companies charge for upgrades. Microsoft Office products are not upgraded free when a new version is released. Apple's upgrade from Lion to Mountain Lion is a paid upgrade. Microsoft's Windows 8 is a paid upgrade. Adobe products (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc...) are not upgraded for free. Most major professional software tools charge for upgrades. Most may make some adjustments of you have bought within the last 30 days, but other than that you pay for new versions. 

2015 13" MacBook Pro - 2 Ghz Intel i7 - 16 GB RAM - 500GB SSD - 2018 iMac Pro - 3.2GHz 8-core Xeon - both systems running OS 10.14.3 (Mojave)

 

Posts 19
Jonas Hearus | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 10:51 AM

Bob Pritchett:

When a new movie comes out, I can only take a family of four to watch it at the theater. (3D movie, as much as $12.95 x 4, plus popcorn and snacks we'll probably buy. Easily $50-60.)

If I wait six months (often less!) I can rent that movie from the DVD kiosk machine for $1, and all four of us can watch it with 25 cents of home-made popcorn.

When you go to the movie theater, are you angry that on opening night there isn't a kiosk with $1 rental versions of the same film right next to the ticket line? Should it "have been available from the start to allow viewers who decide they can't afford the theater experience not feel left out"?

- Is this wrong, or just frustrating?

- If the $1 rental was available the first day, do you think the revenue would be enough to cover the cost of making the movie?



The problem with equating Logos software upgrades to the movie prices at a theater compared to a $1 kiosk is that we are not talking about a general audience with no level of commitment. To make this analogy accurate it would be like someone signing up for a Member Rewards program with a hefty sign up fee through a chain of theaters because they were promised you pay for the movies and we'll never charge you for the amenities of the theater and upgrades in technology (ie popcorn, snacks, use of arcades, 3d glasses, etc) because we have your commitment to buying movies from us. Then the movie theater starts telling members of their rewards program that they now have to pay for 3d glasses if it is the opening month of the movie because they have their own costs to sort through. This analogy breaks down though because in the movie scenario, you could simply do business elsewhere. However, for Logos customers, we have thousands of dollars invested in using our bought books only on their system, which maybe that was my first mistake...

I purchased Logos years ago over Accordance and Bible Works because I wanted the variety of resources and loved the idea of always having free upgrades for what I had purchased. I think that philosophy is a wonderful selling point over the many other options of digital suppliers. The only reason I might buy a book at Logos instead of Amazon (where books are often cheaper) is because I know I have a solid Logos platform which is CONTINUALLY UP TO DATE and will give me more from my books than a simplified kindle app. 

However, when you take loyal customers who have invested hundreds and often thousands of dollars in your products and platform who were sold with the promise of free software, you just pay for the resources and then you start to change that promise to, well sometime in the future we will give you new updates for free, people start to feel swindled. Especially when this goes on amongst Christians who have high standards for doing what is right and have the same biblical expectations of a Christian business.

I don't doubt that profit margins aren't as big as you would like, it's a tough economy and tough being in business against other book distributer giants like Amazon, Apple, and even new independent apps on devices that are releasing theological bundles for sale.  While I love using logos software, my biggest gripe is that I constantly feel like you guys are trying to get more money from me. As people need books they will get books, don't rearrange bundles, or group bundles with the promised free software and then tell loyal customers that they are making demands for movie kiosk pricing, when in reality they long ago bought into the theater membership plan being promised that they were investing in a system where they wouldn't be charged for the platform or have to wait to view their resources in the new theater/software platform.

Logos is going to lose a whole lot of favor with their currently loyal customers if they continue to not hold up their end of the commitment to the packaged promise they have sold over the years to their many loyal members.

As I look at the upgrades for 5 here is my honest analysis: How bad do I need a timeline, faithlife integration, some extra searching functionality, and a few other features? Do I need it bad enough to justify spending a few hundred dollars, certainly not. And now here I am a loyal customer who has invested well over $1,000 (find another book retailer I have given that much business to) because of the promise of the continually improving system which is FREE, and now I'm told I have to WAIT and am demanding too much.

I have sold multiple seminary friends on Logos because "you pay for the resources and the software which is continually improving is free" and now I am eating my words as my friends are asking me, why does it look like I have to pay for this first big upgrade? 

My simple suggested solution: Offer new promotions and book bundles to buy. Just also offer the free upgrade for those who are not currently interested in buying more books and have been loyal to this system because of the promise they would not have to pay for the software. If I knew from the beginning that the promise for free software really meant that I was simply guaranteed "some software that would just run logos but not necessarily new or current" I would not have invested in Logos like I have.

 

Posts 1896
Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 10:54 AM

Michael Hite:
MOST companies charge for upgrades

In none of your examples do the companies say, "We'll let you buy the upgrade, but not yet. We're only selling the new version to new customers or to existing customers who are willing to buy a bunch of other products from us." I can't speak for everyone here, but I want to pay for an upgrade. I fully acknowledge that the new features and the new databases which those features require are additional value and worth spending my money on. I just don't want to pay for resources as part of the upgrade.

Donnie

 

Posts 31
Mitchell Borrows | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 10:54 AM

I do agree that you have to pay a very very small fee. Mountain lion was $20 for all the features. Microsoft 8 apparently (dont quote me on this) is going to be $50. I would be onboard to pay up to $100 dollars for the upgrade with logos. I just feel really bad for those who would be paying in the $1000's just for some new features. 

Posts 19
Jonas Hearus | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 11:00 AM

Except the problem with this is Logos's value in the minds of those that would buy books from them instead of Amazon, Accordance, or anywhere else where digital books are sold, is that they provide a wonderful free platform to run such resources. Bob Pritchett has said from the beginning, pay for the resources, not the software. For them to start adding even small incremental charges for an upgrade alone, 1) goes against their original promise to those who have invested thousands of dollars in this once promised "free" system and 2) makes the whole package less enticing. 

Posts 1691
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 11:05 AM

Donnie Hale:
It would be a lot more palatable to me if I got to pick exactly which resources I purchased to effect the upgrade, versus having them pre-picked for me as part of one of the packages. Just tell me I need to spend $### on resources and I'm eligible, as an existing Platinum owner, to get L5 with all its new features.

I'd like this too, except the math doesn't work. Example: A cable TV bundle costs $50 or more per month and comes with 400 channels, most of which I don't care about. They pay $4 /month for ESPN (which I don't watch) and $0.22 /month for History Channel, which I liked. (Or did, when it actually showed history...)

(See http://allthingsd.com/20100308/hate-paying-for-cable-heres-the-reason-why/ if you're curious!)

Why can't I pay $2/month for the 4 channels I watch? Turns out that 40% (!) of their content fees go to sports, and I don't watch any. 

Because everybody would pay a different $2-8, and nobody would pay $50, and overall revenue would drop 80-90%, and the whole infrastructure would be unsustainable.

You can buy our books one at a time -- at close to retail prices. The only way we're able to put them in bundles where they're discounted as much as 90% is because we can assure the publisher / rights-holder we'll sell more than 10 times as many copies in a bundle as stand-alone.

 

Posts 1896
Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 11:19 AM

Bob Pritchett:

Why can't I pay $2/month for the 4 channels I watch? Turns out that 40% (!) of their content fees go to sports, and I don't watch any. 

Because everybody would pay a different $2-8, and nobody would pay $50, and overall revenue would drop 80-90%, and the whole infrastructure would be unsustainable.

I'm well aware of the cable / satellite bundling effect. I still don't get your argument.

The Platinum Upgrade price for me is ~$500. For that I'll get somewhere around 50 new resources. If I spent $500 on one resource, which is obviously trivially easy to do, I'd think Logos' margin would be significantly higher. Is your point that even if this is true, allowing such exceptions cuts into sales volumes at the macro level?

Thanks again for replying,

Donnie

 

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