If I had a million dollars (to grow Logos Bible Software)...

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This post has 99 Replies | 6 Followers

Posts 32
David Drew | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 18 2010 5:56 PM

PeterLi:
3) [This might be controversial.]  I see the current desktop software model becoming obsolete within this decade or sooner.  Regardless of whether "cloud software" will become ubiquitous soon, I think the current L4 model of frequent downloads and client-side indexing should be (optionally) replaced by simply logging on to a website and running my Logos software from within a browser.  Then I don't need to worry about huge downloads and long indexing, and I still get Google-like (or better) response times, and any software improvements are automatically released on your server side.  For those who are in parts of the world where there is not reliable or constant internet access, the offline model should still be an option.

I second this, and for a different reason that Peter suggests: It opens up a secondary line of income for Logos - The 'subscription' model. Instead of paying thousands of dollars to get the Portfolio Package, why not have a subscription whereby you can pay $X per month? For a lot of income-starved students and pastors, this may be an excellent way to get access to a large library. Being able to select between a one-off (purchasing) or an ongoing (subscription) charge would be useful to many, and the subscription can help others trial Logos, decide if they want to make the purchase. It should open up the customer base of Logos greatly. I'd also happily pay an amount every month to sponsor a poor pastor or student's access to the service.

Library.logos.com is an excellent start, making it into a 'cloud' version of v4 would make it spectacular.

Posts 2947
Tes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 18 2010 7:13 PM

May the Lord bless you MJ. Smith to mention the Amharic bible ,I have been asking for logos to include in their Format now it is its second year, if you search here also for Amharic bible suggestion ,you will find it mentioned,I have even sent e-mail to Mr Bob last week .I am looking forward for this bible to be included in their Format .

Blessings in Christ.

Posts 2725
Kevin A. Purcell | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 19 2010 5:29 AM

I've been thinking about this since I noticed the post and it had only one or two responses. I wanted to jump in but honestly couldn't come up with anything. I thought about it.

What I would like to see someone do ... and you have the resources to do it ... is create a digital Bible study institute. Sort of like a Bible college but focusing on how to study in the modern age. Don't know if a million would be enough. But this would be an online college or institute that would train people to do Bible study with their computers using something like Logos. You would have courses in language study, hermeneutics, preaching, theology, history, just like a traditional school, but all of it would be focused on using your software to get at the info isntead of traditional methods. And it would be all done via online interactive software like go to meeting or something else.

The point is that most brick and mortar schools don't really get this world like you do. You could partner with some of the best minds in the various areas, but pull them into digital format.

If that is too ambitious, how about a video series online that teaches someone how to preach a sermon using digital resources. Kind of like the one you are already doing for language study, only in the preaching realm.

Posts 1422
Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 19 2010 5:44 AM

Robert Pavich:

Well...there is a reason I'm not a large business owner...I'm not market savvy...

But my observation is this:

Logos appeals to a certain type of person:

The bible geekoid, and the bible geekoid who is in seminary.

Of all of the people who attend either my church or any church I'm familiar with locally, which would be about 500 people or so...

I'm one of 4 who use Logos.

Why?

I think that Logos is marketed to geeks...it's very powerful and so the average person asks:

"What would I do with that?  I have my strongs and my Adam Clarke commentary...why do I need that complicated bit of software?"

There is a mainstream nitche that's not tapped into...the average church goer.

I"m not sure if it's that they just don't care enough because they think that just listening to the pastor and then reading a devotional is enough each week, or they just aren't aware OF WHY they'd want this tool!

How about a campaign? Sell the idea to churches to have a "logos seminar' to show what can be done for the average church goer...and then show how affordable it is....

I wish I knew WHY it's only geeks....

You know if we put both of our ideas together we have a winning situation

Posts 8601
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 19 2010 7:24 AM

Bob Pritchett:
what would be the best use of a $1 million investment at Logos, and have the greatest return?

Since you're assuming Mac Parity and all are up to date I'll move past that:  I have three options.  You pick one you like.

  • China I do not know your market saturation, but given the global market trends I would suggest developing Chinese resources, bibles etc.  Of course we're talking about a closed nation generally, but none-the-less at least looking towards China makes sense.
  • Marketing.  That means sales reps, as well (as was suggested earlier) more corporate liaisons to woo publishers to seek after Logos for their digital editions.
  • Starter Pack.  You mention building 300 PD books to give away.   Don't.  As Dominic Stated, "give us enhanced PBB tools to do it ourselves".  If we get the PBB tools, and you put a reading key in that starter pack I suspect you won't have to worry about developing any PD books again. 

    You also mention giving things away, I don't think you need to give anything away.  If you want to give away a pack like the 9.95 pack you sold a few years ago, you'd still have a minimum ROI.  But the lowest level Logos package is still high - it comes with a lot of significant buy in. So Let us develop some PD books which have broad appeal but you develop a starter pack around the $50-$75 level with a PBB key.  You know the numbers for book costs there, but that would be IMHO the key to partner with marketing with.  There's a mental break-over that suggests a $49.95 package beats out a $50 package and a $75 package kind of stands on it's own.  I'd head for the $49.95 myself, in fact I'd buy and gift that one more than once if I could.  It would be very hard for me to afford many gifts at the higher price point, and I just can't do it at the current price points.  (But I want to).

Bob Pritchett:
And what if was $10 million?
You get to do all three.

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

Check the Wiki

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

Posts 2925
Forum MVP
Jacob Hantla | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 19 2010 8:29 AM

I've been thinking about this for a few days...so here's my answer aim for the populous:

  1. I would throw a few developers at the mobile market (iPhone, apple rumored tablet, readers for various phones, & a kindle-web-browser-friendly version). This time is pivotal in the format wars for e-readers. I think that it is of utmost importance to Logos to establish itself as a viable option in mobile readers for Christians. Notes & highlights are minimums for comptetition in this field.
  2. Hire publisher-relations individuals and throw some money at marketing to publishers (i.e. have every Crossway release simultaneously released in Logos). New releases (both popular and academic) should be published simultaneously with Logos (or bundled or discount code in book, but probably a separate purchase would make the most sense to publishers). As Kindle (and the competition) strive to be an option for those looking to purchase hot and new releases, Logos would be an inherently better choice for Christian books (if for nothing other than the Bible hyperlinks and hovering
  3. Integrated purchasing: Most people that I know who own a Logos base package have never purchased other resources. This is tragic; they don't know what they're missing. But I think that Logos is to blame on this. The purchasing of books is so separate from the software itself that it is far from intuitive. iTunes proved how lucrative and effective integrating purchasing can be. Apps, music, movies, etc are easily purchased and immediately available.Kin Kindle successfully copied this method. Imagine the Logos 4, iPhone app,  library.logos, and other native readers integrated with the online store. Click, confirm, read...immediate drastic increase in sales volume, revenue, and customer base.

Establishing Logos as both an academic and popular Christian digital library system, will then expose a very wide number of people to Logos (like the iPhone app has) who may never even have considered purchasing Bible study software. This will likely lead to more library purchases. 

Can you do all that for under a million? I think so. 

Jacob Hantla
Pastor/Elder, Grace Bible Church
gbcaz.org

Posts 18
Luke | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 19 2010 9:11 PM

I think in addition to the passage and exegetical gude, you should add a third eisegetical guide.

Just think of the sermon possibilities.

Just kidding.  I couldn't resist. Smile

Posts 142
Michael Sullivan | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 19 2010 9:22 PM

How about a draw for all those who have purchased, crossgraded or upgraded to LOGOS 4 the give away prize being some "Portfolio" editions of the software.  (If the person has that edition, maybe a cash prize could be awarded).

I also like this idea: Building Logos compatible editions of 300 public domain books and giving them away to get people on our platform

Posts 687
Jon | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 19 2010 10:56 PM

Joe Miller:

4. Website improvements to ensure pre-pubs and all orders can be downloaded with L4 and no more requirements to ship. Also integrating POS options for locked books into the L4 UI.

5. Hire part time web developer/moderator just for the Forum ( and wiki) which is a large part of the Logos support strategy and needs some attention.

I think it would be worth spending the entire $1 million (or more) to completely redevelop your websites. The way I see it, your website is your shopfront and at present it is functional but ugly - 'busy-ness', colour coordination, font selection and consistency, lack of graphics.

When purchasing bible software I'm sure people take into account all sorts of factors - and hopefully fully explore the capabilities of the program - but first impressions are very important! To be sure it could be a whole lot worse (gramcord.org) but it could also be a lot better! The marketing material like the videos is very slick and well done, I think the website needs the same treatment. As a sort of thought experiment; put your feet in the shoes of Jo Lay-Christian -a very large market- go to logos.com and the website for the very recently released program aimed at this market.. what do you think? On the one hand some of the web based stuff Logos is doing (library.logos.com, cloud syncing) is cutting edge and revolutionary.... ... but some money needs to go into the design side of things too Smile

As well as the aesthetic improvements, I think it would be worth investigating web-based mechanisms like formal bug reporting, support systems that allow for submitting support tickets online (depending on how you currently manage your customer support it could have some follow through cost savings), a better forum platform.

That's my 2 cents...

Posts 401
Timothy Ha | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 19 2010 11:00 PM

Hello, Bob.  It's great that you asked this question.  You said twice about North America in your post, although you mentioned Patrologia Graeca once :-)

Please try to expand Logos to China (as tcblack said here) and also to Russian speaking countries.  As far as I can say about Russia, there is money for purchasing Logos-based resources and you can try to connect with publishers and seminaries here to produce a base set of Russian texts.

We already have (in Russian language) several Russian Bibles, Calvin's Institutes, New Bible Commentary, Matthew Henry's, Strongs, Grudem's Systematic Theology, Charles Spurgeon's, Martyn Lloyd-Jones', John Piper's books (I just mention the books from English Logos).  We also have tons of Russian-Orthodox resources already digitized.  Don't you want to go to Russia again?  (I heard you were here several years ago).

JesusChrist.ru - Russian Christian Portal, with free Bible software; Timh.ru - blog

Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 19 2010 11:30 PM

I must say that I haven't used my Logos in a doctoral program for about 3 years and only came back to it because the competition dont have the journal base (i.e. Galaxie products).  From my perspective more marketing, free programs, more cutting edge bells and whistles, more pressure to upgrade to packages with thousands of items I dont need, and public domain items that everyone has won't get me to open up my pocket book anymore.  The only reason to use this product for me is a) ease of use to find info. for my D. Min, b) library with enough relevant resources to assist in the writing process, c) stable program, and d) a sense that the company wants more from me than another sale.  I appreciate the resources that I can get from Logos but I don't nee/want an advanced vision on a cutting edge interface.....just one that works.

Posts 2737
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 20 2010 1:39 AM

Kevin A. Purcell:

I've been thinking about this since I noticed the post and it had only one or two responses. I wanted to jump in but honestly couldn't come up with anything. I thought about it.

What I would like to see someone do ... and you have the resources to do it ... is create a digital Bible study institute. Sort of like a Bible college but focusing on how to study in the modern age. Don't know if a million would be enough. But this would be an online college or institute that would train people to do Bible study with their computers using something like Logos. You would have courses in language study, hermeneutics, preaching, theology, history, just like a traditional school, but all of it would be focused on using your software to get at the info isntead of traditional methods. And it would be all done via online interactive software like go to meeting or something else.

The point is that most brick and mortar schools don't really get this world like you do. You could partner with some of the best minds in the various areas, but pull them into digital format.

If that is too ambitious, how about a video series online that teaches someone how to preach a sermon using digital resources. Kind of like the one you are already doing for language study, only in the preaching realm.

It's very interesting idea. Having long time experience with the Global University, I can say there is a market for that. But it would take Logos to an entirely different area of operation. The only advantage would be the resources you already have in your Logos Library. I am not sure that's enough.

Bohuslav

Posts 142
Michael Sullivan | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 20 2010 5:28 AM

One more addition my "raffle" idea.  For marketing, you could offer a draw for free Logos 4 BDAG/HALOT bundles and/or AYBD bundles to those who not only have purchased, upgraded and/or cross graded, but to those who have simply tried Logos 4.  These resources are valuable (although I still do not own them myself due to some dental bills in the near future). 

My thinking is this - even if the person who wins is a person who tried the product and returned it (thus "no purchase is necessary to win these items") they would be more likely to invest in a base pacckage having won one of those valuable resources.

Giving away iPods and Bible is a nice service, but I think draws to products like the BDAG/HALOT or AYBD might connect people better with the Logos system.  And for those who win and have those products already, you can offer, not cash, but a similarily valued product from you vaste library.

Just an idea.

Posts 187
Rev. D. | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 20 2010 5:36 AM

If I were King of the Forest, I'd suggest the following:

1.  Hire more Customer Service Representatives so you could extend your operating hours

2.  Hire more programmers/developers enabling you to make upgrades to products quicker

3.  Expand the platforms where we can access and use our Logos library (i.e. Kindle, Nook, Apple Tablet)

4.  Diversify the type of authors/materials that can we can purchase and add to our library (i.e. Liberation Theology)

5.  Create an on-line environment specifically for Logos Ambassadors so they can communicate with each other and share ideas 

6.  Create a free manual to use with the base products in a PDF format people can download and print, if they desire

7.  Host an annual Logos user meeting where we could get free training, review upcoming product releases and get more detailed training that what is possible in a       video

8.  Sponsor and facilitate the creation of more effective regional user groups

9.  Produce better marketing materials that illustrate the benefits of Logos for lay and clergy

10.  Hire additional technical staff so Logos could offer 24 hours technical assistance

11.  Offer more specials on products throughout the year

12.  Market the product more to those in the Mac world

 

iMac 27 inch, 3.1 GHz Core i5, 1T HD, 4 GB RAM

 

Posts 16
Bill Armstrong | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 20 2010 6:18 AM

1. I would use the 1mm dollars to stabilize the Logos 4 software package.

2. Hire technical/customer service staff 24/7 to accomplish goal #1.

3. Expand the mobility capability of the Logos 4 software package via kindle, nook, palm-pre, Apple's new products.

4.  Fix my little problem on case 50988. Perpetual downloads/updates.

5. Offer customer-selected bundles equal to the current packages you are offering now. Let the customer choose what they want. You will need to modify your website to accomplish this.

6. Improve the bible chapter and look-up feature. User selected book and chapter menu. See Sword Searcher 5.5 to view the ease of use. It makes going to chapters and verses easy without typing. This does could be a virtual pull down menu.

 

Posts 6489
Forum MVP
Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 20 2010 8:04 AM

Bob here are my suggestions:

1. Presently Amazon allows anyone to upload their work for the Kindle and receive 35% of the cost of the book sold. Logos can do the same. In this way more people will be promoting the software, which they will have to download.

2. Christianiy is growing at amore rapid pace outside of North America. My denomination (Seventh-day Adventist) is expected to tripple its present membership by 2020. We have 17million members worldwide, and most of them are outside of North America, which has approximately 1 million members. Work with Adventist Publishing houses, to release more of their content in the format for the software.

3. I echo what was said above "have smaller starter packages", 10 - 20 dollars, with more of the books loaded on the HDD locked. Upon searching for info on a topic/text, the individual can then see what else is there to be purchased. The option to have a Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced inteface will go a long way in expanding your market of new users.

4. For those without high speed internet access, ship discs to bookstores with the software already loaded at a minimal cost. When the user is ready to upload, they can either purchase the newer resources online, go to the bookstore for a new Cd at a small cost.

5. Give sales reps like Jared access to Skype, and a microphone so they can take calls from international customers. Put their user names on the web (format to prevent spam) so they can be reached even by those with bad or slow internet access.

6. Reintroduce the "Live Person" on the web. It can be handy for international customers. Have some sort of voice feture for those who do not/cannot type fast enough.

Thats my two cents worth.

Everything ever written in Religion and Theology formatted for Logos Bible Software.Logos Youtube Channel

Posts 1145
William | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 20 2010 10:07 AM

Bob Pritchett:
What's your idea?

I will now put in my $1.00 (inflation you know).

I can not recommend highly enough to get the average church goer involved in this software.  A few things would be needed.  First, a lower end package...$49.95 sounds really good to me.  Second, Webinars or "use" video's.  The idea of a "college" for bible study in the 21st century is great.  As was stated, that might be too much now.  Concerning the webinars or videos, make some very basic (free).  Introductory (low cost) and one or two levels above.  The next need is for current and new customers combined.  Look at the price point of the resources outside the base packages.  It seems the overall cost of these resources could be lower. 

This is not me ( I wish it was).  Hire a consulting actuary for risk models of business.  I assume you have data that this actuary could design some tests and obtain further information.  Current academic users are buying product as follows.  What if we lowered cost?  If we see a bigger base of buyers (mr. or mrs. church goer) what happens to sales of additional resources?  Selling more at a lower price generally would make more money.                                                                                                  

Finally, put a real slow down on "new" resources.  Task all possible to work on getting everything up to date.  There are lots of missing features of L4.  There is lots of in development stuff for excessive lengths of time.  (Hebrew pronunciation)

Posts 456
Pastor Roger | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 23 2010 7:49 PM

Make sure your product works, make it affordable, keep a handle on your expenses.  That's how you grow a company.

Elder/Pastor, Hope Now Bible Church, Fresno CA

Posts 17
Matt W | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 24 2010 9:26 AM

As a seminary student, I would like to see more of my required resources available in LOGOS format.  For $1M, you can market a process that tenured professors teaching large classes can submit the required reading list for Logos format. Have a project team get this done quickly.  Sell it as a bundle at  a discount to students every year/semester for years to come.  Repeat the process for new classes.

Posts 1
James Gillespie | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 24 2010 3:23 PM

I'd pre-install Logos on optimized netbooks and sell them.  Could you imagine how excited a seminary student would be to recieve one of those as a gift?  Churches could pick them up for missionaries.  Plus what about older pastors or technologically impaired people who would love the software but are scared to death over installing it.  I was told by customer service that Logos 4 would not run on my netbook.  Yeah, whatever....it works awesome!    Technology is going portable and Netbooks are getting more powerful.  It would also be great for people who already have a license with Logos to buy one from the site with their libraries pre-installed.  Catch the wave Bob! 

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