Page 5 of 20 (390 items) « First ... < Previous 3 4 5 6 7 Next > ... Last »
This post has 389 Replies | 32 Followers

Posts 26021
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 1:56 AM

Bob -

Thank you for your explanation of the economics of the problem. I cheerfully admit to being one of those who "over-valued" the 6 week cycle of updates. I will also admit to seriously considering Logos Connect for my Luthern pastor daughter-in-law. I'll be evaluating the library for its useful to a Lutheran.

I have, however, been slightly disappointed with the 6-week cycle of updates but not for the reasons you suspect. With an IT background, I was aware that there would be only so much "low-hanging fruit" projects for Logos to both push out visible improvements and make the infrastructure changes necessary to keep the product on the forefront of the industry. Therefore, I was anticipating a number of visible data and small projects to be rolled out. Examples:

  • The Narrative Lectionary used by a group of ELCA churches
  • The Creation Lectionary used by a variety of churches in a variety of countries
  • Updating the Compare Pericopes to include more recently added Bibles
  • Updating the Saints data to include at a minimum Anglican and Lutheran data
  • Addition of the data-types for the Protestant Confessions and Catechisms to allow the viewing of multiple translations in parallel
  • More noticeable/lightlighted progress on the Factbook
  • Additional entries in Interactives such as Before/After, Bible People Visual Timeslines, Bible Outline Browser, Narrative Character Maps ...
  • Add an attribute for text of sermons based on Catechism or Confession (in my library primarily Heidelburg, Augsberg, Armenian, and Westminster)
  • Add a predefined label with the standard attributes used by the music feature for users to add the attributed to the hymn texts in their library (preferably as community labels)
  • Add the ability for users to add milestone tags to any documents in Text Creation Partnership bundles (preferably as community milestones) to make them more usable (I'm thinking especially of the Psalters). Note we can label the sermons to make them more directly useful.

Yes, the ones that come to my mind are ones that reflect my interests, but I am certain that a number of your users could provide lists of small projects that would enhance the usefulness of Logos for them. As the 6 week development cycle seemed to greatly improve your quality control and as there are many small projects still fitting into the 6 week cycle model, I'm not thrilled that Logos Connect does not retain the new feature aspect of Logos Now.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 494
Greg Masone | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 1:58 AM

Here's my "street cred" for Logos: Since 2004, spent $23K on resources and upgrades.

Here's my take on things: I hate all software subscription models, and prefer owning the software. Aside from not seeing the value in Logos Now, and being highly confused about the benefits, I never subscribed. I have no intention of subscribing to anything new in the future, and since my purchases have ebbed off lately, probably never will.

With that said, Bob, why don't you just sell the software? Its worked for thousands of companies for a very long time. I happily purchase new versions of software if there are compelling reasons to do so. If not, I usually buy every other upgrade.

Is it a change in your 25 year old business model? Yeah, but hey, it beats all these little and annoying disruptive reversals every few years when things don't pan out.

Will people be annoyed? Sure, but so what? One reason why I never jumped onto Logos Now is I had no need for the latest up-to-date feature set.

And I think most people don't ::need:: it either. They want it, sure, but don't need it, and can wait a year or two between releases. We've got a freakin' digital library of quality resources at our finger-tips! That's amazing enough! And after 25 years of innovating, while I'm sure there's still a lot of cool things you can do with the manipulation of book data, isn't it getting to the point where you've already achieved a lot of the "low-hanging fruit" and are having to work harder and harder to develop new and innovative features, most of which are interesting to a smaller and smaller group of people?

What I'm saying is, people can wait 1-2 years for a new feature set, AND pay for it too.

Just my thought on things. I don't know the financial of something like this, of course, just putting to text the sort of system I like and would be happy to purchase if it were to go that way in the future.

Posts 241
danwdoo | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 2:05 AM

I have a question about connect and resources. If I subscribe to essentials, I then gain access to 144 digital books (sadly most of which I already own). I will then have access to these books for as long as I am a subscriber.

However, what happens when Logos 9 comes out? Are these connect tiers like the base packages where the books are periodically switched out for new ones with new versions of Logos? That could create a bad situation if I become accustomed to an expensive resource I have been renting during current life cycle (2 years potentially or whenever 9 comes). Then I might be faced with both price increases as well as having to purchase a resource I came to rely on but will lose access to even though I am still a subscriber. This is one reason I wish that essentials more closely matched what the term 'essentials' typically brings to mind, which is just the program, features, datasets, and maybe the free book offers.

Posts 30
m wilson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 2:09 AM

Bob Pritchett:
But until we can get the whole Church purchasing Bible software (we're working on it!) we need to find a sweet spot of the lowest price that covers the costs.

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?

Moral of the story: FL must continually grows its customer base or die.

Unfortunately, that is the software business and tells me that subscription only for Logos features is not far away, no matter what they say.

I have no problem with that except for one thing:

Those who have invested a lot in the platform that got it where it is today should be first on your mind, not last. FL should think long and hard about keeping them as strong advocates for Logos, not bitter subscribers.

BTW, this is why I also own and very much appreciate software from one of your competitors. It costs little more than one year of FLC Essentials and, with things like original language/lemma/ queries etc, provides far greater power and functionality than Logos. They know their lane and stick to it. Thus, it is the one piece of BIble software I feel most confident will be around for a long time and maintain ecxcellent functionality.  

Posts 313
Thinking | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 2:10 AM

Mark Smith:
I don't think you have a model that is going to work no matter how desperately you need it to, but of course, we'll just have to wait and see.

Your observation is spot on.

Posts 128
Andrew116 | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 2:45 AM

Bob thank you for taking the time to explain. 

All that you have said might be well and good, but is there a lesson for you in this about the order of things?

a company that is trusted does not have the panic seen here. 

this Excellent explanation should have come a week, a year, before making the change. 

Posts 313
Thinking | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 3:00 AM

m wilson:

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?

Moral of the story: FL must continually grows its customer base or die.

Unfortunately, that is the software business and tells me that subscription only for Logos features is not far away, no matter what they say.

Bingo. Since there is no customer "demand" for such a service, inevitably it has to be forced. The present action of folding LN into Faithlife Connect is the next step. 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 wish Bob well, but, I do not see how a Bible software subscription model can be very successful. The reality is that our base is limited, our finances are limited, and there are  many Bible software options available, including free.  Logos' wishing will not change that reality.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. But this move introduces uncertainty about Logos' long-term intentions and sustainability. If this uncertainty becomes general, sales will noticeably decrease. We will see what happens.

Posts 13205
Forum MVP
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 3:03 AM

Greg Masone:

With that said, Bob, why don't you just sell the software? Its worked for thousands of companies for a very long time. I happily purchase new versions of software if there are compelling reasons to do so. If not, I usually buy every other upgrade.

They can’t do that b cause they spent 15 years saying (or at least strongly implying) that the software was free, you just pay for the books. Many people who’ve invested hundreds or thousands of dollars would be horrified if they had to pay for software upgrades to keep using Logos when the ‘old‘ version becomes incompatible with their new computer, or because they want to buy one book which only works with the latest version. 

Posts 3937
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 3:20 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.



I'm not going to get one - and thats probably as it should be. I was unable to afford now when the renewal came up and let it drop. I'm not fishing for a credit. It still feels like you are moving away from the model I've invested heavily in (checked my spreadhseet that tracks my purchases its actually about 13k). With so much spent, and 7k yet to go on a student and pastors salary big changes that are unfavorable to my model - hearing that its a model you want to get away from (that I have supported with a significant investment, and significant commitment to continued investment eg payment plan) and are taking steps that direction is an alarming turn of events.

Especially when you say things like no body was really buying cloud, so lets "double down" on it.

Bob Pritchett:

We wouldn't do it that way if we were starting from scratch today, but that's where we are based on history and user expectations.

It worked too well, and the tail began to wag the dog. Logos Cloud didn't mature quickly enough (because it needed a stronger web app, which wasn't yet there) and Logos Now's 'new features every six weeks started to feel like its primary benefit.

New customers, who should have only needed to choose between "Buy" or "Subscribe" were regularly being sent into a very confusing, and frustrating, pitch to both buy AND subscribe. Pure subscription wasn't attractive enough (without larger libraries and a pure-web solution), but just buying and owning felt 'left out' because Logos Now offered 'new stuff without the wait.'

Worse, as the tail wagged the dog, Logos Now subscribers (who turned out to vastly outnumber Logos Cloud subscribers) began seeing the product's entire value as the regular release of new features. (Which was not the original intention.)



I could be wrong, but for me it wasn't the 6 week cycle that I saw as the value when I had subscribed to it, it was being a part of the cutting edge. If that takes 5 or 6 months or more, I was willing to pay (when i could afford it) to be a part of that. Plus the discounts, and free books, and so forth. When I was subscribing I didn't even realize there was a 6 week cycle.

Maybe I'm alone in not caring about the 6 week element. I doubt it.

I also don't care about a web app. I doubt I'll have a need for faithlife tv. Its a neat idea. But I don't even own a tv. Much less a roku. I probably have an apple tv (1st gen maybe?) in a box somewhere. The courses are a nice touch, and if I could subscribe to two courses a year (without the books, and with the old now benefits I'd be interested) but honestly I'm not going to be able to spend the 20$ monthly (what I have going out is a struggle as is). Not until the church grows and then eventually pays me more money, or seminary becomes free (or finished) - 9 classes left, and at my current rate, I'll graduate in 9 more years.

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

Posts 494
Greg Masone | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 3:37 AM

Mark Barnes:
They can’t do that b cause they spent 15 years saying (or at least strongly implying) that the software was free, you just pay for the books. Many people who’ve invested hundreds or thousands of dollars would be horrified if they had to pay for software upgrades to keep using Logos when the ‘old‘ version becomes incompatible with their new computer, or because they want to buy one book which only works with the latest version. 

Yeah, there would be a period of adjustment, but so what? Business models don't stay the same forever. If this can help fund development in a more reliable way than these other schemes do, why not do it? Plus, it would actually be less confusing because most people are used to paying for the latest software release. That's been the norm for decades for the entire industry.

Maintaining current hardware and software is the cost of doing business in the digital age. We all know this. Logos has dealt with funding the software portion by growing their marketshare for books, but obviously that's not paying the bills anymore.

If we could just pay for the software updates and buy books like we've always been doing, and do away with this stupid subscription stuff, I think everyone would be a lot happier.

The whole thing would certainly be a lot simpler.

Posts 18
Ruurd Offringa | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 3:57 AM

I've been thinking about what other model would work for both FL and the customers, and I understand the need and desire to go towards a subscription model. I think you can successfully do this with just tweaking and reprioritising what you already have.

Logos is in a bit of a unique situation where you have both advanced software and resources. It's sort of like Amazon Kindle and Microsoft Office combined, where you buy resources but also get very powerful tools to work with your resources.

You mention that your subscription model, Logos Now, failed because of lack of uptake. I think that main reason this happened was because it wasn't implemented as the default purchase method for new customers and version upgrades. If you change your website so that the default purchase method was a subscription service, you could steer new customers to this, and promote it to new customers.

May I suggest going with a subscription model for your software, plus outright purchase for books?

I would suggest the following model: (I've just put some prices in to flesh out the idea - I don't know if they are realistic for FL's profitability)

Users first choose the software & feature package. Include the option of outright purchase for those who want it, but make that the secondary purchase option, not the first.  Also allow for dynamic pricing so that a percentage of the subscription fee would go towards the full purchase price - this would allow people to lock in features at some future point - e.g at retirement. This step would be a slight modification of your Feature Set purchase option.

  1. Basic Logos Engine - Free (would just give basic function and access to all purchased resources)
  2. Logos Starter - $50/year (would provide some basic features suitable for casual Bible study)
  3. Logos Advanced - $100/year (would provide more features, plus one free book a month)
  4. Logos Pro - $150/year (would provide all features, plus two free books a month)

Users choose a base library package to purchase outright. Possibly give one year free subscription to one of the above levels, based on the size of the purchased library. Splitting the library package from the software features may allow you to be able to decrease the cost of the base packages - making Logos more attractive.

Choose add-on subscriptions. This would include things like:

  1. Faithlife TV - $50/year
  2. Proclaim -$50/year
  3. Mobile Ed 1 - one course per year - $50/year
  4. Mobile Ed 2 - three courses per year - $120/year

Another thing that I noticed was a couple of mentions about people buying less.  This is to be expected as your larger customers run out of stuff they need/want to buy.  This is also why (as others have said)  you need a strong focus on getting new customers - particularly those with no library, who will likely be future big buyers. I'm thinking particularly of seminary students. I'm not familiar with what you do in order to promote Logos to seminary students, so forgive me if I'm suggesting thing you already do.  My thoughts were:

  1. Offer one year free subscription to the Logos Pro software & feature package described above. This introduces them to the product and its features with no financial risk.
  2. Offer textbook packages - at least common generic ones - ideally customized to each seminary (I know this would likely be a lot of work and may not be feasible). Students have to buy the textbooks anyway, and this would be a great way to get them to start committing to Logos as their main platform for Bible study.
  3. Keep up with book editions (I understand that you can't afford to freely upgrade book editions, but please allow for multiple editions of books in your store). I've had to buy one or two textbooks from Amazon because Logos didn't have the latest edition.

I think my first suggestion could help transition Logos to subscription service, while not upsetting current users by including dynamic pricing and still allowing outright purchase, while the second suggestion would help FL to gain future big-spending customers before they have committed to competitor products, supporting the long term viability of Logos.

Hopefully my suggestions are useful to FL. I really want to see FL continue to do well in the future.

Posts 27254
Forum MVP
JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 4:21 AM

Greg Masone:

Mark Barnes:
They can’t do that b cause they spent 15 years saying (or at least strongly implying) that the software was free, you just pay for the books. Many people who’ve invested hundreds or thousands of dollars would be horrified if they had to pay for software upgrades to keep using Logos when the ‘old‘ version becomes incompatible with their new computer, or because they want to buy one book which only works with the latest version. 

Yeah, there would be a period of adjustment, but so what? Business models don't stay the same forever. If this can help fund development in a more reliable way than these other schemes do, why not do it? Plus, it would actually be less confusing because most people are used to paying for the latest software release. That's been the norm for decades for the entire industry.

Maintaining current hardware and software is the cost of doing business in the digital age. We all know this. Logos has dealt with funding the software portion by growing their marketshare for books, but obviously that's not paying the bills anymore.

If we could just pay for the software updates and buy books like we've always been doing, and do away with this stupid subscription stuff, I think everyone would be a lot happier.

The whole thing would certainly be a lot simpler.

so give me an example. L8 would cost...???

OSX & iOS | Logs |  Install

Posts 1623
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 4:32 AM

Hi Bob

Thanks for sharing.

I don’t feel hard done by: I never did sign up for Logos Now, and I don’t plan to sign up for Faithlife Connect.

I don’t want a subscription model. I don’t want temporary books that disappear after I’ve done the work of reading them and marking them up. I don’t want TV or video. I just want to keep researching the 8000 books I’ve bought over 10 years, and others I'm still buying.

Perhaps I’m the odd one out. Or perhaps there there is strong resistance to being dragged into a subscription model. Perhaps that's why “only a small portion of the customer base subscribed” to Logos Now.

Thanks for listening.

Posts 42
Cromwell | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 4:49 AM

Bob,

Your willingness to interact here is always greatly appreciated.

The order for a new product seems to be (1) Public sales pitch, (2) Personal email, (3) Business rationale on the forums.  LN had a public sales pitch focused on features but your business rationale here on the forums focussed on the need for a subscription model.  Upset seems to have been caused with the new offerings as (1) came before (2) and (3).

With LN, I read your rationale to exegete the sales pitch, expected LN’s initial excitement to decline, and opted to give you my money through upgrades like L7 not subscription.  I’m ready to part with cash to keep the software updated so I can keep using my resources and the great features.  I prefer to buy because it is clearer what I am getting.

But, I am concerned by the bundling of Faithlife TV and mobile ed etc.  Despite being a big Logos fan, and daily user, I advised a friend not to buy Logos 7 before Christmas but to wait to compare Logos 8 with the competition.  This was because the base packages had too much breadth (like mobile ed) and lacked as many quality commentary series (like NAC) in the more affordable packages as previously – for day-to-day sermon-prep Logos 5/6 seemed to have better bundles.

I’m happy to continue to upgrade, even to subscribe if absolutely necessary – especially if L8 improves speed (the main Logos weakness).  But, should a more costly bundle with TV etc be necessary, I would be forced to consider whether a switch to a more focussed (and faster) Bible  Software product was prudent in the long run.  I hope this won’t be the case.

Posts 2829
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 4:56 AM

Bob Pritchett:
Unfortunately, the math wasn't paying the bills. Logos Now needed a significant percentage of the user base to adopt it in order to cover ongoing development costs. Unfortunately, only a small portion of the customer base subscribed, and in most cases, that subscription resulted in a lower annual spend from those users.

Bob, I think you have missed the point of what your customers are telling you:

1. The value of Logos Now was early access to features (you know that, well documented here)

2. Which means the "extras" that were added in, were perceived to be of lower interest - FL has invested tons in a lot of ancillary products, services, offerings that are not profitable on their own, and never have been. Will they ever?

3. As Logos Now morphs into Connect, more ancillary products, services, offerings have been bundled in - and by necessity the price is doubled. Yet still people just want full access to all features of Logos - why would this succeed if the same thing on a lower scale failed in Logos Now?

So what happens next - if history repeats itself, that people won't be forced to pay by subscription for a lot of stuff they don't really want (that message is ALL OVER the threads on here), doesn't this just force everyone back to a purchase model? Aren't all the original business problems then still unaddressed satisfactorily?

The crux of the issue is that FL has developed a lot of extra stuff that is not profitable. People will not be forced to pay for them on subscription. What indicates that Logos Connect will be SIGNIFICANTLY more successful that the 1.8% of revenue of Logos Now, as that is what FL needs? It seems that the prudent business measure being ignored is to kill the extras that are not profitable if people don't want them.

Posts 2829
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 5:02 AM

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

Bad analogy...cord cutting is decimating the traditional cable/satellite subscription model because they refused exactly this, or to say it differently they refused to listen to what their customers wanted, and tried to force a lot of extra bloat on them at higher prices. There are quite a few "micro" packages of much smaller focused content that people are buying at much faster growth rates that the loss of customers cable companies are experiencing. THIS is the analogy to adding more unwanted bloat to a Logos subscription at double the cost.

Posts 313
Thinking | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 5:04 AM

Don Awalt:
Bob, I think you have missed the point of what your customers are telling you

Your post is golden. I hope Bob listens to you. Logos is simply not listening to what the market has been saying.

Don Awalt:
why would this succeed if the same thing on a lower scale failed in Logos Now?

Exactly. This is simply repeating what has worked, hoping it will work this time. Is Logos depicting someone's definition of insanity?

Posts 2829
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 5:09 AM

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

Instead of looking at the business as "How can we be profitable with the products, services etc. that we want customers to buy", after all this time why not think about "How can we be profitable selling what customers want"? People here want features - ways to do more with what they already have - they need help in using the product better, it is very sophisticated and most would say they use a small percentage of the features yet there is this hope that one day they will use more. They want quality - performance - usability features that get long ignored. And yes they still want books - quality books that are cornerstones of their faith if they can be published in a reasonable timeframe.

It seems there is a lot of potential there that people would pay for, and jettison those ventures that nobody wants...

Posts 2829
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 5:15 AM

Bob Pritchett:
Which is why Spotify doesn't give me credit for all the CDs I bought years ago... and Netflix doesn't credit me the movie tickets I bought when the films were new releases... and my Microsoft Office 365 subscription isn't cheaper because I've bought 5 copies of the whole Office suite with or for various computers over the years... 

Bad analogy - No one would subscribe to Spotify if they only had 10% more songs than I had my CD library - and crummy songs too. This is why your large library holders see significant value loss in a subscription plan that does not consider their own library.

Office 365 subscription cost is at or even a little lower than waiting to buy the next CD. This is comparable to the value people saw in Logos Now. You notice over the years Microsoft has pared away unwanted/unprofitable features in Office that no one wanted, and that just increased the cost. I wonder why FL doesn't consider this in its subscription model (which by the way most do not have an issue with as this post shows, the issue is the value for the cost).

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 23 2018 5:18 AM

Thinking:

Bob Pritchett:
We also need to support the pure transactional model for people who want to 'buy it, own it, and not have to pay again.' That's what we've always offered, and what we plan to continue to offer.

That is a very worrisome statement. It is far less assuring than statements you have made in the past.

I'm sorry -- I didn't mean it to be any different than past statements on the subject. We have no plans to discontinue the transactional model.

Page 5 of 20 (390 items) « First ... < Previous 3 4 5 6 7 Next > ... Last » | RSS