Logos is NOT a Ministry

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 11:32 AM

Russ White:
Logos is not a ministry.

I don't think Bob (or any other Logos employee) has ever claimed they were anything other than a for profit business that develops tools and resources to support a diverse user base, including those who serve in ministry.

Russ White:
Selling public domain books, and restricting individual users from coding those same books up on their own time and sharing them.

Logos provides it users with a tool (Personal Book Builder) to create as many PB's as you desire to create. As for sharing, no one is able to share PB's at this time, but that is coming. When it does come, Bob has stated that they would not host PB's that compete with products they sell. Why should they? Should Microsoft provide space on their servers for OpenOffice?

Russ White:
Totally ignoring those with privacy concerns --to the point of mocking

This horse has been beaten until it was dead twice. If you are going to engage in activity associated with cloud technology, you should probably not include information you do not want there. Not to mention, I doubt anyone is sifting through your notes, prayer lists, or other information to see what you're saying or thinking.

Russ White:
The current Logos 5 mess, including an almost total disregard for previous investment on the part of many users in terms of pricing.

What mess? This was a massive roll out of a new and complex product. I am sure with each roll out the Logos folks are learning what works and what doesn't. A lot of people worked many, many hours this week to deliver this new product to their customers. Not every aspect of the roll out was perfect, but they had their people in place to fix it.

In what way did they disregard your investment. Did you lose existing resources or functionality? I suspect the answer is no. Are you, I, or any of us "entitled" to the new technology and products? No. If you want it, buy it. If you don't want it, do not buy it. If you decide you want it later, I'm sure they would be happy to sell it to you.

Logos is a business that provides many of us with valuable tools and resources for a profit. I want them to be profitable so they can continue to cover their costs, higher the best people they can get, and invest in tools that may take years to produce revenue. 

I am a firm believer that the market is always right. A company that provides a product or service people are willing to pay for at the price point the company sets, that company will succeed. If they do not provide that product for a price people are willing to pay, that company will fail. Bob knows that and has (with a few mistakes along the way by his own admission) been good at it. I hope that trend continues for many years to come.

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 11:37 AM

TCBlack:
Some appear to not even want the books there, just the name "Gold" to continue, thus they feel cheated.

I would argue the biggest mistakes in this specific situation are:

  • Some tools are only available with Gold. This isn't about resources, I'm forced to Gold if I want better tools for study. This isn't something I can (apparently) do over time, etc., it's tied to the package.
  • Existing users, users who don't have the money to upgrade, should have been given at least equal time with users willing to shell out thousands more.

But again, this is just one point in many points --the argument over privacy in notes, the selling of public domain material, and many others have, over the years, piece by piece, damaged my view of Logos as a company. The question --is it all about the money (as Bob's blog post says)? Is Logos losing sight of the bigger picture here?

Posts 450
Alexander | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 11:44 AM

Russ White:

  • Existing users, users who don't have the money to upgrade, should have been given at least equal time with users willing to shell out thousands more.

I would disagree. Logos has the right and prerogative to choose who will receive new software. They made a wise choice in proactively reaching out to those with large libraries who were willing to expand their library first. This allowed a small group of people who had a very large amount of data to download to get it all done at one time. These buyers typically take the most time from a sales perspective as well. Once they have cleared out, everyone will get a shot at upgrading either with a cross grade or the free engine.

Bob cares greatly and his attention to the forums and other outlets shows that. How many other CEO's do you know trolling the boards answering questions? Not many. We often forget we don't deserve anything but hell and death. Yet, God has been merciful to us. Why can that one truth not leave us just grateful to breath let alone have tools to study the Word: paid or otherwise.

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 11:45 AM

Fredc:
This horse has been beaten until it was dead twice. If you are going to engage in activity associated with cloud technology, you should probably not include information you do not want there. Not to mention, I doubt anyone is sifting through your notes, prayer lists, or other information to see what you're saying or thinking.

Yep, Google doesn't make a penny off of tracking what people are thinking. Nor Facebook. Not one penny. You can only make money off someone's "real" data; it's only worth protecting if you (Fred) think it's worth protecting. And information, once stored in "the cloud," can never be leaked to some company other than Logos, and Logos will never be bought, and their servers will never be broken in to, or compromised, in any way.

Fredc:
Logos provides it users with a tool (Personal Book Builder) to create as many PB's as you desire to create. As for sharing, no one is able to share PB's at this time, but that is coming. When it does come, Bob has stated that they would not host PB's that compete with products they sell.

Bob has gone farther than this, in fact, several times, in his statements about the PBB.

Fredc:
Logos is a business that provides many of us with valuable tools and resources for a profit.

Then you would agree that the many people who put a halo over them for being a "Christian company," are wrong for doing so. Thank you for agreeing on that point, at least.

 

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 11:57 AM

Alexander Longacre:
Logos has the right and prerogative to choose who will receive new software.

Alexander Longacre:
Bob cares greatly and his attention to the forums and other outlets shows that.

So in one breath you say that Logos has the right to choose what their users receive, and the next that Bob is some sort of saint, and we should be happy and grateful for whatever crumbs he might choose to throw our way (while you're comparing using Logos to the gift of salvation???).

This is specifically the sort of "halo effect," that I disagree with.

Logos is a business, not a ministry.

BTW, the CEO of a rather large company I used to work for used to troll the phone lines when I was working support. Another large company I've worked with required all executives to work "on the floor" for at least a week out of every year. I don't think the attributes you're talking about are something that can be attributed to Logos being a Christian company, but rather just Logos being led by business leaders who believe that these things will maximize their income.

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LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 12:20 PM

Russ, you are completely correct that we're a business, and need to make a profit. That's why we keep trying to offer products that incentivize people to purchase new content, which is where we make the money that funds the business.

Technically, profit is income - expenses, so EVERY organization -- including your family and your church and a soup kitchen -- has to make a profit, or break-even. A church can count non-financial output (changed lives) as the profit, but still has to reach at least break-even on money: it can't long go sending out more dollars than come in.

In a business the output is also sometimes non-financial -- a fun job, rewarding work, etc. -- but since we can't ask for donations, and since working in most businesses is a choice driven more by financial needs than emotional / ministry / donated-labor reasons, we try harder to beat break-even with cash, in addition to the "non-monetary" profit of our labors.

We have exchanged many emails and even spoken by phone; I am pretty certain by this point that I'm never going to make you truly happy with how we run this business, and that's fine. Lots of people don't like lots of businesses. Businesses have to make enough customers happy to stay in business -- and we certainly must -- but it's impossible to make every customer happy, and sometimes you have to live with that.

But I do want to make as many happy as I can, so I'll answer some of your points:

Russ White:
Some tools are only available with Gold. This isn't about resources, I'm forced to Gold if I want better tools for study.

The only "tools" only available in Gold, I believe, are actually tied to content. So it is about resources -- you need those content resources to use those tools, and we spent a lot to create them and need to sell them. At the moment one of them is only sold in Gold -- which I agree can be an expensive upgrade for many users -- but in time they'll be available at different prices.

As for cloud storage / sync, and other things you don't like, I'm sorry we disagree, but I think that's just an area we're not -- even after our phone conversations -- ever going to agree on. It reminds me of the "moo shu pizza". My favorite pizza at the local pizza joint was taken off the menu. I complained. Others agreed. I met the owner and petitioned him. I explained that it was unique and good and the reason I went there over other places, and that he'd lose lots of business by not having it. I can't imagine why he even sold any other pizza since the moo shu was so superior. But he claimed to know things I didn't: actual sales figures, what other customers liked / didn't like, etc. He never won me over. I rarely eat there anymore. I don't take large groups to lunch there. But he's not out of business, even without the moo shu.

Inexplicable to me. How can these other people eat those other pizzas?

Maybe "let me manage my own data without the cloud", etc., is your moo shu pizza? :-)

 

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 12:38 PM

Bob:

Thanks for replying to this thread. Several points:

Bob Pritchett:
In a business the output is also sometimes non-financial...

And sometimes software investment is more than just books or resources. There's always been an impression of a "going forward relationship" with Logos. That impression is being destroyed even as we trade forum posts.

Bob Pritchett:
The only "tools" only available in Gold, I believe, are actually tied to content.

Then you need to make that clear on the web page. Not that I can imagine how a phrase search engine would be tied to content.

Bob Pritchett:
As for cloud storage / sync, and other things you don't like, I'm sorry we disagree, but I think that's just an area we're not -- even after our phone conversations -- ever going to agree on.

What I have always found wrong about this argument is:

  1. You think the entire issue is about how many people want something, or how much money can be made off of it. OTOH, many users, and even Logos itself, often acts as though it's been given a "public trust." IMHO, you need to go farther than doing what you think you can make money off of in this case, and be a public voice for protecting data in the cloud to a community that clearly doesn't understand the issues involved. 
  2. If you don't want to give users tools to manage what data goes to the cloud and what doesn't, then at least give us tools to make Logos easier to use with other software that does. I've asked for one specific feature that should be easy as dirt to implement, and never even received a reply from anyone at Logos.

In short, building features isn't always just about doing what will make you the most money --particularly when you claim to be a Christian company. Just like building a church isn't always about jamming the pews with as many people as you possibly can every Sunday morning. Success, for a Christian, must reach higher than that.

Don't lose the focus on doing the right thing for customers because you believe that if you're making more money, you must be doing the right things.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 12:57 PM

Russ White:
Not that I can imagine how a phrase search engine would be tied to content.

This. like many of the new features, is tied to databases of data that Logos hand-coded. Because hand-coded requires more human resource costs, this data is being sold at a higher cost for the new feature than previous new features which were simply new algorithms.

 

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

Posts 1691
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 12:57 PM

Russ White:
Not that I can imagine how a phrase search engine would be tied to content.

I'm sorry if the description is confusing. The software has been able to search for phrases for 21 years -- just put the phrase in double-quotes. The new feature is support for a human-edited, manually described lexicon of significant biblical phrases. "Kingdom of God", "Kingdom of Heaven", etc. We've manually identified a thousand significant phrases, connected their Greek and Hebrew instances to the various English renderings, written descriptions for the phrases, and integrated them into relevant guides.

In the future you'll have more capabilities; I expect we'll support finding a phrase across multiple translations, even if the translators modified it slightly in different passages or contexts or versions.

Russ White:
I've asked for one specific feature that should be easy as dirt to implement, and never even received a reply from anyone at Logos.

I assume you're talking about your "don't sync to the cloud" / "local backup" feature, and I think you've had lots of discussion and reply. (If it's something else, email me and I promise a reply.) And I think we've talked this feature to the ground; it's not about how easy it is or isn't to implement, it's about the many reasons we don't think it's a good idea overall.

And I think your insistence -- since 2009, as I recall -- that this is akin to a 'moral issue', rather than a disagreement about what features we should offer, is something I can't agree to. I respect your feelings about the important of data security and the dangers of the cloud, but I don't agree that we need to "be a public voice" on your particular hot-button issue. And I thin that in the last 3 years, despite hiccups and some bad press, the users (of all tech products) have spoken very clearly that they like "the cloud", even with its flaws.

I'm out of energy for that particular discussion... I've already gone too far -- I need to save my strength for explaining upgrades! :-)

 

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Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 1:05 PM

Bob Pritchett:
I need to save my strength for explaining upgrades!

Or the lack thereof...   Big Smile

Donnie

 

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 1:05 PM

Bob Pritchett:
I assume you're talking about your "don't sync to the cloud" / "local backup" feature, and I think you've had lots of discussion and reply.

Actually, I'm not. It's indicative that you don't know what my other feature requests have been in this area.

Bob Pritchett:
I don't agree that we need to "be a public voice" on your particular hot-button issue.

It's not just my "hot button issue."

But that's okay, you're going to discover on your own how fickle the cloud is. I just hope you don't take a lot of other folks with your in your insistence on treating this as an issue about making more money, rather than doing the right thing. Of course, cloud is a much larger discussion --since it's one of my specific areas of research now, I probably have a better view of what's going on there than you might imagine. The picture isn't nearly as rosy as you paint.

Anyway --there is a moral dimension to business beyond simply making more money and following the laws. But this line of reasoning --that there are no moral issues at stake-- is precisely why I've learned to enjoy the software while distrusting the company, as many other users I know. If you're happy with that reputation (and I suppose you are, so long as you're making more money), then keep at it.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 1:07 PM

Bob Pritchett:
the users (of all tech products) have spoken very clearly that they like "the cloud", even with its flaws.

As one who never thought the cloud would matter either way to me, I'm one who is dependent on my Kindle Cloud, on my Zotero cloud, and now even my Microsoft Officee 2013 (beta) cloud. The only cloud product I use in which the cloud hasn't become essential is my calendar.

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

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 1:10 PM

MJ. Smith:
As one who never thought the cloud would matter either way to me, I'm one who is dependent on my Kindle Cloud, on my Zotero cloud, and now even my Microsoft Officee 2013 (beta) cloud. The only cloud product I use in which the cloud hasn't become essential is my calendar.

Good for you --you get to sell all your information to others so you can have a little convenience. There's some quote in the back of my mind about security and freedom that you might want to try and find.

When the service is free, you are the product.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 1:13 PM

Russ White:
is precisely why I've learned to enjoy the software while distrusting the company.

Speaking strictly for myself as a "little old lady in walking shoes", I can honestly say this is why I have learned to simply accept people and businesses as they are and concentrate my energy where it can be useful especially useful for God's purposes. In my particular case that means leaving all the worrying to my 97 year old Mother and 75 year old sister. They are far better at it than I.Wink

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

Posts 1880
Philana Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 1:14 PM

Russ,

Your assuming that all users like you don't want our stuff on the cloud. Well some of us do. I use both a MacBook Pro and an iPad. I want my documents and mark-ups synced. If I take my notes on my desktop where I have more robust research features I want my notes added to my iPad when I need it at church. You may not want to have your stuff on the cloud. But it's pretty arrogant to say that Bob is not doing the morally right thing by not doing what you want. A morally right thing would be true for everyone...what you want is your personal preference. 

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 1:23 PM

Philana Crouch:
Your assuming that all users like you don't want our stuff on the cloud.

No, I'm assuming users should have the tools and options available to choose what they want to put in the cloud and still get full use out of the software they purchase.

As for "morally right," I think you're being pretty arrogant in your reaction to my statement

But I'm not going to wander any more into the weeds on this discussion --I was trying to point out why I'm struggling to trust Logos as a company, and folks want to turn the discussion into how wonderful the cloud is. Believe away, but remember that when a cloud comes to earth, they call it fog.

Posts 442
Tony Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 6:06 PM

In case you missed the point, just take a look at Bob's latest blog post:

http://firesomeonetoday.com/profit_is_why_you_are_in_business.html

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bob's post was very informative.

However, my experience has shown if you PUT CUSTOMERS FIRST, then profit will take care of itself.

Perhaps Logos needs to fall in love with its customers a bit more...

 

 

Director of Zoeproject 

www.zoeproject.com

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 6:53 PM

Russ White:
security and freedom that you might want to try and find.

I am well supplied on both sides including the security of well-informed decisions (IT professional) and being of an age that gives me relatively few responsibilities - except for those I choose for moral or pleasure reasons. Luckily for me the moral and pleasure are usually in sync ... another advantage of age.Wink

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

Posts 27029
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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 6:55 PM

Russ White:
but remember that when a cloud comes to earth, they call it fog.

In the Pacific Northwest we call it "liquid sunshine"Stick out tongue

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

Posts 107
Jarred Edgecombe | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2012 8:02 PM
AMEN Dave.
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