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Joschi

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  1. Why are you too focused on people who might or will complain (for sure)? Your only argument is: "People have complained in the past, and we have discussed it many times over, therefore a public roadmap is useless!" -> This is a weak argument in my eyes! Of course a Roadmap is not a wish concert. Why Do you care, if someone's feature request is not on a roadmap (especially someone, who wants a public roadmap)? You are automatically assuming, that people will react like kids if they do not get what they want! You think it's impossible to find out what should be on the roadmap, if customers are involved. Well, look at all the other companies who have public roadmaps (and those customers are involved in the process)! There are many customers who can be understanding. Of course it's not easy to find out, what exactly has a higher priority! But it's doable, if we can create an environment where such things can be discussed in a friendly and constructive manner. After all, there are ways how to keep this negative energy to a minimum level. Other companies do that, in which certain specifications are given before you can publish your opinion or feature request. Or that users first have to prove their knowledge of programs through useful contributions in the community before they are allowed to participate in the public roadmap discussion. There are many ways to manage the negativity in a discussion to an absolute minimum. On the contrary! This information can help you look for other complementary alternatives to compensate for the tools you don't have in your main Software. Especially if the software can meet all other requirements, then you have the security that what you need is there and you don't run the risk of overstretching yourself financially. Just imagine, if you have not only invested in Affinity Apps, but also other apps that a part of your workflow, then of course you are interested in maintaining compatibility between your programs. If you don't have any information about the public roadmap now (and what has been publicly discussed between the developers and customers) and it turns out that new features have been added, but the code behind the features has been changed so that compatibility or working with your other programs is no longer guaranteed, then you'll look like an idiot afterwards, because you couldn't prepare for it in a timely manner. At that point at the latest, you will have wished for a public roadmap (because a lot of time and money was lost). It still seems to me that you do not want to understand the advantages and benefits of a public roadmap. You're too busy worrying that the negative comments will ruin everything.
  2. It seems to me that some people here have the idea, that professional studios or freelancers basically only use programs that have all the features they need. But that's not how it works in reality. Fact is: There is no program that can handle all the tasks you need to complete your jobs. Then you go with the strategy of buying as many programs (or services) that cover the necessary needs that are needed for the job. So several programs, but only as many as you really need (the cost-benefit factors must be taken into account, too). Now, if you have several options to choose from: Let's assume option A on the one hand, with a program that is available for a one-time purchase and covers 80% of all functions that you need for work. And on the other side, option B, with a program that has to be subscribed monthly for a high price, but covers 90% of all functions. Now you have to calculate how to compensate for the remaining needs. Let's assume again that for both options there is a provider on the market that offers the remaining functions via a plug-in or standalone software and is compatible with both options. Which option do you choose? Of course, the option that can offer the best cost-benefit factor in the long run. If people here now claim: "I only buy a program that covers all my features that I need", then I wonder if they use any programs at all on a professional basis. There is no software that can do everything. But that's what my post was about: The question of Affinity's long-term planning and direction. If someone asks: "Why make a fuss about it? If a program has what you need, then buy it, if not don't buy it!", then it shows that this person has never heard of long-term planning and calculation. This is not how the business world works. If someone rejects a program because it doesn't have a certain feature, but meets all the other requirements, he is not thinking economically and logically. Because there is no such thing as a program that covers everything. But that is exactly why the question of enterprise customers to software companies regarding long-term planning and development phase is important. Do you seriously believe that companies can change their entire pipeline from one month to the next (just because a cheaper alternative suddenly has a feature that could be useful for work)? There are always long-term contracts and licenses negotiated. Not everyone uses Affinity as a hobby or for occasional jobs. Others would like to use it as a long-term professional tool in the future. And there's a lot more to it than just asking: Does it have all the features I need, or not? For some people it might work, who only act on the principle of only buying something, that can meet all their requirements. However, there are many others here who think the same way I do, and don't consider that a realistic and healthy attitude. If you invest a lot of time and money in programs and processes, you also want to know whether it is economically worthwhile to rely on them in the long term. And communication is important because it can give customers security when companies communicate their long-term plans to their customers. It's not about arguing about which features need to be done first or are more important. It's about showing the customers that you have a plan and that the customers can understand those plans and feel like they are being guided through the process.
  3. Don't be sorry A lot of what you say is true I did not know about the story behind vectornator. That is interesting to know. As I said in the beginning: I love all the Affinity Apps. And you are right. The Team behind Serif is small, compared to companies like Adobe or Corel. And so far it has worked out very well for them. I just think Affinity should start opening themselves up as a company. As soon as a company has reached a certain number of customers, it's time to set new ambitions and goals so that the company can continue to exist in the long term.
  4. Of course not! Bitching is a waste of time (this I agree with you on this!) Here is what I would do instead: If a feature I want is not on a roadmap, then I would look for an alternative on the market that can offer me exactly this feature that I need for my work in order to be able to do my job (be it as a complimentary tool to affinity or other apps)! That's how I've always done it, precisely because such a roadmap helped me save time and calculate what I can use in the meantime to counteract these bottlenecks. Yes, there will always be people who complain, but there are many sensible people who think ahead of time and take this as an opportunity to look for solutions until the problem is solved. If you only look at people who complain, then I understand why you might not like a public roadmap. Or, you can look instead at people who will not complain, find solutions and will compliment the team as soon as a new feature has been added to the software I don't look at people who complain. I look for transparency, communication and solutions that help me. As soon as Affinity introduces new features that I don't need, but that other people think are great (and need), then I'm happy for those people, too
  5. Ok, you are right! This is on me! Should have done this better!
  6. If it hurt you, I'm sorry (honestly!). But you are confirming your biased view on the subject. I'm sorry, but I didn't make the mistake of equating a public forum with a public roadmap. Those are two completely different things. If you scream one thing, even though you see something else, then you should not be surprised if your reaction is met with resistance. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I find this all the more amusing because the public roadmap was just one of many suggestions I shared in this post. It was much more about the general long-term orientation of the company. And if it's taboo to question that because you always want to do what you've always done, then you're welcome to do so and hide in the corner. But then you don't have to be surprised if things are not moving forward and that many customers are losing confidence in these products.
  7. Of course, there will still be many customer who will complain. But they can't do that in a public roadmap (compared to a Forum, where everyone has a say in it)! And beside: So do customers everywhere else, whenever a public roadmap of a company is published. If you look at the overall benefits of a public roadmap and weigh that against a single downside -> lone bitching people, it would still be a lot of upsides outweighing one downside. Because a public roadmap says a lot more than just the number of feature requests that are being worked on or not. This is also related to my post: For example, if Affinity opens up to third-party providers who develop plug-ins, then such a roadmap could be indicative of how to address specific bottlenecks.If there is no signal and no communication, then there is also no loyal and solid customer base that can grow over the years. Then you let those people win who can only do what they do best: scream and complain the loudest!
  8. Exactly! That's why companies need to know in advance! It's about trust and communication. Once the company has settled on a solid pipeline (and that costs a great deal of money), it won't even bother to try Affinity after a short while once certain features are rolled out. It is helpful for long-term planning! Freelancers or smaller Studios don't care about that, but Affinity should care because the money that the number of freelancers bring in is nothing compared to what larger studios can bring in financially! It's mind-boggling, how people underestimate the worth of a public roadmap! I would also like to mention that my post is about much more than just a public roadmap. Appearance in public and social media, long-term planning, entrepreneurial independence and so on! You can talk about it however you want. But the hype surrounding Affinity has long since dissipated and the future of Affinity is rightly called into question, if it is not clear what the long-term direction of the company is.
  9. What is so hard to understand the concept of a "public roadmap"? It's not something you post it daily in a Forum. Of course people will cry and moan, if you do that! I think Affinity should study, how other companies handle public roadmaps. It's not just a simple list of "Feature Requests" which are currently under development. It's way more than that. A Timeline, shedule, all kinds of tasks (divided in 'done, in progress, pending'), technical situations (e.g. problems that a feature request cannot be completed because certain components from the industry have not yet been communicated and therefore cannot be completed or have to be waited for)! If you as a company take this approach, you not only create transparent politics, but also build up the trust of customers in your company. Even if not every customer request is fulfilled, that's still better and provides relaxation, because the status of the development phase can be understood. There's a reason the public roadmaps work well for other companies. Because it creates transparency and trust between customers and companies. There is no reason for rational customers to get upset, because then they have no (good) reason to be allowed to get upset.
  10. I don't think you take your time to read and understand what I was saying. If you think public roadmaps don't help - Then why does it work everywhere else? (even the evil Corporate "Adobe" does this within it's community.) It's not about "some people making grandiose claims to know what every user wants"! I already mentioned it should start with what the media industry needs (Newspapers, Advertising companies, Movie & Game Industry, etc.) Between all the major industries, there is a very large overlap in terms of feature requests. --> You only need to look around the forum to see how quickly the larger studios reach their limits. There it is very often about time saving and reliable tools that are asked for. That is a manageable number of feature requests. So in my example, that means that you align yourself with the industries first and work down from there to the feature requests that cover a smaller niche in the market. If you don't go that route, you're never going to have the long-term financial resources to be able to please everyone. Make it public. At least people will know! You seem to have a notion that everyone thinks that the thousand feature requests are all equally important. Of course, you can't respond to all of them. But you have to start somewhere - and above all, you have to communicate that. Just quietly squatting in the corner because you want your peace and quiet and to do your own thing - you can do that. But that doesn't inspire confidence in the company, if you don't provide insights for the next quarters/years. I would even argue that this behavior fuels exactly what you want to avoid: Kindergarten screaming!
  11. I was not saying, they can compete with the commercial counterparts in the media industry (for now!). But it is logical and understandable that Apple would also like to get involved in these areas in the foreseeable future (simply because it fits into the concept of Apple TV+). And even if Apple's Photos app can't keep up with Photoshop & Co., there are now a considerable number of plug-ins for the Photos app and there is certainly one or the other target group that gets along very well with it and relies on this combination in everyday work. Of course, it may be that FCP's software development (or the Motion App) has slowed down recently. However, one should not forget that Apple has made great strides with the Media Engine and that many content creators on YouTube rely on Final Cut Pro as their tool. That's a pretty large number of already existing customers - especially, customers willing to pay (and there are also a considerable number of plug-ins for FCP on the market)! Apple does not hide the fact that it has ambitions in these areas. It would be illusory to say that Apple will never be able to keep up with the commercial industry standards. It has the financial means to do so, and above all the motivation to do so in the foreseeable future. For many other media programs, a public roadmap has proven to be the perfect mediator between developers and community/corporate customers. The claim that only those features are developed that are shouted about the loudest only happens, if you manage this roadmap like a kindergarten. Furthermore, as mentioned in the post, it is not only about feature requests, but to create an overview for both sides. For the development team - so that the right priorities are set; and for the enterprise customers - who can calculate in advance how they can plan and deploy programs. In doing so, it's not hard at all to figure out which features should have priority: The features that the media industry absolutely needs, because it is part of the everyday work and makes the work easier. If these requirements are met, everything else can still be developed that hobby graphic artists absolutely want to have. As a company, you have to think economically. That's flexible and directional for the team behind Affinity, who then don't have to puzzle over what exactly has priority. The fear that a roadmap only leads to a concert of wishes is a very weak argumentation and in my eyes rather a lazy excuse.
  12. First of all, there's no question that working with Affinity Apps follows a different philosophy and approach compared to the apps from Adobe, Skylum, Capture One, Corel & Co. There are many functional similarities - which is important and makes sense - as well as special features that other apps do not have.👍 Don't get me wrong - I'm glad the Affinity apps exist! I bought all the apps and books from Affinity - even the Affinity T-Shirt :D. So it's safe to say that I'm very fond of your apps. Great compliments and praise must also be given to you for the way you presented yourselves as a company in the midst of the Corona crisis, giving freelancers and companies the opportunity to use your products free of charge for a long period of time - and providing financial resources on top of that. Not to forget, the regular fair discount offers during the holidays or special promotional periods. On a human level, you seem to be doing a lot right in my eyes. 👏 However, my perception of how I understand Affinity is also increasingly changing. Because there is also the other side of you - namely the economically and strategically related side of your company: Your poor communication within the community and unclear attitude of long-term plans and visions make me doubt, if Affinity is going the right way. I know it's impossible to try to please everyone. Making good products takes time. Especially in the fast-paced and fast-changing media industry, it's not always wise to follow every new trend. All that I really understand! The reason I bring this up is, because sometimes I get the impression from you guys that you don't really know who your primary target audience is, and how you're going to keep them in the long run. I also understand, that you jeopardized your future with the complete restructuring of the architecture of your programs. Which totally paid off in your case, when Apple launched its new processor architecture. We all know your success story since then. Of course we must not forget that your programs are also available for Windows. However, it cannot be overlooked that you are far too clingy towards Apple! It's great that your programs run very well under Apple - and that should continue to be the case. In the long term however, you should have a Plan B in case Apple sherlocks you! Apple has been investing millions, if not billions, in the Apple TV+ division for the last few years and as a result, it is also investing a lot of money in its own creative native apps (Photos App, Apple Motion, Final Cut Pro, etc). Since the iPad Pros with the Apple Pencils have been on the market, Apple has not only stirred up the creative media industry, but also changed it for the long run. Now, it's also clear that Apple wants to take full advantage of its own technologies by also focusing on the software industry that targets media professionals. This can also be seen very well in how successfully Apple tries (in an aggressive manner) to enforce its proprietary file formats (such as ProRes) as industry standards. My fear is, that if you're not careful, you'll make yourself obsolete faster than you'd like. Which brings me to the next point: I'm amazed at how fast, progressive and numerous the competition in the creative software industry market has grown. These are definitely golden times for creative content creators! I noticed a few things that almost all competing products have in common: Regular and active participation in the community (forums and social media) --> I mainly see reactionary behavior from you: For example, you only participate if technical problems are described in the forum or questions are asked about individual functions inside Affinity. Another example would be, when your social media accounts are mostly retweeting content from artists/agencies who have used Affinity. While this may be nice and interesting to see/read, it lacks structure and order. It would be better to create a separate account for Affinity Spotlight and move the content there. You make apps for creative content creators. Therefore, you should be just as creative and actively involved in social media. Ask, share useful short videos that show what your apps can do. Be nerdy and share expertise (memes too, if that is what you are into), or take actions to get your apps more attention, and by that I don't just mean "fun photo contests" but things like looking for creative tutorials with good content. Or with the next major releases, the most popular content creators who work with Affinity can present these features... and lots of such promotions (similar with what you have done during the Corona crisis). It's up to you what you prefer, but do it and be active and not just reactive! A public roadmap (schedule, to-do lists, priorities) --> Your apps are not only aimed at hobbyists, but also at people who work with them professionally. A public roadmap is a great help, especially for agencies that have to plan for the long term: Do apps X and Y have the features we need? If not, what alternative solutions can we use? And if it is planned to give these programs these features: How long do we have to continue using the alternative options in order to be able to save costs afterwards? Of course, as I said before, it's impossible to please everyone, but a roadmap gives customers a clear view of what you're working on, what features are ready for the new releases, and what features will be worked on next! It's not about your customers wanting to check, whether you're even working on your feedback and taking it seriously. It's much more about giving customers a realistic view of the direction in which your products are developing. Even if you're not working on specific feature requests, it's still a great win for customers, because they know that specific tools needed to do the job need to be sourced elsewhere, and these can then be added to the Affinity programs. A public roadmap helps to set priorities and makes it possible to respond flexibly to customer requests from the community. --> If your current day's agenda is to work on Feature A and B, but a large part of the customers would rather have Feature C, because Feature A and B are already used by other programs, then you should re-prioritize your schedule and work on Feature C (Feature A and B should of course be added at a later date). Of course, it is your right to implement your own ideas and plans. The important thing to remember is, that not only are your priorities important, but so are those of the customers who will ultimately buy your products. Interdisciplinary communication, cooperation and projects with other companies --> Major international corporations such as Apple, Amazon and Adobe have almost limitless resources and are developing tomorrow's applications that help companies save time and effort. Just think of applications with artificial intelligence. Especially for the media industry, sooner or later this will become an indispensable part of everyday work. That's why many other companies are working together to somehow keep up against the big corporate powers. You can't afford to do everything on your own. Please work together with other companies (not just Apple! ...or Windows) to stay viable and relevant in the market. I can't think of any examples specifically for the 2D graphics industry, but I can think of some from the 3D graphics industry: There they agree on standards (be it for file formats, or program functions, such as USD) and support each other by defining which program functions should follow certain standards and conventions, so that there are no problems to exchange and read files among each other. In the case of Affinity, I don't mean just opening files (e.g. vector files exported by other programs), because that has been possible for a long time. But beyond that, the "understanding and reading" of content that has been created with other programs and is then to be further processed with Affinity. In my eyes, you are still too closed in and isolated. Especially for the Affinity apps it would be good if there is the possibility to use real third-party plug-ins (some Photoshop plug-ins may work - even if limited - but there you make yourself too dependent on Adobe and that also has its limits). You could add value to your programs by opening up, co-developing features with other companies (e.g. Nvidia, AMD), or incentivize program developers to develop plug-ins for your suite. I don't see any other way you can build on your success in the long term. Crucial functions that bring real added value to users (and have been thought through to the end)! --> No question you have integrated many useful functions: Be it studio link, the personas, snapping functions, border tools, etc. All this results in a coherent concept. At the same time, however, it often happens that you haven't thought the introduced functions through to the end. You can see that quite well in the forums. There, most of them are very happy with the newly introduced functions, but then they quickly reach their limits. An attempt is then made to explain to the Affinity team how the corresponding functions can be improved or supplemented. This often leads to misunderstandings (Forum: "You can't do X and Y in Photo, Designer, Publisher!" Affinity Team: "But you can do that!" Forum: "No, you can't !" Affinity Team: "Yes, you can! Just do this and then that!" Forum:"No, that's not the same thing we are talking about!" Affinity Team: "Why do you really need that?" -> Functions/Tools have not been thought through to the end!). It's also common to see that many customers complain that it lacks many basic tools that are found and taken for granted in almost all other competing products. If you think you can be funny, and instead introduce gimmick tools - such as the Liquify tool - although the development of other features should have higher priority, then don't be surprised why this annoys many customers who earn their living with your software. (Not to say, that the Liquify Tool is useless ;). While it's good to be able to offer unique and wacky tools that other programs don't have, it really needs to be thought through. This brings us back to the problem of finding the right priorities. Gimmick tools should only be developed and introduced when the majority of users have been given all the features that are necessary for everyday work and have been properly developed! Concentration on the essentials (and delegation to everything secondary) --> You can tell, that you prefer to do everything alone. But some things should be better delegated. The Affinity Store, for example, comes to mind. Of course, it's cool when your store sells brushes, textures, filter effects, and more. But it's starting to look really overloaded and the store isn't really varied - rather monotonous in style. I would leave that to the free market if I were you. It's best to open a separate platform and leave these things to the free market (you can even earn some from it). This takes away some of the pressure of having to do everything and helps you to be able to concentrate on the essentials. Of course, it must be said that today's society has become very impatient. However, the lack of delegation would explain why no regular announcements or teasers are coming from you. In the meantime, it has not become so unusual that a new version with new functions is presented by the competition every 6-12 months. Of course, we don't expect you to have to release big new features every 6 months - that's unrealistic! But 1.5 - 2 years is almost too long - mere bug fixes and a small feature are not enough to attract customers in the long term. This puts the patience of customers at risk. As an alternative, you can compensate for this, by being more actively involved in social media in order to stay relevant. That's why it's better to focus on the essentials and delegate everything that is secondary. I really love your Affinity Apps 🥰, but sometimes I don't think I understand what Affinity stands for, and how it plans to grow in the future. 🤷‍♂️
  13. Yes, I really need this! Trying to work with .afpackage files (from Affinity Publisher) that are imported into Affinity Designer and it doesn‘t let me replace missing images (some image file names had to be renamed in the process in order for the iPad to find linked images). So even if go through individual pages, it doesn’t let me manually replace those missing files. Would be a huge help, if Serif could add the „replace images“ function in the next update for ipad 😬
  14. You don‘t even need a file to see that. Just open a new document and try to add geometry. It will crash. It‘s definitely a bug.
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