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John Gibson

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Posts posted by John Gibson

  1. 9 minutes ago, αℓƒяє∂ said:

    I can fairly confidently state that you’re far from being alone in that, John!

    It’s worth noting that the Affinity suite’s shared file format means you can save files during the first trial and then reopen them when subsequently trialling the other app.

    LMAO! Good to know, thanks. I'm quite looking forward to having a play.

    Just a few questions:

    Is the iPad use of Affinity products superior to the DTP apps due to the touch UI?

    Can you use a tablet with Affinity products?

    Are there any limitations when moving between iOS and OSX?

  2. On 11/27/2018 at 10:14 PM, gbjack said:

    Answer 1 : AUD55 for 1 piece or bundle 3 at AUD150 per year should be good and competitive.

    Answer 2: Have an option to sell the bundle like for - graphics, web, video/ animation/ gaming or individually, instead of forcing us to have everything.


    Yes I agree with these points too - AUD$150 seems pretty reasonable for a per annum arrangement.

    I agree there should be sub-product bundles was you describe. I also think there should be different pricing regimes for different user groups, to really encourage new user uptake by removing the barriers to entry. Everyone seems to do single user, and also multiple users being the single user price multiplied by the multiple user quantity (sometimes with a bulk buy discount, sometimes not), and then there's education/students but often with function limitations which are stupid, unnecessary barriers. 

    I'd like to see groups like single user start-ups, incidental users (people who don't really need the software but might use it if the price is right), casual users (ie. I need it this month so I pay, I don't next month so I don't), not-for-profits, agents and sub-users (people whose business model includes infrequent or purpose specific sub-users as a pricing regime, NOT an affiliate program) and a number of others.  


  3. 23 hours ago, gbjack said:

    I have used Adobe tools 5 to 6 days a week daily for the past 26 years, with the exception when Freehand is still in business, and when later InDesign came along. What good is a software if it needs user to do many workarounds and switched off many resources? Maybe you are working with small files. We worked with huge pre-press files, large event panel files, and the latest Illustrator is just not production ready.

    • Bounding box disappeared by itself (mac)
    • Changing text box A attributes will affect text box B. Text box A have no effect, need to quit (mac)
    • Select an object and the properties panel do not reflect the selection (mac)
    • The program reset preference as and when it likes (mac)
    • AI ext is associated to XD and cannot be changed (Win)
    • measurements are not accurate (e.g., enter 210 mm, the properties may become 209.99 mm - long term)
    • White became yellow on screen
    • kerning set will revert to 0 after deselect
    • Out of memory (mac)

    Most these may be non-existent if you are working with tiny file sizes, I do not know! Support will only tell you we have a new update 23.0.1, please update and thread is closed.

    Sorry for whining, out of topic.

    Yes, I agree. This sort of sloppy shit is another reason Adobe annoys me, and unfortunately Apple are even worse both in gliches, stupid product decisions and workflows, along with prohibitive pricing on their software, otherwise I might well use Final Cut and Logic Pro.

  4. On 11/27/2018 at 12:13 AM, Patrick Connor said:

    There's one recent one here . I've not listened to all of it yet (over 1 hour) but I'm fairly sure it does not mention subscription for corp/education. I will see if anyone can find the one I'm thinking of.

    Written one here


    Patrick, thank you.

    I will listen to this interview on the weekend, and I am reassured by the MD comments re the need to change price regimes in the future. Great stuff!

  5. 5 minutes ago, αℓƒяє∂ said:

    Both Designer and Photo are available to try for free:



    Please note that the ten-day trial clock runs continuously from the first time you launch the app.

    Cool, I appreciate that, but I will need a month or two and a few serious jobs to test Affinity with. I find that often I foolishly just register for a new product only to get distracted and find my free trial time has elapsed before I realised, so these days I am resigned to a purchase even for testing purposes, unless the product is price prohibitive. Cheers!

  6. On 11/27/2018 at 12:29 PM, SrPx said:

    Some good points you made there ( in the post I hadn't read as cross posting happened, not the one you posted just above...geez, this goes too fast....). Sadly, very tight on time right now, and am afraid wont be able to post more till tomorrow at very late hour....


    If you are managing/owning a commercial studio (in whatever the field(s)) you are probably aware of all the following, but there's always some bit each of us aren't aware of, so, here I go.... :

    - Animation: I have a HUGE post with links and stuff about it. Well, actually quite more than one. There are so many apps under the 300 bucks line, which are, equal if not better than the old Flash (Animate)  that I don't see a need to get yet another one, but instead, master, or make your employees master, the one, or the ones that integrates best in your workflows and client needs. ( Toon Boom, Cacani, Moho, Animation paper (PAP), Opentonz, etc, etc, etc. For games, maybe more sth like Spine). Toonboon is the king and gets pricey, but there's a variety of product levels and prices, tho. Like in most of these brands.

    - Video editing: Davinci Resolve not only counts on a solid video editor (very solid), it gives you a totally free version with  reduced -yet large- resolution allowed in export, and some other limits not stopping even serious indies to make hi quality work. It has also included a compositing solution (Fusion, can get apart, too) that you could use for kind of the functionality of A. After Effects. Then you have Hitfilm ( also quite capable free version available), perhaps in a lower level (video editing and effects, too).  Besides that, for typical simpler commercial videos not so FX heavy, less advanced, rarely will go wrong with Sony Vegas. All these are ~300 (or cheaper) bucks solutions, permanent purchase license. Pretty affordable. There are a long bunch of other affordable tools out there for video editing, even some good ones in the free land.

    - Audio: I have needed to clean audio, make basic loops, generate game sounds,  etc, as u know it ends up happening in every small game studio when you are used for everything, from testing, to audio, translations, etc. For my definitely non-pro needs there (but my files ended in pro products, lol), Audacity always was enough. But there are other free or cheap options like Acoustica or Ardour. If doing something pro, you need to go to the big guys, of course. (but mostly, count on some one really pro person in sound FX, music, etc)

    There is a literal ton of tools for practically everything. By using a lot of these, I have realized how is not so true that Adobe and Autodesk have the best possible thing ever for this or that field: I mean, for every freaking field, out of the main two/three apps. They totally got it with PS, AI, After Effects (but there are also valid alternatives, IMO, for all those. Specific circumstances will define if one needs Adobe or not (compatibility with clients in native formats, certain feature, etc), Premiere (but same). And some more. 

    But for example, back in the time, the UV mapper included (and even some third party expensive set of plugins) in 3DS Max ( the UVW Window) was NO WAY close to the depth and flexibility found in a sort of individual, one man band developer tool called Unwrap 3D (know it and exchanged mails with the author since Lithunwrap times, the precursor freebie). of course, times change, Max evolved a lot, but this still happens with so many things. Even more when you need very specific tasks in your workflow. There's always a tool absolutely shining over anything else, included behemoths top dogs from large companies.

    I'm expanding here because you say you have interest on alternatives (ie, you commented interest on Corel, which makes a great work in the area of color separation for printing, to give an example of its huge advantages, and Photopaint is a great helper for an Illustrator finishing works -ie, supports CMYK (not that common, to be supported) there where Corel Painter never did- Still, IMO is no competition for Affinity due to pricing. Specially in an studio needing several seats ) , and so, I guess it might be of interest, but also, to  make my point (arguable, I know) that as time passes, it is increasingly clear that there's now so much variety and competition, that the entire HUGE suite concept (instead of at least a smaller, more theme related and compact "suite" of 3/4 estelar tools) made more sense in the 90s, not so much anymore, where all market workflows has over complicated, tasks are way more deep. Just look at the uber crazy complexity of a single workflow in Allegoritmic Substance Painter or Designer. There's quite a whole complex world in its own embedded there in just two apps. This is no 1995 anymore (for both better and worse). Also, discourages going for it the so well tied the market is by Adobe and Autodesk. IMO, would not be a clever move. But imo the clever path is how Serif is doing, focusing on making a master piece out of each of the 3 most fundamental type of tools for the larger market, 2D. Is more wall of text of my 2c, though.

    This is really good stuff, as I am doing a total review right now of my software tools. Unfortunately we all tend to fall into doing what we know, so its time to reconsider all options, especially given Adobe exorbitant pricing.

    I'll provide a fuller answer by the weekend SrPx, much appreciated :D 

  7. On 11/27/2018 at 7:26 PM, AiDon said:
      19 hours ago, John Gibson said:

    Patrick, could you please post links to any of these interviews? I would be interested to read/watch them, thanks in advance.

    Do you actually use Affinity products and, if so, which ones?

    Wouldn't it be nice to close this topic as it is really pointless, 


    Are you reluctant to answer this question?

    No, I'm just busy. It seems I cannot win here. Jim wants me to spend less time at the keyboard and you want me to send more lol :)

    I am a prospective purchase of the Affinity products for a studio of creatives. I am likely to purchase Designer and Photo, along with the 2 workbooks, shortly for some personal trials over the Christmas/New Year period, to get a sense their usage.

    If you feel the topic is pointless, why are you here - close yourself down rather than others! Surely you're not seeking to censor other free thinking and acting people?

    I have appreciated all of the detailed comments here, including yours as a photographer, even the ones that jibe or disagree with me, as I appreciate the feedback.

    There seems little point to me to enter into platform changes of my go-to creative software, unless the alternative is fit for purpose, and/or the developers and community that comprise the network surrounding the products (which in totality is the products network effect) are open to suggestion, negotiation and are responsive.

    I also like to know if the vendors I work with are open to the development of partnerships of the strategic kind, and what the mutual possibilities may be in our collaboration, which for me begins by getting a sense of the culture of the network/coimmunity surrounding the product.

    As Patrick and all of the contributors here have largely reaffirmed Serif and Affinity, and have been helpful with conferring the future, I am feeling somewhat more inclined to change platform post my trials should things check out.

    I was especially reaffirmed by the fact the the Serif MD has pointed to Serif's current growth being on the back on new users, which will ultimately have to change in time.

    As much as many don't wish to talk about subscriptions or other types of pricing regimes, in my mind if Serif were only going to rely on perpetual license/one off sales, then by definition of basic math, they would be unable to survive into the future, which in turn would have suggested that I was driving into a dead-end street by choosing Affinity irrespective of the current quality of their product offerings. 


  8. 11 hours ago, haakoo said:

    I'll humor you to make it at least worth your while,since you have put so much time and effort in to this.

    Very kind of you haakoo, you're first sentence has got me laughing already, in a good way.


    11 hours ago, haakoo said:

    You posted in,and might I say, an elaborate way your opinions with a lot of flimflam around it.
    The things you say may come true in an ideal world,which may never be though.
    I'll share you my points and you will accept them as my opinions and you don't try to convert me to your view.
    I think this demand should apply to any other member willing to answer your questions.
    In other words,you had your say,now it's time to listen.

    I know the forum isn't democratic and this may not reflect the ideas of Serif and its future.
    But it might just be of interest to them as well.

    A lot of flimflam lol.

    If you were an Aussie and said these things to me, my automatic reaction would be to say "go f**k yourself" which is actually term of endearment said between Aussie friends, as we seem to enjoy insulting each other in a disagreeable way, with a smile as a manly way of saying "I hear you, but don't get ahead of yourself". We are quite laconic in Australia with a healthy disrespect for authority, so please understand what I say as a friendly response, as I appreciate you answering my questions!

    You might enjoy this as an insight into Aussie humour, then again you may not, lol: 

    I accept your opinions as yours, and I'm listening, and though I don't seek to "convert" anyone to my opinion (like God at a party lol) I will give you my feedback where I feel it would aid understanding or further the debate, as I would hope you do so also if you choose to.

    I trust all of this will assist Serif in some way too.

    11 hours ago, haakoo said:

    QUESTION 1: How much you would be willing to pay a year (updates, service & support) for Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher beyond its current perpetual price of AUD$165 (assuming Publisher is also about AUD$55 when its stable) and how much would you pay per year for an Affinity version of Adobe CC with 20 software products?

    QUESTION 2: Would you like Serif to create a suite of superb products as a one-stop shop for your creative authoring needs?

    QUESTION 3: Would you be prepared to pay $250, $500, $1,000 or more as part of a crowd-funding, capital-raising venture for Serif in return for one time (perpetual) license and/or part-ownership of all of their soon to be developed products? How much would you pay and what would you want in return?

    QUESTION 4: Would you buy Serif shares if they floated on the stock exchange?

    QUESTION 5: What would you add to the current Serif products in terms of features? What other software products would you like Serif to create if they had unlimited resources?

    Please reply by copying and pasting the following answer format into your post, if you care to:

    ANSWER 1: Not more than each separate product at 200,- (one time buy,upgrading at personal will,at an upgrade discount offer with no restrictions)

    ANSWER 2: Let's have Serif stick to the things they do best,It would only mean yet another dependency and see answer #5

    ANSWER 3: A small crowdfunding may be an option as long as the company stays private.

    ANSWER 4: No, if this means other people have a saying in the direction of the company and want to cash in when a bigger deal comes along.

    ANSWER 5: More diverse products don't mean better products.

    ANSWER 1: When you say 200, what currency are you referring to?

    ANSWER 2: I accept your view without further comment, thanks

    ANSWER 3: When you say "A small crowdfunding may be an option" I'm curious, what sort of monetary amount do you think would be adequate and for what?  You also say "as long as the company stays private" so I guessing you referring to your next answer #4.

    ANSWER 4: I agree that corporations that become public companies have had a typically bad history of shareholder-centricity with earnings and shareholder returns becoming the be all and end all, so I guess this is the issue your referring to? I do note that Steve Jobs had the leverage with Apple to compel them beyond shareholder considerations - do you not think that Serif could do the same by committing publicly to constitution, and a series of contractual arrangements that may in effect, keep their current philosophy front and centre to them becoming a public company as a way of raising capital? If you don't, thats cool, I suppose I do believe there is a way to use legal instruments to insulate corporations from bad behaviour and the ruthlessness of public shareholders, like Jobs did with Apple 2.0, but I may well be wrong.

    ANSWER 5: "More diverse products don't mean better products". I agree. I would be of the view that any further product development or diversity should not "rob Peter to pay Paul", so I'm not suggesting bloatware, but that also doesn't mean new features are automatically bad because they're new.

    If you wish to progress our discussion, even in a small way, I would welcome it, but if not, I again thank you for your consideration haakoo, cheers!


  9. 5 hours ago, SrPx said:


    Ehm....I don't actually agree with all that. Look, I have deeply trialed both AI and PS in its latest versions, and they are definitely actual jewels. Yes, quite resource hungry and loading (at least in Windows)  a lot of extra TSR processes (there are ways to get that 100% under control, tho. But I bet only a 0.01% of "digital population" knows how, lol) removing resources, memory, etc. All of that, with a lot of crazy-geek-level fine tuning can be put under control, and get reasonable, functional performance even in a dinosaur machine like mine (in the signature down below). Heck, even with GPU acceleration off, getting smooth brush painting in huge canvases, while being totally stuck in a raw fresh install ( I took it as a crazy challenge). They were stable in a many hours intensive set of tests in my experience. They are technology leaders, not just market leaders (even if abusing the monopoly status). The price for the entire cloud suite is VERY cheap, BUT for people really needing ALL those apps. Which I believe wont be the case for a vast number of users. And there's no freaking option for a lot of intermediate situations (the photography plan is nice, tho, but quite insufficient for all kind of use cases). No purchase option provided, together with that. So, it is subtle, but is a monopolistic behavior.

    Still, AI is GREAT, I dislike deeply its UI, true that at companies I got very used to it, but IMO, Affinity Designer is much of a better user experience, easier learning curve, and even more functional. You can want to have a richer feature set (comes with time!!), but Affinity apps are extremely young, while Photoshop I believe is from 1988. 

    With all respect, I don't agree in any bit those statements about the programmers. First of all, if anything, programmers are typically fully following orders.  It's a really hard job, not your  (not meaning "you") every day boring and easy 9 to 5 job, I expect this kind of activity needing as much of passion and sacrifice being forced ingredients as we 2D/3D artists, designers and illustrators need to put to do our work. Is not like they love to have this or that bug in their code. That goes against their core passion, at least the ones I have personally known. Is more likely these apps are at this point (Adobe's) behemoths, really monster applications, with tons of implications in every chunk of code, many stuff to support, many things interrelated like a delicate cards castle, and chaos intervene more the more factors are in play, towards error possibilities. That said, in my experience, both old (there were some very unfortunate versions, decades ago, btw, another argument to be patient with Affinity NOW) Adobe versions, as current ones, are pretty solid an stable. So, to anyone having a bunch of crashes, be it with Adobe, or Affinity, I can almost guarantee that in a large number of cases is an issue of the OS, or a driver, or etc. It may not appear in other apps usage, but is maybe as not the same graphic libraries, or drivers, are called, for example.  IF having one particular rare bug, and only that, the user might have caught a real something that would be of major interest to know by Affinity team: These are (2009?) extremely young applications, which did seem to be born from one OS and then have been painfully ported to another 2 platforms, so is more than expected to have a rough beginning, all software I have known have suffered from this (or way, way worse) in the first years, some even almost 2 decades.

    So...sorry, while I share the enthusiasm for Affinity apps, I wouldn't share a negative vision about Adobe apps, in technical aspects (and way less, feel so about its programmers). They are pretty good, and their coders have my entire admiration (I admire ANY coder, as I've only been able to code a bit in Python and VB code, lol.... ). Also, posting the names (in a negative vibe), is a bit... I dunno... Not my style, that's for very certain.

    I agree with all of your comments here SrPx excluding the last one, as a bit like a movie, I think listing the credits should be mandatory (I wish Governments would do this with all of the contributors to a project so we know who to hold accountable and they can't hide.) and this will either be a good thing (if its a good product) or less than a good thing (if the product is a flop).


    6 hours ago, SrPx said:

    @John Gibson

    Finding way more points in common, now in your latest posts. Which is quite an increase , from almost zero  ;) . Anyway, I tend to prefer (lately, in general) to focus on the points in common, you know, is hard to get a car moving if each one is pushing in the opposite direction...

    Yep, agreeing. Freehand was such a joy. I'd add as well Muse (very recently, and the main "business engine" for a girl very friend of mine, she got really mad. But I told her to better learn web coding, even the day she started learning Muse...) , Fireworks being abandoned, and strange strategy with other products, too. But miles away from what I have seen done by Autodesk...(ie, the company acquiring XSI and then making it disappear. I had purchased a version, it was...painful. is not 50 bucks, you know...) Or...outside these two, Deep Paint 3D got abandoned (+2k euros due to crazy shipping and other matters), and a few some more... Relearning constantly. So much, than in 3D I decided, at least for personal projects,which later on became kind of my job, would use open source. So I migrated to Blender. Is way harder but is in a point where "certain" gigs can be done totally in a professional way. Not everything, but a freelancer can choose which gigs to take (if he/she is any good).

    It's good to acknowledge points in common and to also accede errors as in my mind, this is a mandatory good faith, clean hands requirement if you wish to pursue contrarian debates. While I agree that consensus is a good thing, like focussing on points of agreement without wrestling out disruptive, contrarian views, leads to filter bubbles (like the one climate change deniers occupy) and closed loop echo chambers, which leads to false senses of security being reinforced, when often they should be disrupted.

    Though I'm sure we all prefer points in common (I'm no different to you(, to put it in fundamental physics terms using the laws of thermodynamics, you cannot have work without at least some heat, though of course if there is too much heat, the energy left to do the work is reduced proportionally. An efficient car engine will always have some heat, but if it runs over the redline for too long it will be sure to blowup.

    I agree with your other software mentions, I forgot (or rather tried to forget until you reminded me) of Fireworks lol. Re Blender, this is definitely a space Serif could lead in with their superior philosophy to UI and UX.

    6 hours ago, SrPx said:

    I mean... I've come to this mindset: One is to corner one all the time in IT, computer stuff, graphics creation. In coding, way more. Even simple stuff like web coding languages need to be re-learnt every 2-3 years, besides being in absolute constant skills and knowledge updated, in a "every-week" basis. It has become natural, I expect some form of this in every front, every app, every industry I touch. It is so, is gonna keep being so, IMO.... Comes well to the debate, as a lot of ppl complaining really is willing to find the exact same workflow in AD or AP as they had in AI and PS. While probably they did not pretended to expect so when switching to Corel or Xara. For some reason, some people expect Affinity to be their cheaper Adobe clone/solution, and "only" that. I've been convinced that is not the case. The sooner we realize that, and get flexible to learn an entire new thing, -despite it keeps some UI standard fundamentals-  the happier path we will have in front of us with these applications. Things like the issue with the mask, from....er....that user... and a ton of other complaints, really reflect close to zero of these are willing to go further and investigate HOW would I do this with this new app, to build my very own workflows. Which we did in the past, but the big top dogs (not just Adobe) have made lazy brains for some... I LOVE digging really hard UIs, like they were in its day at first contact (IMO, not anymore with their current improvements) Blender, Inkscape and Gimp. Besides, those are much more capable than a lot of people think.

    All my point is... yeah, it $ucks, but we need to adapt to a very changing environment, learn faster too. Is very hard to do, heck, I know...The luck with Affinity is that it has an extremely smooth  learning curve. IMO, one of the keys to its success.

    I agree re constant learning, noting the obvious limitation to commercial overhead in this regards. As we all know, time is money and network effects are a real thing, hence the QWERTY keyboard, so there is a real limit to the overhead I and prepared to, and can afford to, take on.

    Specifically, the workflow barriers you speak of "Things like the issue with the mask, from....er....that user... and a ton of other complaints" can be resolved in two ways in accordance with the rest of your point here:

    1. Where a current workflow can be overcome with a new pathway in the new software, then I think it is incumbent on the new entrant, in this case Serif, to post a solution to each of these workflow issues as they are raised, and/or;
    2. Incorporate the missing function ASAP into the new software to eliminate the gap - ie. in this instance have an "Apply Destructive Workflow" function with a "Destructive History Emulator" or some such solution, which emulates what PS does here to overcome the issue and remove the barrier to entry, which in turn converts another segment of users into Affinity customers.
    6 hours ago, SrPx said:

    Here I diverge. Corel (Corel Draw, Photopaint, etc)  has been many years at total pro level, specially for certain industry sectors....Even if not for every possible use and industry, as Adobe has accomplished. But there are a bunch of very critical things done even better in Corel than Adobe. And it has a subscription model, but not forced, you can purchase the entire suite. And while I think the perpetual licence price is fair, not so great for many pockets. Or deeper pockets but not willing to justify certain kind of money for a type of tool that they find cheaper and very capable (or free, if one is a weirdo freaky geek like me) somewhere else. (a lot of people could do very well with Xara).

    I can't speak to Corel as I had some bad experiences in the early days and never returned. Never tried Photpaint. I will take a look at both of them now though, given your answers and my current review of creative software applications, another reason I have pursued this forum thread.

    6 hours ago, SrPx said:

    ANSWER 1 : I never would be interested in the 20 apps. Not even half of them, surely only 3 or 4 (if anything!). As I love other third party alternatives of very different nature. For the existing 3 apps ( and I have ZERO desire in Serif doing any more apps than these 3), well, it'd depend. I'm putting the example as some other freelancers might be in the case. If I keep having certain freelancing workload (moving to a company, I doubt will be the case) , maybe the 3 per year. In reality, more likely as much one or 2 per year (I'm not much into publishing, editing projects), and if really needed. Surely would update no matter what, each app, after 3 years of having purchased each app. If any forced subscription or forced update (disallowing my use of my old version somehow) would show up, I'd fly away, very, very far.

    ANSWER 2 : Nope. Absolutely not. By any means. I'm even against that. I prefer focused attention to do jewels. Also, as I am versatile with a bunch of existing alternatives ( and many more that I'm sure will appear from existing and new companies), having as well purchased some, and using free software.

    ANSWER 3 : Not really.... maybe 20 years ago, I would have. No point now. The entire environment has evolved crazily. Is not Adobe alone anymore. There are very good alternatives for every type of tool, in the mid cost (50 - 800 . Even some in the "low cost" (my own definition) range, under 50 ) and open source. Also, I trust Serif, besides is totally their business and their call.

    ANSWER 4 : Nope. I had my "share" (sorry the pun) of that,  small experiences with that sort of thing with other companies, not into that, ever, definitely.

    ANSWER 5 : What they have already in their plans, of the little I know of, what I have read, makes quite sense. And I completely trust their criteria to make the best for their apps. Besides is , by all means, their call. But being asked, I would love a ton of love for the brush and color picker systems (like if it wasn't known already, lol) and maybe after that, other painting related features, but that last bit would be non crucial.  No such thing as unlimited ... I know you mean, huge resources... Considering it getting unlimited resources sounds to me as planning what Christmas decoration shall I put in my new condo in Mars... But ok, let's play... Maybe a ....nope. Really, even thinking hard... there's already a gorgeous alternatives from other brands in most everything I would ever use (and I am as multi profile as one can get in graphics...)...They did hit the target with these 3. At that competitive price, there were no clear options for vectors, overall raster editing, and in publishing... I know way less of that latest type of tool, but does not seem is crowded with cheap yet great solutions. My hopes are 100% more in the line of getting more and more polishing on existing features, maybe adding some more new ones (for me this is secondary), but all about the 3 existing apps.  It completes a perfect puzzle with other brands' alternatives for other needs in graphic content creations. We needed these 3, precisely, and now need these 3 to excel and keep competing, IMO.

    Re your answer to my questions:

    ANSWER 1: I don't agree with the 20 apps answer, but I can also see I have left this open for conjecture, so I will update my question to include:

    A Serif Software suite that includes:

    1. Illustration (Designer);
    2. Photo manipulation (Photo);
    3. Page layout (Publisher);
    4. Photo service (eg. Lightroom - I am unsure about this one, as I did read about something similar available from Serif but I can't seem to find it now)
    5. Web design (eg. Dreamweaver) 
    6. Video editing (eg. Premier Pro)
    7. Video effects (eg. After effects)
    8. Document editing and execution (eg. Acrobat)
    9. Cloud Based Asset Storage (eg. Bridge)
    10. Animation (eg. Animate/Character Animator)
    11. Audio (eg. Audition)
    12. 3D Mockups (eg. Dimensions)
    13. Copywriting (eg. InCopy)
    14. 3D Compositions (eg. Blender)
    15. Gaming (eg. Unity 3D/Unreal)

    These last two items, 3D compositions and Gaming may well happen as a result of partnering or acquisition, but still the current alternatives Blender and Unity 3D?Unreal are bloatware with increasingly complex UI and UX which could be disrupted by a philosophy to development such as that held by Serif.

    I do agree with your point about not forcing an upgrade/update, though there are OS limitations inherent here, like when Apple does a major upgrade OSX for example, but if you didn't want to update you OSX or your Affinity products, I agree, there should be no reason why you are compelled to do so.

    ANSWER 2: I see and respect your point and this may well be true in the current growth phase of Affinity, but their current job advertisements tell me that they won't stop at 3 jewels and nor should they IMHO. I think success in this regards is a function of leadership, strategy and management, which should see no limitations to their pursuits if they get this right.

    Put another way, if the a-holes at Adobe can get this up through time, there is no reason Serif can't exceed Adobe in less time, with their superior philosophy, by learning many of Adobe's lessons and avoiding much of Adobe's pain points.

    ANSWER 3: Fair enough, your choice. I'd be interested in such an offer but I will elucidate more on this at a later date when I get time to do so.

    ANSWER 4: As is your right, given investment decisions rest with each of us as investors. Again, my investment here would be contingent on a number of factors which I will borate on further at a later date, though in-principle I'd back Serif with a modest investment, provided their current visionaries stay with the company and have express provisions in their ownership/contract arrangements that they couldn't be booted out by a bunch of number crunchers, which I'm sure they could do by referring to the arrangements Steve Job's forced upon Apple upon his return to their helm.

    ANSWER 5: "Considering it getting unlimited resources sounds to me as planning what Christmas decoration shall I put in my new condo in Mars" - Very funny, ROTFLMAO! I agree generally, though I do feel web, video, 3D and gaming are all spaces where a new entrant such as Serif could again overcome legacy issues with a new approach incorporating their philosophy. I think I'll look around the forums and check the other new feature suggestion threads, as I am not intending to replicate those here, rather I'm look for the current 'dealbreakers' that restrict conversion from Adobe. For me, I at least need a robust page layout program, but I would strongly add animation, video editing, effects and audio solutions to these 3 current Affinity products, as I am doing a lot of video these days and it would be great if Designer and Photo could parlay into animation and video as far as workflows and pricing goes, given that Adobe will still hit my wallet as hard for their animation/video offerings, as they do for access to the entire CC suite, so from a commercial studio point of view, this is a real network effects issue IMHO.

    I really appreciate your time here SrPx, and your detailed responses. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts in future. Cheers!



  10. 9 hours ago, gbjack said:
    • I will upgrade if the features are attractive and essential. I do not support perpetual license.
    • I do not see the need to use 20 software, Adobe is playing the greed "tricks" on her users, and on the other hand, Adobe shifted her software development to India for more profits, resulting in poor quality stuff. (I am not against Indians)


    " Unlike some developers, Serif doesn’t outsource coding work to developers in low-cost countries. “We’re proud that we’re entirely UK based, but from a development perspective it is one of our challenges,” Hewson admits. “We’re in Nottingham but no matter where we were in the UK that’s always going to be the same issue, finding really good people who have a level of experience in writing creativity apps.” 



    To your first point, that you do not support perpetual licensing, I take it you agree that Serif will have to move to a more cash flow friendly pricing regime in time, to better facilitate their service, support, upgrades and new product development? If so, what do you think is a fair annual price for service, support and upgrades - AUD$165 per annum, or do you have another amount in mind?

    To your second point, perhaps I should clarify the question to include a Serif Software suite that includes:

    1. Illustration (Designer);
    2. Photo manipulation (Photo);
    3. Page layout (Publisher);
    4. Photo service (eg. Lightroom - I am unsure about this one, as I did read about something similar available from Serif but I can't seem to find it now)
    5. Web design (eg. Dreamweaver) 
    6. Video editing (eg. Premier Pro)
    7. Video effects (eg. After effects)
    8. Document editing and execution (eg. Acrobat)
    9. Cloud Based Asset Storage (eg. Bridge)
    10. Animation (eg. Animate/Character Animator)
    11. Audio (eg. Audition)
    12. 3D Mockups (eg. Dimensions)
    13. Copywriting (eg. InCopy)
    14. 3D Compositions (eg. Blender)
    15. Gaming (eg. Unity 3D/Unreal)

    These last two items, 3D compositions and Gaming may well happen as a result of partnering or acquisition, but still the current alternatives Blender and Unity 3D?Unreal are bloatware with increasingly complex UI and UX which could be disrupted by a philosophy to development such as that held by Serif.

    I admit there is only 15 products here rather than 20, so I'll edit my original post to reflect this explicitly.

  11. On 11/25/2018 at 3:48 AM, Patrick Connor said:

    Serif have always welcomed constructive criticism. I simply ask everyone to express it civilly. Our corporate team already have some larger companies who prefer to have a perpetual license model as has been described in interviews by our MD Ash Hewson. That is why we encourage multi-licence customer to contact that team as many companies do not wish to simply buy X licences as a one off and want an ongoing relationship with us

    Patrick, could you please post links to any of these interviews? I would be interested to read/watch them, thanks in advance.

  12. To all current Affinity users I posit the following questions:

    QUESTION 1: How much you would be willing to pay a year (updates, service & support) for Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher beyond its current perpetual price of AUD$165 (assuming Publisher is also about AUD$55 when its stable) and how much would you pay per year for an Affinity version of Adobe CC with 20 software products?

    QUESTION 2: Would you like Serif to create a suite of superb products as a one-stop shop for your creative authoring needs?

    QUESTION 3: Would you be prepared to pay $250, $500, $1,000 or more as part of a crowd-funding, capital-raising venture for Serif in return for one time (perpetual) license and/or part-ownership of all of their soon to be developed products? How much would you pay and what would you want in return?

    QUESTION 4: Would you buy Serif shares if they floated on the stock exchange?

    QUESTION 5: What would you add to the current Serif products in terms of features? What other software products would you like Serif to create if they had unlimited resources?

    Please reply by copying and pasting the following answer format into your post, if you care to:

    ANSWER 1: Answer here please   

    ANSWER 2: Answer here please

    ANSWER 3: Answer here please

    ANSWER 4: Answer here please

    ANSWER 5: Answer here please

    I hope to challenge the Serif community by asking these questions above, as potential market research for Serif, largely out of my own interest, as I have no affiliation with Serif in any way.

    Thank you all in advance.

  13. 9 minutes ago, Patrick Connor said:

    The purpose of that introduce yourself thread is to make customers (mainly newbies) to feel comfortable enough to introduce themselves without judgement.

    To be honest John, I chose to split this off because I wanted it to have more visibility rather than less and give the discussion air to breathe. Nobody petitioned anyone that I saw, and I think none of this belongs in an introduce yourself thread.

    All good Patrick, I quite agree with your point and your choice, which I respect and appreciate.

    Of course that doesn't go to Jim's motives, though, whose comments have made me laugh. I do admit to reading into his 'thank-you' to your splitting post a bit more than is actually the case which I appreciate you pointing out.

    I'm sure you could understand how I came to that conclusion given Jim's most recent post, as I was prepared to let all of that slide having already responded to the substance of Jim's previous post. 

    Out of respect for all concerned I will edit my reply to Jim's last post to remove the factually incorrect content, as I now understand Jim did not petition or go running of to the moderator to have this post split off, but still he was thankful that you did ;) 

    No hard feelings Jim!

  14. 7 hours ago, gbjack said:

    Have anyone used the latest latest version of Illustrator? You will know what I mean.

    All I am pointing out here is that Adobe is producing buggy programming in the last few versions. The group of engineers on the screenshots should felt ashamed of themselves. And John Gibson, why are companies made to pay for subscriptions and pay for wasted man hours with such "irresponsible" company?



    Well gbjack, good on you for outing the Adobe incompetents, but I'm not sure the point you are making regarding me. I agree with you that Adobe is a monopolistic price gouger without conscience or considerations for their vast user base, so you've made my point in part here.

    Just to clarify for everyone concerned, subscriptions comprise just 1 of approximately 55 different TYPES of pricing strategies, that I am aware of.

    My point about subscription and Serif was just to say that if Serif wants to better compete, in general and with Adobe specifically, then they will need more capital to do it and they will need greater revenues too, as cash flow is king.

    Whether they do it with subscriptions, annual update, service and support payments or with any of the other 55 types of pricing strategies is a meeter for Serif, if they do it at all.

    I was just using subscriptions as a placeholder to ask the question:

    QUESTION 1: How much you would be willing to pay a year (updates, service & support) for Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher beyond its current perpetual price of AUD$165 (assuming Publisher is also about AUD$55 when its stable) and how much would you pay per year for an Affinity version of Adobe CC with 20 software products?

  15. 21 hours ago, jmwellborn said:

    You, sir, are apparently spending too much time at the keyboard, and far too little contemplating the tone of your remarks.     You are surely making other Americans, such as I, cringe with embarrassment.

    LMAOROTF, There you go again with your glib, paternal Baby Boomer notions of how I should think and what I should do with my time, without addressing even a single counterpoint I made to your previous post.

    You were so embarrassed by me handing your hat to you in regards to your (Winnie The) Pooh argument, that you were thankfully relieved when the moderator split this post away from the Introduce Yourself thread, lest you suffer the indignity of the new entrants to the Serif forums reading your antediluvian post. And yet you return here, to offer me your Sir and your 2 cents of paltry riposte, which is more to be pitied than despised.

    How about some serious counterpoints Jim. I remember so many know-it-alls in 1985, who uttered words about Microsoft and Apple, in a manner similar to your previous post here about Serif, so excuse me for holding you to account with forthright arguments and rationale, however much you dislike them.

    And as far as your American cringe comments go, get off your high horse! You're obviously not a Californian when you say things like that now are you, lmao! I'm guessing you live in a fly-over state somewhere, or perhaps in the British back-blocks of Boston Massachusetts?!? 

    And remember, freedom of speech at its essence includes the right of reply, which you should fundamentally understand as the American you purport to be, so try not to be too hurt by my latest reply to you, why not instead stick to the substance of the points at hand?

    As the substance of my posts here demonstrate, I prefer rationale debate, rather than irrational baiting, but there has to be a bit of sport in this for the both of us Jim :D 

  16. On 11/25/2018 at 12:10 PM, SrPx said:

    Yep, we certainly disagree, it's increasingly obvious to me, in mostly every point. But that's not an issue, at all. I respect your reasoning.  I find though, that a lot of what you see as facts, are more in the land of the opinions, too, but we are not going to agree either on that, I'm afraid. And that's perfectly fine, as well.  Still... I have certain personal curiosity, and is not the very first time it happens, as neither is the first person reaching here with these POVs (which I am not demonizing. It's interesting hearing people's opinions, whichever they are).... My question is... You seem to really give a lot more value, and the crown of the professional tools (set of tools) , even the right business model, to Adobe CC's entire suite.   So, ...Why not just keep using it, if it is so perfect ? (or even if they were at a 70% of your ideal model) I mean, with your views on the matter, I don't see the practical point of all this, and I understand way more the reaction of "crawler87", in that review. That is, this person just immediately went back to Photoshop (is what I do with a ton of software I dislike, those never pass the first hours of trial testing). Because, you know, perfection just does not need anything else, and you even prefer the subscription model, so, all good.

    I have paid many thousands for purchase-only software in the past, and its updates. Even more, I have even done so with way more money for causes you perhaps would never even believe... Am not a cheap guy when I see it's worth an investment. Anyway, it has become increasingly clear to me that with enough effort and skill, I (and I mean me, not everyone, be it average joes or pros) can use even some instances of open source (there's a huge variance in quality there from one solution to another, there's the great, the average and the terrible. But trust me on that the great is there, too.), and a lot of commercial mid-cost, to a professional level that before I was only skilled enough to do with the major tools (It's WAY EASIER!) : Adobe's and Autodesk ones. Happily, that has changed. And BTW, am a very seasoned professional in a bunch of (graphic content related) fields. You could put that in doubt, and there would be then no way to continue the debate in that matter (as not gonna provide the proofs or any personal data).

    But not only that about certain type of software... I have worked at companies where, not because of the money, but because of company owners' principles, (and in other ones, for money reasons), it HAD to be open source (in reference to your comment about open source).  And I was able to deal with all the printing, web design, video editing, 3D modeling, and etc, for the entire company in several cases using solely open source. Freaking darn hard, but not impossible.

    There are also tons of business that make a single commercial application, and do enough (even a huge load) money to achieve own personal goals of the business owners, and have a happy life. Whether it matches an ideal model for business' maximum success or not, it wont be as crucial if the founders got what they actually needed or desired.  I was not arguing that for an infinite growth, your suggested methods aren't the right ones : I was not really getting into debating that.

    But really, not looking for debate in all the other points either, as I realize we are too far in our points of view to find common grounds (sadly). I'm solely curious about why don't you just keep using the Adobe CC suite.  And is a sincere question, no sarcasm involved or anything (actually, none was really involved in any of my statements or comments). I'm genuinely curious, as, carefully reading your words, you seem to really see all sort of virtues in Adobe CC (or at least, way more than in Serif's offer) , not only in the technical aspect, also in its business model (and so, future perspective) , and even it its renting system. I mean, if I had those views, I wouldn't even waste a single neuron impulse in even one only post here... I mean, what I don't get is the motivation for it... Your points, I understood them well, I might not agree, but they are well explained....(which is quite, as English is not my first language).

    I too respect your position, as you have at least tried to deal with the substance of my rationale, where others have seem to get caught up in childish, emotional responses without for one second contending with my reasoning, whether it be my premises, arguments or conclusions, usually because they don't have a valid counterpoint, just hurt feelings because their filter bubble has been popped by an insurgent thought. I congratulate you for not being that way, for being made of sterner stuff, good job.

    We can agree to disagree re the points, but I hope that I am right and Serif rises to the challenge to contend for market-leadership, which goes to the substance of your first paragraph, which is why am I doing this, why not still use Adobe?

    Well in answer to that question, I still do. And I pay almost AUD$80 per month for it. But I wish that I didn't have to. I wish there were an alternative hence my positions put on this forum. Why? Well because I was outraged when Adobe bought Freehand and then discontinued it, even though it was far superior (and still is) to Illustrator. I was and still are outraged that Adobe persists with properitory standards like flash rather than embrace open source, industry wide, peer reviewed and democratic standards like HTML 5 for example, much like Steve Jobs hated Adobe for this too. This means of course lots of time wasted when you use a product like Freehand or more recently Edge Animate only to find your files are made redundant over time, the time you invested in workflow and product knowledge development goes out the window, and you get more or less put back to square one from time to time, DESPITE the majority of Adobe users expressing their strong views not to abandon well loved products. At the time re Freehand, I didn't know a single designer who thought Illustrator was superior to Freehand, many of who wrote to Adobe to plead with them, who instead were completely ignored and we are still paying the price for that decision in terms of extra complexity, more obtuse workflows and the like. Then there is the outrageous monthly subscription fee which is price gouging monopolist pricing policy that almost everyone condemns. As you know, I have no problems with subscriptions as a pricing model, but I do have a problem with anti-competitive, monopolistic, opportunistic pricing in which ever form of pricing regime it is applied with, be that a subscription or a single price purchase, or any other. Another example is that scumbag Martin Shkreli who raised the price of a 60 year old medicine that he acquired the ownership rights to by 5000% and is now in jail for insider trading - let him rot there! 

    I could go on as there are a number of other reasons I despise Adobe, but as you say, for practical reasons, namely network effect reasons (everyone else uses it, my employees, clients, suppliers, etc), I have no other choice. Perhaps Mike is and others are right when they say words to the effect of "its too late now", a bit like the QWERTY keyboard, where there are other keyboards that have been scientifically proven to be more effective, yet the network effect of the QWERTY keyboard sees being entrenched as a standard, until of course we have direct mind link to a new product which I'll call "Think Words Into Your Computer" and the QWERTY keyboard will be toast! I don't think the creative software industry and Adobe's current leadership of it are nearly as entrenched as the QWERTY keyboard. Steve Jobs showed with the iPhone and iOS that when you provide a paradigm shift in user experience and ease of use, you can disrupt even the most entrenched markets. And that will be what the "Think Words Into Your Computer" Company will do to put the QWERTY keyboard out to pasture when they finally come along. Serif has a far lesser task to eclipse Adobe, as Adobe is like a huge ship, slow to move, committed to a course, with product vulnerabilities like the Titanic and a lot of people like me baying for a REAL/TRUE alternative.

    When I say "put your money where your mouth is", I mean tell me how much you would be willing to pay a year for Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher beyond its current perpetual price of AUD$165 (assuming Publisher is also about AUD$55 when its stable) and how much would you pay per year for an Affinity version of Adobe CC with 20 software products?

    I respect the fact you have invested and trialled lots of other software. I take you at your work you are an experienced designer/software user with real experiences. I too have to work with substandard software and open source products (like Wordpress for example) because everyone else does, or because a client does and so on, so I understand these dilemmas which you raise.

    Re my facts being "more in the land of opinions", well of course you are welcome to your view, but we have to start somewhere. I mean we could go back to philosophical first principles of idealism vs. realism to argue this whole reality is just a figment of my (or your) imagination and nothing is real. 2+2 does not equal 4 because its just in my imagination (or yours) that it does. So where are we to start and stop when rationalising? Is climate change real? Is all mainstream media "Fake News"? Do we really wan't to abandon relative rationalism to the point the we retreat to the Dark Ages and a world of leaders like Donald Trump?

    Given this relative choice of rationalism, I choice Kant's Categorical Imperative, as a pretty good starting point, as an enlightened starting point, like most scientists do, though I am sure they are better at it than I.

    Most business theories and models suffer this relativity issue, like economics which at best a pseudo science, and yet these tools evolve and are still better than guessing when it comes to complex human - business, money, resources, social - problems. The Evolution and Revolution of How Companies Grow is one such model. And yet, its been pretty darn accurate so far. 

    You are quite correct in saying that there are many single product or small range product companies that succeed, excell and do very well for their customers, staff and shareholders, which is a given, as there are Market Leaders (only 1 typically in any mature market), Secondaries (companies who could lead but probably won't), Contenders (upstarts that could be Secondaries and are an outside chance to lead) and Also Ran's (the typically SME's you refer to). If serif wishes to stay that way, well time will tell and these comments of mine will be moot.

    The context of my comments in this thread is about a pricing strategy, a capitalisation strategy and a market leadership strategy for Serif to contend with Adobe to become a market leader, knowing as we all now do, that there is a very fluid dynamic in the creative industries market, which Serif could take advantage of if they adopt a leadership strategy to do so. For example, quantum computing is around the corner perhaps 10-20 years away, so for anyone to say the ANY software markets are now mature and therefore these matters are settled (ie. no-one can beat Adobe) is akin to the same tripe I heard about Microsoft in 1985 when Apple sacked Steve Jobs.

    People who say these types of things (and I'm not saying this is you) typically lack imagination, historical understanding and market leadership understanding and avoid rationale debate for something more like akin to diatribe. So rather than admit they are out of their depth, and that these matters are beyond their imagination, they wish to limit everyone else to their low level altitude thinking. Well, I'm sorry, the world doesn't work that way. Steve Jobs didn't give up on market leadership aspirations and neither should Serif.

    As far as my motivation for making these posts, well I simply hope to challenge the Serif owners and C-Suite, assuming Serif is robust and non-insular enough to self refer contrary opinions about their products to those who count, to make a difference, as Serif has come closer than any other vendor that I've seen to actually having the technical and product development wherewithal to give Adobe a run for their money, provided they can get their leadership strategy in order. I also hope to challenge the Serif community by asking them, in the first instance, the question I asked you, as potential market research for Serif (out of my own interest, I have no affiliation with Serif in any way), which is:

    QUESTION 1: How much you would be willing to pay a year (updates, service & support) for Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher beyond its current perpetual price of AUD$165 (assuming Publisher is also about AUD$55 when its stable) and how much would you pay per year for an Affinity version of Adobe CC with 20 software products?

    And I'll add:

    QUESTION 2: Would you like Serif to create a suite of superb products as a one-stop shop for your creative authoring needs?

    QUESTION 3: Would you be prepared to pay $250, $500, $1,000 or more as part of a crowd-funding, capital-raising venture for Serif in return for one time (perpetual) license and/or part-ownership of all of their soon to be developed products? How much would you pay and what would you want in return?

    QUESTION 4: Would you buy Serif shares if they floated on the stock exchange?

    QUESTION 5: What would you add to the current Serif products in terms of features? What other software products would you like Serif to create if they had unlimited resources?

    I have a few other questions but I'll stop there for the moment. Let's see if the Serif community or at least those bother to read this post, can answer those questions for Serif's benefit, or whether they are too busy eating the Serif fruit to care about the Serif tree and a potential Serif orchard?

    As far as English being your second language, you're doing a pretty good job as far as I can tell, so good luck to you!


  17. 5 hours ago, SrPx said:

    Seems Serif is in business since 1987. Probably no problem with the water; the plants would have dried already, I think. And most surely having a different idea about the goals they aim to achieve than your particular ones. 

    The market penetration that Adobe has specially among companies, and how all workflows are so tied to their solutions to incredible depth in the company structure and flows, would require a lot more than just a change ( which I certainly don't wish) in strategy from Serif. Indeed I agree with Mike that is merely impossible. It would take tons of time, lots of luck, and probably, only possible if Adobe would make some collection of stupid very fatal errors. But I don't see them making any error of that magnitude, ever. One could call subscription model an error, I say that it is not if works for them. But if you browse deeply the huge amount of communities (both locally and on internet) and users against that model, you would understand that while (subscription) is a model that is here to stay, it will never fully catch on a large chunk of society around the globe. So big that those form in their own a very lucrative target group for any business. (and there were a bunch of companies doing really well (which does not imply world domination, btw) already, from that "niche", before Affinity. But funnily, to put some contrast to your argument, they were not considered "alternatives" (while they actually were, specially one of  them) as Serif's Affinity is perceived now. So... there has to be something being done really well, here...) 

    ( oh, and it is possible to say "the raw truth" and keeping manners. Which yep, are essential for any community. Trust me, I'm not of the faint of heart kind, by any means. But I think politeness is key to seduce with any idea. It has absolutely nothing to do with free speech. )

    BTW, Apple (and not that I love that) shares are falling. Sells are falling. One of the main reasons why prices are particularly increasing, lately.

    The comments about Britain and the British (out of context, imo) , sorry, but did sound a bit xenophobic to me (I ain't no British, btw). Probably you did not wanted them to sound like that, but they did. And the ones about the US, kind of showing 'a bit' of an over glorified view. Even while I have a very good concept about that country, too. About Brexit, it really saddens me that they get out of the EU. But I would never ever blame the British people (the voting) for that decision: is a very complex issue.

    I do believe Serif is doing certainly great, and whatever they do and how they do it, is working.  There's free speech around here, right? Then that's my view...

    As far as I understand it, Serif may have been in business since 1987 but it has really gained traction since 2014 through 2015 up until today as a result of the Affinity products. I stand to be corrected but as far as I am aware, a particular developer had a vision for creating the best creative software without the legacy issues of Adobe et al. So really we are talking about giving unrestrained (by resources) life to the Affinity product range for its growth and expansion.

    You refer to my water/plants analogy in a baseless attempt to dismiss it rather than going to its substance. So let me ask you directly, assuming there is an annual fee for upgrades and support rather than a monthly subscription (another pricing model option used by a lot of open source commercial developers), would you be willing to pay $100 per year for full year updates and support for the Affinity products? Well, would you? If they were Adobe standard or better, I would - I wouldn't expect to pay $100 for a lifetime, I'd expect to pay $100 per year, each year so serif could properly find upgrades and support without it impacting development cycle time. Would you? Why don't you put your money where your mouth is and tell me here on this forum that you'd stump up a $100 per year like I would provided the Affinity products met or hopefully exceeded the Adobe standard.

    I note that Affinity Designer commenced in 2013 and was released in 2014 and Affinity Photo released in 2015, but now we're almost at the end of 2018 and Affinity Publisher is still in beta, which is what I'm talking about. Its a simple rule of physics, which I'll simplify - when you double somethings size, you cube its mass. This is why we don't have 40 metre tall ants running around - they'd implode under their own weight. For every product Serif releases, they have to support it, and provide updates when operating system update and so on. Without a more frequent source of income (reinforcing the skeleton of their growth) sooner or later they will reach a certain size they cannot go beyond, or worse go beyond that size and implode later.

    As it is, we see the development cycles taking longer and longer which is evidence of this phenomena.

    And thats before we (hypothetically) consider a full suite of Affinity products, the sort of scenario planning I would expect the Serif C-Suite to be doing as part of their strategic planning.

    Lets, for arguments sake consider a Serif Affinity suite that contained say 20 fully developed products superior to Adobe. 

    Currently the going price for Affinity Designer and Photo is $54 dollars for both programs (I'm assuming thats AUD$) so I'll work in AUD$ given I'm from Australia. So for 20 perpetual licenses at this rate that's $2200 as a one of payment, a pretty steep barrier to entry I would have thought. Its highly likely people won't risk this kind of cash upfront.

    The alternative? Obviously, its a function of price vs quantity like all supply and demand questions. So logically, if the price were to fall to say $100 per annum as a nominal price for considering the alternatives, sales volume would have to increase 22 fold and then some, to provide the same top line revenue to Serif. But is Serif was going to support an increase in growth of 22+ times more than its current volume, I'd doubt very much they (or their shareholders and/or financiers) would want to wait 12 months hoping the cash would come in. They would want more regular payment because cash flow is king, at least quarterly and more likely monthly. It's just economics 101 and mathematics 101.

    As far as Serif having differing goals than my particular ones, well that's nonsense. Every company, whether you like it or not, has whats known as The Evolution and Revolution of How Companies Grow, Greiner, 1972:


    I'm guessing Serif is in the Delegation phase currently, fast approaching the control crisis phase, based on the slowing down of their lifecycles. But this model of how organisations develop is hardly my idea given its been around since 1972, and it is universally applicable to all organisations whether you know it, like it, or not. Again, you are welcome to your own opinions but not your own facts! This stuff is business 101, and I note, yet again, this theory was developed at Harvard, not Eton, not Cambridge, not Oxford!

    I do agree that there are a lot of people that wan't a TRUE/REAL alternative to Adobe, and I'm one of them. And I also agree Affinity has become potentially one of them, which is why I'm bothering to make these complex arguments in favour of a Serif marketing planning strategy to support their growth rather than limit it as it is being limited now.

    I do not agree with you or Mike that it is "merely impossible" for Serif to do it. As I've already pointed out, most people said this about Apple in 1985 after Steve Jobs was sacked and the accountants took over Apple. Who would have thought Apple would now be the largest company on the planet in 2018. As I said before, the only limitations that Serif has are the limits its own people put upon it.

    As far as manners go, what a quaint idea. If the American's maintained the European idea of manners, they never would have waged a War of Independence let alone won it. I see no need to be insulting, but when people get on their high horse while remaining ignorant to basic facts, or prefer to disparage someone with informed, progressive and valid viewpoints, simply so they can remain in their comfort zone while everyone else has to tolerate their stubbornness like a handbrake on progressive, rational thinking and growth, they should be told so in no uncertain term. Put up or shut up. Or as Rupert Murdoch, a very successful Aussie, now American business man once put it - lead, follow, or f**k off (which is about the only thing I agree upon with Rupert Murdoch btw).

    Apple shares may be falling, but they're still the largest company in the world. And why are their shares failing btw? Because their visionary leader is no longer with us, and that's my point. Like Apple's current plateau shows us, visionary leaders are far and few between, which is why I suggested Serif reach out to Branson, but there are other many others, especially in California, so you make my point when you refer to Apple'c current issues.

    As far as my comments about Britain being xenophobic, well that's just a straw-man. My comments were about the legal, political and historical contexts of a way of life, a way of thinking. The only time I referred to English people themselves was to say that stupid, racist (and I'll add ignorant) Brits voted for Brexit, but thats hardly a British phenomena. There are plenty of stupid, racist and ignorant people in all countries, my own included. Britain has left some very fine legacies for the western world - the Magna Carta defining the rule of law, parliamentary democracy, the industrial revolution and so on, just to name a few.

    But there can be no doubt that the USA leads the world, as it STILL remains the only country founded on ideas rather than tribes. George Washington could have made himself the King of America or a new Emperor, but he didn't, he gave his gift back to the American people. Even King George the 3rd upon learning of this said words to the effect of "if it is true, Washington is one of the greatest men to have ever lived".

    If we are talking hardware and software, America leads the world. In fact, look around your house and try to think of a single product that, if it wasn't invested in America, was capitalised and commercialised in America. The USA has plenty of faults, but better them than the Russians or the Chinese from a political point of view, or the old English empire that become so laden with Aristocracy it couldn't defend itself again the onslaught of German fascism without the USA (and its other Allies) coming to its rescue.

    And I say this in the context of what sort of thinking should be employed at Serif to obtain market leadership - quaint old English thinking, or progressive, imaginative American thinking? And I'm not talking about race here, for crying out loud, I'm talking about CULTURE. If you'd ever been to California as I have, you'd know precisely what I'm talking about.

    Finally, who else can you blame for Brexit? The only people to blame ARE the English voters and the idiotic Brexit leaders, who all had their own agendas to avoid the scrutiny of the European Court of Justice, and who have predominately moved all of their assets and interests to Europe, so THEY can enjoy the EU benefits, while also enjoying a UK legal firewall. The poor British people have to endure the economic fallout, but the tax-haven preferring English Aristocracy have their bread buttered on both sides!

    I think Serif is off to a good start, but its worth reflecting on the following two reviews in the Apple App Store which happened to be at the top of the reviews when I looked a moment ago:


    By lucyrg2 - Version 1.6.7 - 18 September 2018 (an excerpt)

    …If you need an exact CC replacement, you won’t find it here and Adobe will remain the industry standard.


    And this second review nails it:


    NOT a replacement for photoshop

    By night-crawler87 - Version 1.5.2 - 09 August 2017 (full review)


    I say this with great regret - this is NOT a replacement for Photoshop.

    I just wasted an hour doing something which I later learnt it could not be done.

    After creating a mask from a grayscale image, there’s a catch-22 where you can’t LOOK AT the mask while adjusting the mask image. This is due to the overzealous nature of Affinity’s non-destructive workflows. I can either view the mask image run all of its glory, but God forbid that I adjust its brightness/contrast while seeing the image. No, once I try to apply as adjustment mask to the layer mask, it snaps back to the whole picture. This wouldn’t have been an issue if Affinity provided a way to directly adjust a layer destructively, or if it was better considered when the tool was designed.

    Nevertheless, I just wasted an hour of pulling my hair before getting an honest response from a moderator from Affinity forums informing mer that this is a limitation on the tool.

    Then I went back to Photoshop and did exactly what I wanted to do in under 10 minutes.

    Overall, its a great app, at a very reasonable price. Just not worth the risk if you’re on the clock and you’re expecting that this tool can do everything Photoshop can, and then waste your precious time only to find that the very thing you’re trying g to do is not supported.

    I feel like I just paid A$80 to provide BETA testing to Serif.


    These review pretty much sum it up for me too, as it currently stands.

    I welcome your free speech and your views, even though I disagree with much of what you have said, at least you've had a go!


  18. 18 minutes ago, haakoo said:

    Like designing and creating; "Less is more"

    Mr John Gibson could have left it at a single post what his thoughts are but he had to get other things into discussion.
    My single line reactions are there to point out just that.

    Gee, I didn’t realise these forums had a 1 post limit.

    The points I raise are complex matters, perhaps too complex for a forum community and better suited to C-Suite discussions, but they most certainly are too complex than to be met with cliches.

    I sense there is an underlying tone to a lot of these comments, which is the notion that seems to extend from a lot of Affinity users here, that they should continue to get something forever for next to nothing ie. perpetual licenses.

    It seems that in having found a fruit tree that  yields continually good harvests, instead of caring for the tree that produces the fruit and seeking to turn that tree into an orchid for as many people to benefit from as possible, a lot of people here would prefer to just keep eating the fruit without any regard for the tree or the perpetuation of the tree into many trees, so to speak.

    Money is the water of a business tree. Without water, the tree dies. With water limits the trees growth is reduced. My whole argument here goes to the source of money, the source of water for the tree.

    It’s seems a lot of the concern here is about simply paying (even a little) more money for something you think that you own. The problem here is you don’t. The gardener may own the tree, but it’s real owner is the environment. The gardener may love the tree like no other, but if he runs out of water, no amount of love is going to water the tree.

    I’ve seen this tragedy of the commons before, in a lot of open source developments which ultimately fizzle out through lack of water - money - to pay for effort, to pay for growth.

    In my mind perpetual license is only one small step better than open source development, and that is what I am addressing in this thread.

  19. 13 minutes ago, gbjack said:

    If you have buggy products, and bad company management, no subscription based or perpetual license is going to save you. Instead of paying all the money to cloud based companies and network infrastructure, the easiest way would be to set a shelf life to the software, like 3 years. If everyone is doing something, this does not mean it is the only way to go.

    Like I said, if you had a mind blowing and essential feature in major upgrade, users will want to upgrade. The last few versions of Abode CC just introduced more bugs!


    I agree with this general point, which I why I am strongly arguing for a capitalisation plan, which begins with some angel investors like Branson and end with an IPO, a stock market float, because raising capital means Serif can do much more in much less time, which at their current standard means they will not be resource limited and be able to produce a whole suite of products with killer features across the board.

    Im not fixed on a pricing model. Perhaps a 3 year license with a paid upgrade would work. On face value it would seem to raise more money than perpetual licenses.

    My instinct tells me subscriptions are the way to go, because cash flow is king and as Mike rightly pointed out, that pleases shareholders.

    I also think subscriptions provide a lot more immediate funding, on the way to an IPO.

    But my point here is that these subscriptions should be extremely competitive, as part of a first mover advantage strategy, assuming Serif is a first mover in a new world of creative software rather than a late entrant into the DTP market of creative software.

    For example, Unity 3D doesn’t seem too concerned about Adobe either. 

    With holograms, quantum computing, VR/AR and all manner of creative tech disrupting our lives, the culture and pedigree of legacy-free, quality products is what Serif has on its side.

    The question remains as to whether Serif can leverage this culture and pedigree for all that its worth?

  20. 21 minutes ago, αℓƒяє∂ said:

    You neglected to mention that John Scully, who was instrumental in ousting Steve Jobs from Apple, almost brought the company to its knees after Jobs left.

    The USA started out neutral but entered the First World War in 1917 because Germany had sunk several civilian vessels, and they only entered the Second World War in 1941 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

    Yes, you’re right re John Scully, but that just better makes my point, that Apple rose from the ashes to not only beat Microsoft but become the largest company in the world, so there is no limit to what Serif might achieve, other than the limits its own people put upon it.

    Re Britain turning to the USA to rescue it in two world wars, WWI is less clear but you may be interested to know that the Atlantic Charter was signed in April 1941 whereas Pearl Harbour occurred in Dec 1941.

    Churchill wanted the USA to join the Allies in WWII before 1939 but the USA resisted as they didn’t want to be ‘conscripted’ into a European war like they were still a colonial outpost helping the mother country like Australia and Canada for example.

    Roosevelt insisted that for America to join the Allies, Britain would have to put in writing that America was right in fighting for its independence and Britain was wrong, otherwise Britain wouldnt need the help of the USA, who became the strongest country in the world precisely because of the ideals the British sought to deny the Americans in the War of Independence.

    Consequently, Britain signed the Atlantic Charter (I misspoke when I said treaty), which Ghandi used after the war to obtain independence for India and Pakistan, as one of the provision of the charter was Britain agreeing to each country having its own head of state and independence from Empire/ Imperial rule.


    A little off topic but a fact not known by most!


  21. 23 minutes ago, haakoo said:

    I am at least glad it isn't yours.

    Lol, I’m not sure how I’ll recover from that scathing attack.

    Haakoo, rather than deal with my points of substance with rational debate, you instead seemed to prefer I go away and let Serif be Serif, whatever that means.

    You literally said Serif shouldn’t be a big tree because it’s too windy at the top, and quoted a Dutch saying to back it up.

    Im not sure that would cut the mustard in any decent business school, let alone an international company.

    If Serif wish and choose to stay a private firm then that’s their choice. But if they truly wish to grow at some point they’ll need to go public, and list on a stock exchange somewhere to raise capital.

    At that time, if it ever comes, Serif May well become mine, at least in part, because I may well purchase Serif shares. 

    And then it will become a true democracy too, because it’s fortunes will rise and fall on the stock market.

    i hope that day comes, because then Serif’s potential will be truly unleashed.


  22. 1 minute ago, Patrick Connor said:

    This community are not in the business of determining Serif strategy. We are not a democracy

    Well actually you are a democracy.

    And the voters are the market.

    And at the moment Serif is far from a major party, to use the analogy.

    Unless of course you think Serif is some kind of command economy institution free from the rigours of the market, immune from the thoughts of customers.

    Real leaders welcome constructive criticism and I've made plenty of constructive points ranging from capitalisation to pricing strategies and a lot of others in between.

    Smart companies pay lots of money for this type of direct market feedback. Stupid companies ignore this type of feedback through fear it will rock the boat, and upset their little self-aggrandising power structures.

    Which type of company is Serif?

  23. 16 minutes ago, Patrick Connor said:

    Mike, your opinion is very important to some of us here

    Mike and everyone else are more than welcome to their opinions, but you don't get to choose your own facts.

    In 1985 Apple sacked Steve Jobs and were considered a spent force, a niche player, and now they are the worlds largest company.

    Are you all really telling me that Serif, a British company cannot lead to world to become a market leader?

    Thats why I originally suggested Branson as a venture capital partner, at least he's an Englishman who has never given up the notion he can lead the world, and he stands as an inspiration.

    Given the subjective defensiveness of the contributors to this thread, the Serif community could do with a very large injection of Branson thinking.

  24. 13 minutes ago, Patrick Connor said:

    They are all here and almost all are not making ad hominem attacks to prove their point. 

    Serif are doing just fine, thanks for your "concern". 

    How very British of you lmao! The Americans fought the War of Independence to throw off the shackles of English thinking and now they lead the world, including in the creative software industry.

    I've poked a few people here for their filter bubble, parish pump thinking, but I have made many more substantial points which still stand. 

    I mean seriously, if this community was less concerned about manners and more concerned about strategy, there might actually be some intellectual rigour brought to this thread rather than emotively put cognitive bias.

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