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Topic: The importance of Roadmapping

  1. #1

    Arrow The importance of Roadmapping

    I have to say that I am fed up with companies lacking in this department. I for one have a problem buying any product from a company without knowing the roadmap for future developments. I think we should all be greatful that Mr. Garritan is so actively involved in his user base, and continues to provide information about future developments. Although sometimes I even wish he would provide more. But maybe i'm just crazy.

    With-holding these 'future developments' doesn't do anyone good, and if anything you loose potential customers. A roadmap isn't intended to release the implementation details of a product to competitors, merely let CUSTOMERS feel like they are informed and somewhat involved.

    For example, I sometimes HATE Apple, just cause they are so secret about everything. I love IBM cause they publish roadmaps on just about all of their development efforts.

    For instance I was looking into buying a larger library. EWSO gold or opus 1. So I'm thinking opus 1, because of the legato tool..... But then i read that EW is working on their own legato solution.... Hmmm, so I'm thinking that EWSO would be better buy if it had a legato solution. But wait, I can't find any other information on it. No details, no estimated timeframe, no nothing. So I don't have the information to make the decision. Maybe if EW gave more information I could buy EWSO and be expecting a legato update within 4 months. But I don't even know that so I guess I go with Opus 1. Oh but wait, it seems the legato performance tool has a bug in it with EXS24. Oh well usually companies fix bugs within reasonable amount of time..... wait nope. There is no estimated date when the bug will be fixed, oh wait, they don't even say they will fix it.

    I can't stress enough the importance of providing customers and comsumers with roadmaps. I think it is something that has been looked over by many, many developers. Estimated dates are just that.....estimates. They are not release dates at all. In my opinion a company should provide roadmaps for all developments to users/customers. Include everything from initial customer feedback on the idea, timeframes, to letting users know when major milestones have been reached in the development stage, to beta testing, etc.

    I for one can't stand the 'secrecy' of developments these days, and it just puts me off buying products alltogether. When I make a purchase I want more information available to me. Not just what is the best product right now, what will be the best investment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: The importance of Roadmapping

    The sample library market is a small and highly competitive market without a large profit margin. Many times the 'secrets' may be the idea that keeps the company in business longer. To let it leak out too early may give the competitor a chance to come out with the same idea concurrent or even before. This is why you won't get much advance warning on many libraries or the ideas behind the library.

    Take GPO, it wasn't announced until it was about ready for shipping. Another company found out about it and came out with a competing product very quickly (and with many bugs because of the rush to grab this part of the market). Because GPO had many other ideas (Tom's advanced programming) not understood by the competitors, it still gave GPO a good head start.

    I'm sure Gary has many other ideas up his sleeves that haven't been announced as of yet. All we can do is speculate on what these ideas could be.

  3. #3

    Re: The importance of Roadmapping

    Deleting this I really should not have said anything and im definately not a debate type of person. I apologize. Staying clear of debate threads! Please if you quoted what I said I would ask if you could edit it out. If not thats ok but I would rather you would.

    Nicole Davis

  4. #4
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Thumbs up Re: The importance of Roadmapping

    That said and done, no offense but I think this post should be deleted. Both these companies are involvled on this message board ,I believe, and I dont think last time I checked they are at war. Its not fair to either company and I dont think belongs on this forum.
    True, but I could sure use a road map right now...I'm lost.

  5. #5

    Re: The importance of Roadmapping

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole
    Im not sure if you ever joined any chats, but gary often asks what "people" want and listens to all ideas which will most likely make it. He reads the forums and keeps up with aspects that people want improved. Tom is often there to help out with this in chat and inthe forum. I don't know much about this secrecy thing since I only keep up with GPO and this forum and I do not know how the people of "Garritan products" have time to sit with us in chat or post so much with all the work they do, but they do. And they do often.

    That said and done, no offense but I think this post should be deleted. Both these companies are involvled on this message board ,I believe, and I dont think last time I checked they are at war. Its not fair to either company and I dont think belongs on this forum.
    Well Nicole I'm sorry if you feel my post doesn't belong and should be deleted. But you know this is a DISCUSSION board and I was hoping to stimulate some discussion on the topic.

    First of all I give my hats off to both companies. I'm not trying to start a 'war' between them. I think both companies provide excellent support, and are constantly involved in these forums which is amazing.

    I agree Haydyn. I think that a product like GPO came best as a surprize, and sold a lot more because of the 'head start'. But I think what really is selling GPO now is the wealth of information available to the buyer. When looking through the vast amount of information about GPO on the garritan site one would surely know exactly the product they are getting, and I think customers take comfort in that when buying.

    There are some situations when a surprize will be the best of course. But if not I for one really take comfort in roadmapping. For example there is nothing new about 'legato' functionality, and EW's Qlegato will be there approach to it. The purpose of a road map is to provide product information without providing implementation details. There's nothing new about a legato tool, hower their implemenation of the tool may be radically different. Take GOS2... another string library. Another string library isn't a totally different idea. Will it be better? of course so. How and in which ways...maybe we won't know. But I for one like to have a lot of information available to me when making purchases, about future products as well. Because if I know estimated release dates, and how productions are coming along and such. I can make a better educated desicion on whether to buy another library now, or if it is worth it to wait. I just thought it was an important aspect in any industry where there is always somebody else working on something better. And no doubt that this industry is constantly and quickly evolving.

    I'm not trying to be mean or insult anyone. I'm just trying to help. And I think Gary is always open to listening to new ideas.

    BTW check out the eclipse release plans page.

    Something like this gives me soooo much comfort (drooling) when supporting a product. Although I am a software developer and maybe this doesn't apply to this industry.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    UK- teeming with life....

    Re: The importance of Roadmapping

    You make an interesting point Jordo and I certainly don't see why you should delete it (no offence Nicole). However, I think Haydn's reply says all there is to say.

    Gary's a very switched on business man and I believe he reveals everything, which he competitively can, without damaging his business. This business really isn't an Intel or an AMD and frankly I can't think of any company in any other business which reveal their future plans. I'd be interested in other names of companies which do this if you have them......it just seems a little too enlightened for the real world.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: The importance of Roadmapping

    The idea of a roadmap is intriguing. It's always good for customers to know where you're going. Innovators get used to the fact that there are always going to be imitators (I guess that's the most sincere form of flattery). Competition is not the only consideration.

    What we have experienced is that when you disclose your roadmap and buckle in the family, the kids in the back seat always ask "when are we going to get there". Some will constantly ask for a release date and may not be happy if you cannot meet it.

    There's been a new trendy phenomena called the "Plog" or Project Log. Sort of like a Blog but projects oriented. Perhaps folks have enough to read without sorting through the machinations of a nonconformist sample developer.

    Would people like to see some sort of roadmap? Or would you prefer the cards be held close to the chest and we announce close to release?

    Gary Garritan

  8. #8

    Re: The importance of Roadmapping

    Well if you could release info without disclosing pertinent information to the competition then I'd say yes, but that's where things always get hairy. How much is too much information? Where do you draw the line? Obviously, there will be some things you'd rather anyone not know about until they're ready to ship, that way you lessen the likelyhood of competitors swooping in with their version of the same thing shortly before or after your release trying to steal the limelight. Interesting idea, but I'm not sure about it from a business stand point. I guess the next thing would be that hey we can give you information about minor updates and library modifications in those updates, but major projects will remain veiled until it is reasonable to release information.

  9. #9

    Re: The importance of Roadmapping

    Hi Gary,

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    Would people like to see some sort of roadmap? Or would you prefer the cards be held close to the chest and we announce close to release?
    Take my vote for the roadmap, I'd just love to see a sample developer do such a thing. When you're into music production, you'll need to be able to plan ahead where to spend your money to keep your technical means up-to-date and interesting - this would be far easier if you could foresee when new libraries will be available and what they will provide.

    Some developers (not you, laudably) are using the usual generic marketing buzz a la "we will release the ultimate coke bottle percussion library somewhere in the future, and BOYS, WILL IT KICK YOUR SORRY A**ES!" trying to get customers interested without giving anything away. I somewhat understand if video game developers act this way, but I find it rather inappropriate when the product is a tool designed for professional production purposes (i.e. not cheap and meant for earning money). I just don't feel taken seriously by a developer who's acting as if the things he's doing are for my personal entertainment purposes.

    That being said, this doesn't apply to you - on the contrary, your way of taking care of customers is excellent (yadda yadda, as if you wouldn't read this in every second post ) I nevertheless think a project log or roadmap would go a long way enhancing the transparency. Besides, if anyone bothers you with "are we there yet?" questions, you can then just say "RTFR" (read the fine roadmap).

    Just my 2 cents,

  10. #10

    Re: The importance of Roadmapping

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan

    Would people like to see a roadmap? Or would you prefer the cards be held close to the chest and we announce close to release?

    Gary Garritan
    I think that the roadmap would be useful. For us customers, is the way to know where the product is going. Moreover, a published roadmap may be big value to you too: it can drive feedback from the customers and thus ensure that the product development is going in the right direction. And additionally, this will definitely consolidate the community, that will feel directly engaged in the product evolution. My 2 cents.


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