Firstly I'm delighted that Satori is still in your toolbox and is even growing on you. Satori is plainly not to everyone's taste but many who do take it up seem to stick with it.
Sadly Satori is not widely commercially successful but as a niche product survives for a number of reasons.
Firstly, there are a small number extremely talented people using Satori daily to "bring home the bacon" as a low-cost, high performance... Film, TV, Web, Print... something-or-other. You, the users, honour us with your (continued) patronage because, quite simply, you BENEFIT in some way from using Satori. The very high quality of some of the work produced is testament both to the talent of the creators and to the quality of the software.
This inspires us to continue and helps, as marketing folk are wont to say, to leverage our brand. This was the core idea behind our decision to make PhotoXL available as Shareware/Freeware.
In fact, with hindsight, we may well have done ourselves a disservice - there is a suggestion that this may have consequently served to devalue our brand in the eyes of "professionals". The argument being that software given away free with entry level PC & Window magazines cannot be a serious contender for top-end movie FX work etc etc. In fact, of course, we have NEVER given away FilmFX but people may not understand that.
Couple this with the (so-called) Satori learning curve and natural, innate laziness (you cannot believe how many emails we've had saying "why can't Satori look and operate like Photoshop?") and we have the situation as it is today.
Now for those who may not be aware of the very clear reasons why Satori does NOT look and operate like Photoshop please understand that, quite apart from the fact that they are very different beasts (vectors vs pixels), we have hard experience of what can happen with "lookalikes" and I invite you to read this excellent article on the Spaceward/Quantel/Adobe patent infringement litigation for clarification and enlightenment.
You will know that we are a very small company. We are privately owned and run. We make our own decisions and are solvent - just. In commerce, this is key.
I was delighted to read that you would be prepared to accept the payment of a small fee for future upgrades (let's agree not to define terms here) and have to admit that only last night I was discussing with friends whether we should consider seeking a voluntary payment for future versions of PhotoXL shareware. We have no experience of this and wonder what the up/downsides might be. Is this begging? Does it demean? Or might it provide a useful revenue stream? Any readers who have experience/knowledge/opinions about this - please post.
Now where was I? O yes, revenue. That's what it's all about. The more revenue we can generate, the more funds we have available to pay software writers to develop the product etc etc ad infinitum... so it requires no great leap of the imagination to conclude that the pace of product development mirrors current revenue streams. Were we able to (would we want to?) attract inward investment, as most traditional business models suggest, we could shortcut this perfectly virtuous circle and inject funds to pay in advance for development that would in turn generate sales that would then pay off interest on the loans. However without widespread commercial success (this is our experience) the sales/revenues generated would not be sufficient to pay for on-going development and interest charges (let alone profits to investors). Soon the company would become insolvent and actions would need to be taken by the investors to minimize their exposure and recoup as much as possible by whatever means - usually asset-stripping followed by bankruptcy proceedings...
.. and we'd lose Satori & Spaceward Graphics for good. I see this as exchanging a virtuous circle for a vicious one.
So it's a big "Thanks, but no thanks" from me. The only reason that we are still here after 30 years (Spaceward brand) and 10 years (Spaceward Graphics Ltd) is because we have not been foreclosed by banks etc as we have always funded product development from sales (and some special projects) albeit slowly.
So which company is more successful? One that flares into brief life, generates $x million over 2 years and vanishes or one that survives for decades by trading modestly/appropriately?
OK, that's it. Time to get on with life. It IS the weekend after all.
Thanks Alan and all Satori users for your patronage, support and forebearance. I hope this personal view (my colleagues would wish to retain the right to disagree) helps clarify why we won't super-accelerate the pace of Satori's development as this might only be possible at the, for me unacceptable, cost of committing corporate suicide.
What a world!
Spaceward Graphics Ltd
- Well, 5 of us are alive anyhow. by Adam Yalonetsky at Aug. 07, 2001 3:29 am gmt (Rec'd 2)
- Re: Well, 5 of us are alive anyhow. by Norman Prather at Aug. 15, 2001 7:27 pm gmt (Rec'd 2)
- Re: Well, 5 of us are alive anyhow. by Adam Yalonetsky at Aug. 15, 2001 8:06 pm gmt (Rec'd 3)
- Re: Well, 5 of us are alive anyhow. by Norman Prather at Aug. 15, 2001 8:36 pm gmt (Rec'd 1)
- Re: Well, 5 of us are alive anyhow. by Adam Yalonetsky at Aug. 15, 2001 9:01 pm gmt (Rec'd 2)
- Re: Well, 5 of us are alive anyhow. by Norman Prather at Aug. 15, 2001 9:05 pm gmt (Rec'd 2)