Dear Karen, Thank you for the response, and I will clear up any
Neil, I had, in reading your original post, assumed that you
had simply left off the traditional "just a satisfied customer" tag
to indicate that you had no connection to the company producing the
product, and that your review was, therefore, unbiased. Your reply
cleared that up, and I now understand that you are involved in
marketing the product and possibly investing in it. That gives me
a different take on your defense of it.
If this was the case at the time I wrote the post, and that I was
indeed a reseller for 3Design, you would have been 100% correct in
your assumptions.There was no intention to come in through the back
door, and to fool anyone, because in my opinion honesty is the best
practice. I hope you do not think that I would be naive enough to
think that something like this would not come back and bite me. The
reseller part came after the fact, which is why it was
included in my reply to Mr. Denayer. I knew I would get some flack
once that was put in there, but I prefer to put my cards on the table
come what may. I knew I would get the chance to clear it up and thank
you for the oppurtunity to do so.
At any rate, I think you seriously misconstrued my comments
regarding the product's price. I am not knocking the product or
its possible ability to improve some jewelers' productivity.
However, the entry point for purchasing an initial license of
roughly $5000 makes it unaffordable for many SMALL and INDEPENDENT
designers and jewelers, even when that cost is amortized over
I guess I get carried away with the fact that not all business
people think the same. I am very aggressive in the pursuit of new
technologies and I am even more aggressive in investing into it,
therefore I guess I have to identify with the fact that we are all
not in the same boat and I apologies for that. However, I do believe
that nothing is out of reach if it really needs to happen, and it is
the right choice to make. The things I say are meant to be taken as a
different way of looking at things, and not to infuriate or
antagonize those that may not have the same mind set as myself. I am
a very giving person by nature, and I feel very good about myself,
especially if I helped another who is not as fortunate. Therefore,
what I offer are sincere facts from my own experiences. Is it
valuable to you or anyone else, I have no idea, but it is there for
Many of us have already made the investment in Rhino and
Flamingo -- that cost included not only software, but computer
platform to process efficiently, courses, and learning curve. Once
that investment is made on a mental and fiscal basis, your argument
must be much more compelling than the one stated to impel change
that involves Relearning and Reworking process as well as software.
The true cost of change of this nature isn't the cost of the
software -- it's the cost of the software combined with lost
productivity while learning the new software, the "lost" cost of
the old software if not fully amortized, the cost of transitioning
existing designs and design libraries into the new software, time
to spend on courses and tutorials to learn the new software, etc.
Your points are indeed valid if you merely look at them from your
point of view. I prefer to think outside of the box. My thinking is
that your current solutions are not made redundant, they are still
the primary vehicle for you to deal with your day to day business.
Therefore in this manner, 3Design becomes the secondary tool for your
business until you are up to speed. Once up to speed, it either
becomes your primary tool, or works side by side with Rhino as
another powerful solution.
I run 8 different solutions here, therefore in a nutshell, in this
technological arena, to stay ahead of the game, you will be the
perpetual student. Oh my god, did I just identify myself as a student
In the software industry -- where I spent over 20 years before
going full time with my jewelry work -- we knew that the hardest
thing to do was to convert a customer (even a dissatisfied one)
from a competitor's product. The argument made must be incredibly
compelling and the customer had to see the COST of STAYING, rather
than the cost of moving. Additionally, the price points had to be
very carefully targeted to the demographic segment we were
addressing within that market.
I do agree with your points, but I do things differently here. At
the time of my post, I was offering and nothing else,
however what I do bring to the table, is not an ability to
communicate in writing why you should consider what I tell you, but
by saying “hey Karen, get on a plane and come here” This way, there
is no talking sales, it is infact a hands on evaluation. My
philosophy is that if I cannot show you how to go from A to Z and you
actually see it is being done the way you think it should be done,
then you already have the answers first hand.
Selling software is a hobby that apparently pays and nothing else.
Making some money on a piece of software does not change my life, I
do it because I enjoy it, and I want to help others. As a matter of
fact, it is far less productive financially for me to do so, because
the support required to service the customers in fact loses me money
in comparison to what I make in general doing my daily tasks. So
please do not for one minute think that my situation resembles
others, in that I do it for the financial gain. Far from it.
If you are looking to convert small, independent artisan
jewelers, I truly believe your price point is too high for MOST of
us. On the other hand, if you are looking toward high-volume
production jewelers, then you may be right on target. I believe
that must be what you're targeting based on your statement that you
cannot view this as a single-user entity. But if that's the case,
the marketing materials (Webster) should clearly state that, which
they do not.
It is targeted at all aspects and roles within the jewellery
industry and you may be right in that it is out of reach for many. I
guess I have to back off on this subject, because, can’t in this
context is not a word that I personally associate myself with and
that may be the problem here. If it needs to be done, I will find a
way to do it, but not everyone is the same, and I respect that.
I applaud you and your company for looking "outside the box"
and coming up with "pay for play" solutions and possible alliances
with service bureaus. If you can get some of the better service
bureaus to agree to make the investment, that will remove part of
the barrier to entry for some.
Thank you for the compliment, and finally I can chalk one up on the
board for me
I have to tell you, though, that I was amused by the following
quote: Yes home cooking like mama used to make, is all very nice
and gives us all a warm feeling, but who has the time today to prep
all of the required ingredients with just a knife. Been in a fine
restaurant's kitchen lately? Prep is done with a knife almost
exclusively -- knife skills are taught as a full semester course
at cooking schools and a well-trained chef can outperform a food
processor for just about any task. It's largely the
less-experienced home user / hobbyist who relies on the
productivity enhancing tools like the food processor. Extending
that analogy to the software model, the functionality of 3Design
would be more attractive to the hobbyist/casual designer rather
than the professional. NOT that I think that's true -- just
pointing out that the obvious isn't always what you think it is.
I eat at fine restaurants quite often, well let me say, what they
consider to be fine restaurants here in Florida. Egon Ronay would
probably not be thrilled and I fully understand why, but I might add,
I do not make it a habit of going into the kitchen. My job is to pay
the bill and tip accordingly.
It was directed at all scenarios in my opinion. This last week, I
was turning on the machines at 6am and leaving at 11pm, therefore it
does apply to my level of productivity as well as the hobbyist.
Across the board, I think we all could do with more time, but your
analogy was very cute
Either way, you should re-think some of your approach to
student licensing. What students in art school are exposed to and
learn to use -- and to make "sing" -- is what they will leave that
school with a powerful loyalty to. Right now, they are leaving
those schools with good knowledge of Rhino/Flamingo. They are
going to employers who are looking for expertise in Rhino/Flamingo,
which they have installed and invested in. OR, they are going to
smaller employers who are thinking about expanding into CAD... they
become evangelists for the technology they know and influence the
purchase of Rhino.
Kindly look at my reply to Mr. Denayer, I answered this one there.
The scenario you point out, is only part of the equation. It is in my
opinion a much larger issue.
One way to influence change is to start with the students.
You do that with student/educator pricing that is attractive to the
school community. You get the teachers to learn the product and
they become your marketing tool, convincing the administration to
invest in a lab license for a course they will teach on it. They
attract students and teach them, then those students take the
message of how great the software is out into the world.
I also touched on this in my reply to Mr. Denayer.
Viewing students as "competitors" simply because they have the
same software available to them (albeit at a lower cost than you
paid) is like Picasso worrying about students being able to get a
discount on their oil paints and canvas at the local art store.
It's not about the price of the software -- it's about what you
bring to it in design sense and ability. I don't know of a single
student who has the mature design sense and knowledge of
engineering required to outdesign most of the members of this
list... people like Sam Patania, Cynthia Eid, Trish MacAleer, Peter
Rowe, and many others too numerous to name. Students are using the
same equipment that these people are using, but don't have a mature
vision that comes from living the art for a length of time. No
software in the world will give them that... it only comes from
experience and life.... it's something that I and many other aspire
Your points are indeed noted and I concur that there is validity in
what you say and I respect the fact.
My mistake was generalizing your segment of the industry with mine,
when as a matter of fact they are completely different. My job is to
build the necessary tooling to manufacture the pieces and not on the
creative side of actually designing original pieces of art. My
company is strictly in the design of specialized tooling to make it
efficiently and therefore I do apologize for the confusion. The
individuals you mentioned are a rare breed, and should be commended
for that fact alone, but I was not thinking in the realms of these
kinds of artistic individuals.
I was addressing, and in fact identifying the students as
individuals who do nothing else than translate those paper designs or
sketches into 3D models, and with the help of intuitive tools with
built in Libraries can essentially perform the tasks of 3D modeling
as readily as you or I and that was the tangent I was on.
The fact that I created 3D models for designers who had no ability
to manufacture, whether in equipment or knowledge was the whole
essence of my thinking, and the student was to be seen as a CAD
operator rather than a true designer such as yourself. The CAD
operator scenario was the one I meant to address and nothing more.
Again sorry for the confusion.
Now the important part. Depriving the student of software or
solutions was not for you to think I was running scared, because in
reality, the level of investment I have here is to the tune of
$500,000, therefore they are a long way off in making a dent in my
business. However, I was in fact voicing my customers opinions to the
mere fact of discounted software being in the market place. How do
you think I feel, and further how do I even explain to them, why they
paid top dollar for their solution when others are not. You may have
thought that I was being a cry baby, when in reality it was my
concern for my customer’s well being that was the real issue. Many
of my customers are CAD operators, and I am only concerned for them
to have the ability to earn a decent living on as level a playing
field as is possible, and not for my personal gain.
I hope your reply will allow me to add some more to the board as a
That’s all for now.