Ken Susnjara wrote:I though I might respond to some of the thoughts with some of our own. First, we know there are basic features that are not in the software yet. We hope to address many of these in Version 5 and they continue to have the highest priority. Ideas about the future are just that, the future, but we must start thinking about them now if we plan to stay in business in the future. We need to try to figure out what our world and industry will be like two, three, five years from now. If we plan to compete then, we must start working on it now.
Well said, Ken. One of the most difficult realities to accept is that things will most definitely change in the future. Those who embrace and are prepared for change will flourish while others languish.
The building industry had already changed along with everything else in the business world. Builders, whether it be gereral contractors or cabinet makers, have shifted more toward being business professionals rather than craftspeople.
I do not mean that focus has shifted away from craftsmanship, merely that craftspeople have realized the importance of focusing on the business aspects of their trades.
Automation and mass production have caused major paradigm shifts in every trade. In most cases, that shift has been good and means higher output with the same resources, i.e. a Thermwood CNC router enables a small shop to produce far more high quality cabinets than could be produced manually with the same number of craftspeople. This has been brought about largely by demand outstripping supply.
Just as automation has changed the methods of production, so too has technology changed the methods of marketing. No longer does one need to be content with conducting business in a geographically confined area. The internet has made global enterprise available to everyone who has the desire to persue it.
I, for one, embrace the potential for reaching a larger audience with my product. Currently, all of my marketing is conducted by a large furniture and home electronics retailer. This has freed me to do what I love: make sawdust. Having the ability to reach an even larger audience in a similar manner is very appealing to me.
Yes, I agree that functionality of the existing software is and must continue to be at the forefront. I agree also that knowing the direction I will be taking five years from now is equally as important.
I will be happy to assist in any way that you need in developing a new business model for users of eCabinet Systems software. I suspect that many other users will be more than willing to assist as well.