It must be that it’s so easy to get a desktop GUI app going quickly. They do a lot of things poorly, but installation of the IDE is straightforward and clicking build generates an executable with a minimum of hassle. Once you start noticing the problems, it’s a little late. (note, that’s desktop only. why you’d look at it for mobile is beyond me)
Yeah I’m really torn. The app that makes the majority of my income is Xojo. That happened because it started its life as a one-off tool I made for myself, so I just used what I was familiar with. Knowing what I know today, I might have made a different choice.
I hesitate to use the word tailspin, but it’s clear that Xojo has no hope of catching up. They need significantly more staff, and for that they need money, and for money they need sales, which they won’t get without catching up. It’s a vicious cycle that I don’t know how I’d break. You’d need outside investors, but Xojo is too mature to attract them.
On the other hand, Xojo has survived a long time. I hope they are at least treading water.
For me, I look around every once in a while and I’m definitely interested in other tools, but I’ve never found one that I really like. I’m worried I need to suck it up and settle into something, but I also know the “never rewrite your software” rule. But I worry that if I don’t, I’ll be forced to later. Plus, I’ll never get a mobile version using Xojo. I have no hope that iOS and Android will ever actually merge, that they’ll ever be good enough, and that we’ll ever get the code sharing options necessary to make it practical.
So… it’s not a nice position to be in. But at least Xojo isn’t doing anything to push me away. I adapted to API2. It wasn’t that bad really.
It’s an abusive relationship.
Xojo needs to think like a startup; again
Sure they eventually need sales. But to get the ball rolling they can borrow. Either through issuance of shares, taking on debt, etc
Lets just say that I personally dont see shares as viable either
But its not the only avenue
It just takes the willingness to do it
And a successful execution of a business plan people ARE willing to put money in to
Its those two things I’m less confident about esp given my, an your, history of being both a customer & former employee/contractor to them
Certainly has characteristics of that
I’d say this is “vendor lock in” and without tools to help move away from it you’re stuck in the “should I rewrite my software in something else” conundrum
However, it can be done, and I know of some that have embarked on exactly that journey because NOT doing so poses an even bigger risk to their business & their livelihood
For the long term survival of the product I think you are right … but I also think Geoff is too comfortable for that.
I think that’s too simplistic an explanation. I don’t think Geoff knows how to get out of the situation they’re in and he’s too prideful to admit he needs help, or he’s not willing to make the needed changes.
In my interactions with him over the course of 20 years is that he’s always the smartest guy in the room. So I don’t think he’d ask for the help nor would he take the needed steps to change course.
They have not given anyone a reason to believe in their future…
20+ years ago when I first came in I though I saw a product, that although was rough around the edges, had a lot of potential to grow, and was working to increase it’s capabilities… I liked working with it and it got me into the OOP world and helped me (along with the community!) learn a lot back then.
That is the kind of thing that can attract customers and sales even with rough edges and not being one of the top languages…
I know I have not felt that way about the product’s potential for about last 10 years…
Total newbies are fine … but they don’t stay that way very long… and then they get frustrated.
Both of these
They’ve lost the trust of many long time users
So they have to attract a constant stream of new users who haven’t hit the bumps & roadblocks
Which is crazy
The EASIEST sale is to an existing user as long as you give them a reason to
How many of us bought updates year after year after year at 50% off “just because” ?
I know I did
But, as you said, trust in that forward movement has disappeared
And the pricing changed in a way it made no sense to renew year after year since there was no price advantage like before (TBH I know WHY they did that and I objected at the time as well but …)
Combine those pricing changes with the lack of improvement and I wouldn’t be surprised if their income has dropped by 30-40% in recent years
I did too.
I suppose once they stopped offering “renewals” and that income was inseparable from “new users” its understandable why new users became the focus
I still think that was a huge mistake
Sort of the start of “yeah we dont give a crap about long time users and here’s the proof - no discounts for existing users any more”
I know once they got rid of the renewal discount we stopped auto renew on our 3 licenses. And I’m sure for a year two income went up. Not so sure any more since they seem to be focused on new users.
We’ll never know though since they don’t share that level of information as a private company.
Yeah, getting rid of the renewal discount was a real kick in the pants. However, one could argue it makes existing users more valuable than before because they are now worth the same - monetarily speaking - as new users. Not sure if it was a net benefit though, since it disincentivized renewals.
At 20% “sale” I just do it if/when needed.
If they were 50% for renewals I would do it, “just because”.
Reminds me of those restaurants in tourist areas: they serve mediocre food to a constant stream of strangers who will never come back again. Requires a considerable marketing effort.
Restaurants that serve local customers deliver quality and need much less marketing.
The number of views on YouTube is a good indicator of how much interest the product generates.
That is what I used it for initially … a MacOS administrative app which I knocked out fairly quickly without a lot of muss & fuss … and did a Windows version of that as well – main problem there was their DB driver for Sql Server was crap and I ended up settling for ODBC using MB just to get it working.
But I never seriously considered it for web (because it doesn’t scale at all) or for mobile (because it’s too limited). No, I didn’t really grok that until I had used it for a bit, but it didn’t take long to figure out.
I have to agree here. I genuinely tried to offer my help, 3 times. The last time, he wrote to me and said “Dana told me I need to contact you to see what you can do”. Then ghosted me.
I don’t know exactly how to help them recover, but I do know there is 50 odd customers who would be happy to receive macOS features, features which I’ve already written the code for, features which would help make it easier… yadda yadda yadda
The aim is to make customers want to talk about the product again.
I know all my clients stopped updating annually “just because”
Hmmmm they probably get a lot of good word of mouth