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Will Omniplan output to pdf or print [now available in v1.1] Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
Sometimes when you make mistakes, you have to promise to put them right, no matter how nervous that makes you.
I understand why folks might think we made a mistake here - and folks are certainly entitled to that opinion.

However, when we do a new release - whether it's a new product or a point release to an existing one - our goal isn't to ship something that's useful to everyone we think might conceivably be interested. Instead, our goal is to ship something that's useful to a lot of people as early as we can manage to ship it.

Once you do that, you let customer feedback direct the later development efforts. That way, people get the app they actually want rather than the app we imagine they want.

The upside of that approach is that it appears to work well; we've been doing it the entire 10+ I've been here, and we'd be fools to complain about the success our products have had in that time. So if we're doing it wrong, we've been doing it wrong (and failing upwards, I guess) for a long time. ;-)

That said, I would love to do better. This approach is undeniably confusing for the folks whose expectations don't line up with ours, and it tends to produce forum threads like this one. I've spent a lot of time thinking about those factors, and short of giant pre-release blog posts along the lines of "Product X: here are all the things we aren't putting in it yet", I'm honestly not sure what to do about it.

Even if we did try something like that, I'm concerned it would do more harm (by dampening the spirits of folks who would otherwise be happy) than it would do to reduce any post-release confusion or disappointment.

(We avoid the "when do you think you will do <x>?" game as much as possible for similar reasons. It simply doesn't help that much.)

So, until we figure out something better, we'll do what we've always done. Ship products, keep making them better, and keep listening. Like we're doing now.
 
I agree Brian, Omniplan is a great product and you guys are doing a great job! So much so that I can't wait to use it, just really need PDF output which will happen so I am a happy camper. Simply can't develope everything first but I like the way it's developing! Really really love the resource planning capabilities! Frankly if the other capabilities wheren't so well thought out I wouldn't even care about PDF.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
However, when we do a new release - whether it's a new product or a point release to an existing one - our goal isn't to ship something that's useful to everyone we think might conceivably be interested. Instead, our goal is to ship something that's useful to a lot of people as early as we can manage to ship it.
Hi Brian. I agree with everything you say on a "policy" level, but the reply above illustrates my point perfectly I think.

The mistake I think you've made this time around is not in leaving out feature X, Y or Z; there will always be features that some people want but that don't make it into version 1, and your policy is the only sensible way to deal with that. The mistake is in leaving out ANY way for people who need to share projects outside of their own organisation, or inside it if Omniplan isn't 100% adopted, and thinking that that leaves you with a product that is useful.

This is the point you haven't answered. The remark I've quoted above suggests that you think export/sharing is a nice to have that will only be useful to a (small?) subset of your users. Yet I'd suggest that thinking that is a massive mistake, unless your target market is people planning a house move rather than serious PM's; i.e. the people who will never buy Omniplan for Mac anyway. As I said before, I can't think of any way for a serious PM to use PM software that won't let him share his plans, because sharing is core to project planning, and the chances of those he needs to share with also using Omniplan are, sadly, almost nil.

So agreed, you can't ship something that will be useful to all users, but I don't believe you've met your own goal of shipping something that's useful to a lot of them.

If I've got that wrong, can you please explain the workflow you had in mind when you released an app that will ONLY share with Omniplan (and Omniplan 2 at that), into a market that unfortunately has not adopted Omniplan as it's de-facto file format?
 
OmniOutliner, a year in and we still don't have a good way to get outlines into Word without buying the Mac version of OO.

OmniGraffle, even longer and we have no way to export as Visio without buying the PRO version of OG for Mac.

It's clearly not Omni's priority to communicate with a world outside of Mac and even their products if one doesn't own a Mac and their products. And believe it or not, I do, and I'm still miffed at this.

And yes, iThoughts to OO and back is pretty good. But it's an outliner...users want it to work with word processors.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBerry View Post
If I've got that wrong, can you please explain the workflow you had in mind when you released an app that will ONLY share with Omniplan (and Omniplan 2 at that), into a market that unfortunately has not adopted Omniplan as it's de-facto file format?
Our approach here is very similar to Apple's approach when they first shipped the iPod without any Windows support.

Get something out to the folks who are waiting most anxiously for an iPad edition, make them happy, then build from there. We don't need to try and get every possible customer right out of the gate. :-)
 
as always it is genuinely fascinating to guess at the predispositions and implications / emotions with which some people must have read Kens reply-

and as always the omni group is maybe not serving everyone, but is considering what is working best- which until now has worked out quite well and is building a trust system on the most valuable models of it all: integrity...

So let me just add a reason to invest in OmniPlan: trusting that what we currently have is actively reflected upon and modified to the best of options You can support the efforts by buying a version that might not fully match your requirements but most likely will in the future :-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mat_rhein View Post
as always it is genuinely fascinating to guess at the predispositions and implications / emotions with which some people must have read Kens reply-

and as always the omni group is maybe not serving everyone, but is considering what is working best- which until now has worked out quite well and is building a trust system on the most valuable models of it all: integrity...

So let me just add a reason to invest in OmniPlan: trusting that what we currently have is actively reflected upon and modified to the best of options You can support the efforts by buying a version that might not fully match your requirements but most likely will in the future :-)
In essence, this says: "Buy it now, even though it doesn't do the job for you, and trust in Omnigroup's integrity to deliver what's needed for your job in the future"

I see why you say that, but:

1. Money and time are tight - those of us using professional project management tools to do professional project management haven't necessarily got the time or money to buy something that doesn't work in the hope that it may someday. My clients, bless them, want to see my plans now, and want to be able to edit them, or summarise them or whatever - that's one of the things they pay me for. They aren't interested in my telling them that Omnigroup will deliver later, maybe. Most of my project take between 6 months and 2 years. On past experience, most of my current ones will be finished before I get proper export/import from iPad Omniplan. And that's not to diss Omnigroup - as I said in an earlier post, they have priorities and constraints, like everyone else - if they haven't delivered what I need, it's not because they're lazy or dishonest or incompetent - it's because they just can't do it all at once.

2. But that doesn't mean I should apologise for them. This is a commercial relationship - I pay money to get something in return. Don't ask me to pay the money without the return on the basis that these are good guts and I should support the. It's not a charity, and I'm not a philanthropist.

3. I said in an earlier post that I can't tell Omnigroup how to run its business. But if they offer me a product that doesn't do the job, I'm sure as whatever going to say so. They then decide whether and when to address the problem. They might choose not too (unlikely, but possible) and they have the right to do that. But don't tell me that I should still pay up and shut up because they're good guts with integrity - that, to y=use your term, would be an emotional, not commercial view.

Or, in short, I think Omniplan made a mistake on this one, and I'm going to keep saying so until they fix it, or tell us that they won't fix it. In either case, I'll then shut up about it, either because I'm happy, or because I'll have stopped using the product.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick101 View Post
In essence, this says: "Buy it now, even though it doesn't do the job for you, and trust in Omnigroup's integrity to deliver what's needed for your job in the future"
Honestly, I don't think any of us want to sell you something that doesn't make you more productive in the near term. We try to honestly represent the software we sell, and have a generous return policy in case we somehow fail. While we'd love to have you as a customer today, you are quite welcome to wait and see if version 1.1 fulfills your needs. In the meantime we obviously want to consider feedback from customers and non customers alike. If you buy now, we're going to work to improve the product and retain you as a satisfied customer. If you don't, maybe we can get you next time.

It may sound trite, but for me the thing that most confirms our success is hearing that our software has contributed to yours.

-Tom
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bunch View Post
Honestly, I don't think any of us want to sell you something that doesn't make you more productive in the near term.
Of course you don't - and to the extent that OP/iPad works, it can make people (including me) more productive - even the opportunity to review a plan on the go is worth something. But the inability to share any changes I make is obviously a major limitation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bunch View Post
We try to honestly represent the software we sell, and have a generous return policy in case we somehow fail.
Indeed, your return policy is an exmaple to much of the rest of the software industry - credit where it's due. And I'm not accusing you of misrepresentation, nor expecting you to fly a banner over the top saying "Warning! Does not export!" What I'm saying is that I think you've made a mistake - an honest one, but a mistake nonetheless.

Projects that need project management software are, by definition, cooperative efforts. and that's why the sharing issue is major. Omnifocus is essentially personal; OminGraffle and OmniOutliner have enough sharing options to make them useful (albeit not enough to satisfy everyone). Ans although OP/iPad can be used by a single person for their personal stuff, it's clearly designed to deal with multi-person work. That's my reasoning for calling it a mistake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bunch View Post
While we'd love to have you as a customer today, you are quite welcome to wait and see if version 1.1 fulfills your needs. In the meantime we obviously want to consider feedback from customers and non customers alike. If you buy now, we're going to work to improve the product and retain you as a satisfied customer. If you don't, maybe we can get you next time.

It may sound trite, but for me the thing that most confirms our success is hearing that our software has contributed to yours.
Point taken, and I think I've said what I needed to say. All I want to do is to be clear that this is a major need. You've got me for the time being, because OP/iPad is better than nothing and (in some respects) better than SG Project Pro.
 
Nick, note that there's a population that should find OmniPlan 1.0 ready to roll out of the box that crowd at WWDC. Small groups, building iPad apps, everyone on the team has an iPad, probably not report generating fiends, in other words, Omni built an app they would find useful in house. It seems like a pretty obvious stepping stone on the way to a more widely useful app, allowing them to grab some mind and market share, get some useful feedback and direction, etc. If you aren't in that target population, and can't imagine that an app might rationally be (initially) targeted at a group that doesn't include you, then sure, it might look like a mistake.
 
 


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