Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

All feature requests and suggestions for upcoming releases of Cubase Pro 9, Cubase Artist 9 and Cubase Elements 9 can be posted here.
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ultradust
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Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by ultradust »

Steinberg,

We Steinberg the user community understand that you don't have unlimited resources and people to implement all the features we are looking for. We also recognize that not every feature request is really a good idea, which is why these forums are a great tool: We can argue pros and cons here.

But you've likely noticed that there is a long, tedious history of people desiring very well-reasoned features that never get implemented. Many times, these people will say something like, "Steinberg, are you listening? I've been waiting four years for this feature. It's an annual request. I'd gladly give you money if you'd just build it."

Well, why don't you take our money?

Here's an idea: In collaboration with your userbase, why don't you launch some Kickstarter-style campaigns for the feature requests that (a) people really, really want but (b) you don't have the time and money to implement right now? You could develop your own fundraising platform for this purpose or could even actually use Kickstarter itself. This could give real Steinberg enthusiasts a way to see their ideas actually implemented, and it would give you the money you need to hire talent to do the work. Everyone wins.

The classic problem you've had is that there are tons of great ideas, but you've only got so much margin to work with for the next release, and you have to balance new-feature risks with your development capacity. You've also got extremely loyal fans who would be glad to pay more - maybe a lot more - just to see their desired features implemented, but you have no existing infrastructure to handle this.Thus, you can only count on so many new sales and upgrades at such-and-such a price per year, and so the feature-request problems drag on and on.

The Kickstarter approach would solve these problems immediately. There are long-standing feature requests for which you could probably raise the needed money for implementation in the first week of the campaign. And rather than frustrating your most loyal userbase - the ones who actually take the time to use these forums and post ideas - you'd be partnering with them to bring their needed features into implementation.

Plus, a side benefit is that this would really prove the need for a given feature request. If a Kickstartered feature reaches its goal, then people put their money where their mouth is and they really need the feature. If only a few people support an idea, then it really probably isn't a feature than needs to be built-in.

So, let's Kickstart this thing!

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by djw »

What are highly popular feature requests that are not put in? I mean extremely popular, successful Kickstarter-level popular. I see a lot of feature requests but very few have universal support, and it's small groups that all want different features.

If you can show how universally wanted a feature is, then you might be surprised what happens. But it can't just be a handful of posts (a thread of a few pages), or someone's pet feature that the same user keeps posting about. I'm serious, please list them.

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by ultradust »

djw, thanks for your thoughtful reply. I'd like to respond if I may:

1. Your questions are framed around an existing set of circumstances and thus could elicit misleading answers. When you ask, "Where are these highly popular features? It can't be just a handful of posts," I would counter that the very reason that Feature Requests today only generate a handful of posts is because people have learned that most feature requests are an exercise in futility. To the average Steinberg user, the process of seeing a Feature Request implemented is a nameless, faceless black box. You can make a post on this forum, but you don't know if Steinberg reads it. You can contact Support, but often they just send you a canned response. And it's easy to understand Steinberg's challenges too - they have limited staff and development capacity. So it's tough. But if users knew there was a path, a vehicle for actually applying money to ideas and getting Feature Requests implemented, the demand would grow, perhaps even skyrocket. So asking the questions you asked today, given the current circumstances, isn't like asking the same questions once a working Kickstarter system would be up and running.

2. As a Cubase user since 1996, I can tell you that there have been numerous ongoing requests listed in Steinberg Feature Request forums over the years that would get traction but either never get implemented or get implemented years later. Mixer History was one of those that finally did get implemented, but only after several years of people begging on the forums. Imagine if they could have done a Kickstarter back in Cubase 6 or 7 - we'd have had the Mixer History feature all the way back then. Imagine all the studio hours that could have been saved by the usefulness of that feature alone.

A good example now would be all the requests coming in to support integration with Softube's Console 1. There are over 5,100 views on that topic, which might represent at least dozens of users who actually found their way to the Steinberg forums to search for Console 1 support info. I believe (a) the actual integration work for this would be relatively light (I work on software dev projects and I'm basing this on previous experience) and therefore relatively inexpensive, and (b) those who want this would be willing to pay extra for it. As it is now, people are actually dropping Cubase (Steinberg is losing customers!!!) and going to other DAWs just because they have no outlet to get this gear to work with Cubase, their otherwise favorite DAW. A Kickstarter-like campaign could remedy that. I'm grossly simplifying here (not paying attention to architecture, QA, etc.), but for the sake of brevity: Let's say that this feature would take a competent developer about 100 hours to complete. Let's be generous and pay the developer $100 USD per hour, so the cost is $10,000. Let's say there are 200 Cubase users who want Console 1 integration and that Steinberg would be willing to break-even on these kinds of projects (since they would benefit from the longer-term integration of each feature as a selling point to future customers). Each of the 200 Cubase users pitches in $50 (less than the cost of many VST plugins) and the cost is covered. They get the feature they want and stick with Steinberg, and Steinberg gets a cool feature at no cost to them.

Or even better than just a quick Console 1 fix: What if we could Kickstarter your idea to make the MixConsole open to VST compressors, EQs, etc. and give users the tools to make and share their own surfaces for plugins? If we could tie solutions for various requests together like this, an even larger support base could be grown for solutions that solve more than one problem.

You might say, "That's not realistic and it's not fair. People don't want to spend extra money on features that they think should already be in the DAW anyway, and they definitely don't want to spend extra money on a feature that will end up benefiting everyone else who didn't pay. No one will do this." I would respectfully disagree. Most people I know working in audio and video production are go-getters who don't mind helping others. And they just need something to work a certain way. If $50 will get it for them quicker, they'll pay and move on. They don't care if someone else gets the feature for free later. It's irrelevant. What is relevant is not having the features you need.

3. I'm not going to spend time rehashing all the "Annual Request" items from over the years, but there have been plenty, and some are really good. And the point isn't that you or I or anyone in particular would sit around and decide which ones are the best. The beauty of Kickstarter is that if enough people put their money behind an idea, it can happen regardless of others' opinions. Of course, Steinberg would get to have veto power against really bad ideas (after all, they'd administrate the whole thing). But it would be up to the users in aggregate to put their money where their mouths are and make it happen. Again, there would probably be more discussion and support for these items on the forums, but people have gotten the feeling that posting requests on the forums is futile. Steinberg would probably love to address many of the longstanding feature requests, but they don't have the time and money. Rather than continue as-is, they should partner with enthusiastic customers to drive Kickstarter-like campaigns for the features people want most. If they make, they make. If they don't, they don't. That's the point of this idea - to provide a working, productive outlet for people's ideas and for the most popular ideas to actually get funding quicker.

In the meantime, you can see literally hundreds of threads where Steinberg is losing their userbase to competition - often simply because they can't work fast enough with current budgets to implement what people are asking for. I'm not blaming Steinberg; it's just the limitations of their current model. But Kickstarter-like campaigns would give people a real way to put their needs forward and provide funding get more things done quicker. Otherwise, if people feel like there's no real way for their ideas to get quick traction, they go somewhere else.

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by djw »

Console 1 integration is the popular request I had in mind too, but that's just one.

The Annual requests are nice but don't get that much support.

What makes you think that giving Steinberg some money, if you actually manage to raise it, will get a feature implemented? If you want them to get more work done they'd need more employees. That's not a one time expense that can be covered by a KS. Hiring a person temporarily for this might not be as realistic as you think.

Lastly, it is a lot more attractive to switch to another DAW if you desperately want a feature. Only the very hardcore Cubase fans will consider backing, and who says this small group is wealthy enough to raise any significant amount?

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by ultradust »

djw wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:40 am
What makes you think that giving Steinberg some money, if you actually manage to raise it, will get a feature implemented?
Because Steinberg itself would administrate the campaigns. It would be a new method of doing Feature Requests instead of just these forums. It wouldn't be me doing it; it would be Steinberg. (This Kickstarter idea is, in itself, a "Feature Request.")
djw wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:40 am
If you want them to get more work done they'd need more employees. That's not a one time expense that can be covered by a KS. Hiring a person temporarily for this might not be as realistic as you think.
Yes, you are right that Steinberg would need to scale. At first, it would be more difficult, but once they got a system running for a few months, they would be able to plan based on Kickstarter success velocity. And the campaigns would not only guarantee the money Steinberg needs, but could also provide some flexibility in timing. Regarding your points on one-time expenses and temporary hiring: I have to respectfully disagree. I work on large-scale technology projects with companies you've probably heard of, and I can tell you that some of the best developer talent works exclusively as contractors. They're code sharpshooters. Short-term gigs are frequent in the software industry. And as this programme scales to consistent levels based on Kickstarter successes, Steinberg could add long-term employees based on the new revenues.
djw wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:40 am
Lastly, it is a lot more attractive to switch to another DAW if you desperately want a feature. Only the very hardcore Cubase fans will consider backing, and who says this small group is wealthy enough to raise any significant amount?
For those who have invested literally decades learning a DAW like Cubase, customizing it to their liking, building entire production workflows based on the DAW, it would not be a trivial thing to switch to another DAW just for a single feature. The problem is that, since the Feature Request process is currently so slow and ineffective, users have to weigh staying with the known DAW, realizing that the feature they need probably won't happen, against having to jump to a new DAW and start over to get the feature. That's why there are still any of us left, making posts on these bleak forums. We're wanting to see Steinberg products solve problems for us so we don't have to tackle a new DAW. Plus, many Cubase users are loyal and want to see Steinberg succeed.

Rather than sit around and make guesstimates on how many people we think would participate, I'd like to see Steinberg try the Kickstarter model and find out in reality. For many successful Kickstarter campaigns I'm aware of, there was a point where people said, "There aren't going to be enough supporters. This won't work." But once the momentum started and people realized the idea could actually become reality, the supporters showed up. Steinberg has a huge advantage over the typical Kickstarter supporter base: They have legitimate, working products and a userbase spanning almost 30 years. Think of all the people who would support Feature Request campaigns if they knew something would actually be done.

And there's very little to lose. It would take (a) someone at Steinberg acting as a campaign manager, organizing the first few conversions of existing Feature Requests into Kickstarter-style campaigns and working with (b) people on the development team to discuss feasibility and estimate impact. They'd need a designer/developer to help with web interface details and probably someone to produce initial videos. They put the first few campaigns together and go live. If nothing succeeds, then Steinberg would know the approach doesn't work and could simply quit doing Kickstarter style campaigns. Very little to lose.

I would like to see what happens if Steinberg tries this model out. We may be surprised: What if people actually dropped other DAWS for Steinberg because they finally had a place to get reaction on features they want? Steinberg could pave the way to the future of how DAW development is done rather than losing a war of attrition.

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by ultradust »

Another couple important points:

1. The actual cost of many features people are looking for would be relatively low. A basic feature that would cost $5,000 - $50,000 to implement could be easily supported by a relatively small segment of the userbase. The reason the features don't get implemented now is because there are more ideas than there are Steinberg development hours available. Kickstarter-style campaigns could solve that problem by breaking out of the box of expected revenues based on prior sales and existing models.

2. Don't forget that there are some users who might be willing to fund most - or even all - of a feature by themselves. Imagine a studio owner who is bringing in $10-15 million in revenue per year. She needs a feature and is willing to pay $100,000 for it because it will help her studio increase revenues. She could get a credit in the Cubase interface and other honors for such a big investment. There are a couple feature requests out right now where I could imagine people I know investing hundreds or thousands of dollars to support, just to get the feature. It's worth it to them because it would make their work easier.

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by mitchiemasha »

Just creating and promoting the Kickstarter would be a distraction, taking time and effort, not to mention funding away from what they are already working on. Especially when it could fail, not enough people interested, raising nothing for any of the features.

Those missing features are likely getting slow development, just on a backburner due to complexity and problems in implementation, time frame on delivery. Like curves for instance, we'll notice the sampler has them, the sampler was new, might as well write them in on the get go.

Sorry but the idea is silly. If someone was willing to pay $100,000 for a feature (which is highly unlikely), someone that high up in the industry, they would simply contact Steinberg directly. If there is a feature you want/need, why don't you start a campaign to raise the funds, find pledgers and contact them yourself (once you have enough support).

Also... for each feature/improvement added in the time frame workload increases exponentially. There will be a sweet spot. Throwing more money at it, more people at it, creates its own problems, needing more money and more people. As the checkers need to check the checkers checking the checks.
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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by djw »

You can hire someone to "sharpshoot" bugs, but new features need to be maintained as well.

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by ultradust »

djw wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:03 pm
You can hire someone to "sharpshoot" bugs, but new features need to be maintained as well.
Yes, agreed. QA testing and maintenance would need to be built into each Kickstarter-like budget. Here's how the process could look:

1. Through a yet-to-be-defined mechanism (community voting? traffic/interest measurement? arbitrary Steinberg staff picks?), a Feature Request idea becomes a candidate for a Kickstarter-like campaign.
2. The Steinberg campaign manager would work with the internal Steinberg team to discuss feasibility and impact. This includes risk analysis, immediate and long-term implications for overall codebase, available tech vs.innovation required, etc. If the idea passes this initial screening, then...
3. They would perform a work breakdown structure (WBS) to define scope. They'd determine rough, conservative estimates for time required by development, UI/UX, architecture, libraries and third-party tech integration, coordination with other features in development, QA testing, build staging, bugfixing, maintenance, etc. From these time estimates they would determine the overall dollar cost and rough timeline for producing the feature. (This is the process they likely follow anyway internally; now it would simply be extended to support the Kickstarter-like campaigns.) A close-enough conservative dollar estimate would be assigned.
4. That estimate would become the Kickstarter-like campaign's fundraising target.

So maintenance costs would be built-in to the estimation process, and therefore the fundraising target, and planned for by Steinberg.

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by Romantique Tp »

Things not being implemented yet is a time issue, not a money issue. You're also failing to consider that certain features may require other new features to be implemented first, to both facilitate their inclusion and reduce the time wasted with code that will be made obsolete/redundant anyway.

One example is the mixer undo, which was probably the most common feature request ever along with automation curves. It benefits massively from the new mixer console introduced with Cubase 7 (and refined in later versions). I wouldn't be surprised if the main motivation for the mix console redesign was so that in the future, mixer/VST undo could be implemented in an elegant way.

Steinberg has people planning each release. They know what users want and they're obviously also closely watching what the competition is doing, but adding features and fixing things takes time. That's just how things are.
Every time someone says "it must be easy to add/fix", a programmer dies.

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by ultradust »

mitchiemasha, thanks for adding your perspectives on this. I'd like to respond to some of your points if I may.
mitchiemasha wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:40 am
Just creating and promoting the Kickstarter would be a distraction, taking time and effort, not to mention funding away from what they are already working on.
I don't see how it would be much more of a distraction than trying to filter through these forums, which offer much less money-where-mouth-is empirical evidence for feature demand than a paid campaign would.

mitchiemasha wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:40 am
Those missing features are likely getting slow development, just on a backburner due to complexity and problems in implementation, time frame on delivery. Like curves for instance, we'll notice the sampler has them, the sampler was new, might as well write them in on the get go.
Yes, I agree, and I'm a big fan of Steinberg developers. The aspect your statement doesn't take into account is users' involvement in and knowledge of the direction of the product. You personally might be content to sit and wait in feature darkness, hoping that Steinberg might implement the features you want years from now. But some users need to know whether a feature - critical to them - is on the development path or not. Pay-for-feature campaigns is one very transparent way to address that.

All you have to do is read the thousands of posts where someone writes: "Steinberg, please consider this feature. I really need it. If there's no way to address this need, I'm going to need to move to another DAW." You can disagree with that person's attitude, understanding, etc. but nonetheless they and their money will go elsewhere unless Steinberg finds an effective way to engage that person. This is just customer service 101.

More to the point: That whole cycle of a user feeling like he/she is shouting to the wind via these forums is just a bad user experience. From the start, it makes a user feel like he/she is outside of the developers' sphere of influence and, therefore, going against the grain just to ask for what they need. Why not include those people in the development process directly, even taking their money to allow them to do so? It gets rid of the antagonistic situation and creates partnerships.

All the people arguing against this idea in this thread seem to be very comfortable with using these forums, going back and forth with Steinberg through obtuse channels, etc. But for every one of us, there are hundreds of users who simply don't like all the hassle - with no possibility of even guaranteeing a return on their investment of time. Why post on the forums when the ideas might not even get read? A feature-request system could solve that.

mitchiemasha wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:40 am
Sorry but the idea is silly.
Considering that some world-changing, industry-revolutionizing ideas have been crowdfunded, I don't really see what's silly here.

mitchiemasha wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:40 am
If someone was willing to pay $100,000 for a feature (which is highly unlikely), someone that high up in the industry, they would simply contact Steinberg directly.

You're making quite a few assumptions. First, I'm not saying that most participants would give $100,000. If you're familiar with how Kickstarter works, many millions of dollars have been raised from a variety of participants who range in dollar participation.

And let's deal with your $100,000 participant scenario: A system like what I'm proposing would actually give that person a quick and easy way to get involved in a Steinberg-led process. Right now, if someone had a bundle of money and a feature needed, they would have many obstacles to overcome: Overcome the personal decision to hassle with a manual reach-out to Steinberg; overcome the lengthy process of getting in touch with the right people while being pushed away by representatives who say, "Just post it on the forums"; overcome the realization that they would personally need to handle a very complex interaction with the developers in a one-time endeavor; etc. Against all the fuss, they might just go hire a developer to build them a custom solution. But why push people like this out of the Steinberg ecosystem just to get the features they want? Why not provide a system where participants, wealthy or not, can contribute to the features they need?

It's all about systemization of a community feature-demanding process vs. a custom, laborious personal inquiry.

mitchiemasha wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:40 am
If there is a feature you want/need, why don't you start a campaign to raise the funds, find pledgers and contact them yourself (once you have enough support).
Because the platforms that exist today for crowdfunding require the campaign leader to be able to certify that they can deliver the planned goods. I'm not a Steinberg employee or involved with Steinberg in any way, except as a user, so I would have no legitimate authority to raise funds on behalf of features to be implemented by Steinberg.

The point of them raising the funds and managing the campaigns is that they own the IP and tech.

mitchiemasha wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:40 am
Also... for each feature/improvement added in the time frame workload increases exponentially. There will be a sweet spot. Throwing more money at it, more people at it, creates its own problems, needing more money and more people.
Yes, I understand and agree - in part - but I submit that you're glossing over what I've proposed. I'm not suggesting that features would be simply rolled up and planned at a whim. The campaign manager would need to work with Steinberg to plan for the impact of new Kickstartered features. Also, you're using a bit of a straw man: I'm not suggesting the cliche "simply throw more money at it." Obviously that doesn't work. But with proper planning and ALM, introducing money and talent into the pipeline can, of course, yield more results. I mean, that's obvious, isn't it? Isn't that how companies grow? What you're suggesting is a bit along the lines of "Steinberg can only go as fast as they do now." As someone who's worked in development for a long time, I'd like to mention the basic principle of continuous integration in application lifecycle management. You spin up the new features, and you modularize the development process to accommodate needed acceleration in any given area(s). What you're suggesting is that Steinberg can only work off of one main path of development and cannot possibly handle multiple branches of inquiry and response to new market demands. I'm sorry, but if that's the case, then Steinberg's development cycle is extremely brittle and not suited for real-world market adjustments. (Of course, I don't think that's really the case. Steinberg could likely easily adjust to 4-5 new feature campaigns at any given time and easily accommodate the inquiries and planning with a project manager or two in the mix. Very little overhead required for an international company of their size.)

Further, the idea that "each feature" would increase workload "exponentially" is false. Something like the Softube Console 1 integration is very limited in scope and could potentially be close to a 1:1 linear increase in workload. Sure, there's more QA and refactoring of related code, etc. My point is that each new feature, with proper project planning, doesn't necessarily indicate exponential workload increase.

mitchiemasha wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:40 am
As the checkers need to check the checkers checking the checks.
I like the way you wrote that! Yep, that's true. But it would all be priced into the features themselves by Steinberg. Steinberg would factor in how many features are in queue at any given time, the overall impact to other features and QA, etc. Pricing wouldn't be arbitrary.

Also, I think the general reactions I'm seeing are, "Oh no! We'd throw Steinberg off course and they'd be lost in a hurricane of these campaigns!" Well, really, I think it would make things a lot easier for them.

1. They wouldn't just have feature requests in a pile of forum threads. They'd have clearly-defined feature requests along with real money to pay for them.
2. Give the developers some credit. They already field plenty of incoming requests from industry leaders, reviewing competitors' software, internal meetings, these forums, etc. They could certainly handle reviewing proposals with money behind them.
3. A system, with guidelines and clear paths to include needed information, is generally easier to work with than freeform forum entries.
Last edited by ultradust on Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by ultradust »

Romantique Tp wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:46 pm
Things not being implemented yet is a time issue, not a money issue.
Sometimes. It depends. I recently worked on an enterprise airline application where "things not being implemented yet" was indeed a "money issue." When the budget was approved, developers were hired and the thing to be implemented was quickly built.

In development, you buy developers' working time with money. If you buy more developers' time - and you plan projects carefully - you can get more features in less time. This is really just elementary project management.

Romantique Tp wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:46 pm
You're also failing to consider that certain features may require other new features to be implemented first, to both facilitate their inclusion and reduce the time wasted with code that will be made obsolete/redundant anyway.
I respectfully disagree that I'm failing to consider this, because I am considering this. It's implicit in what I'm proposing: A campaign manager would work with Steinberg to take these dynamics into consideration, seeing what components of the roadmap could be bundled to reduce overall work. (This was even discussed in a post above.)

I'm not suggesting that Steinberg would run with any user-campaigned feature, with no thought beforehand. I am saying precisely the opposite: Steinberg would take the ideas and run these campaigns in collaboration with the users submitting the ideas. A dollar figure wouldn't be applied, and a fundraising campaign started, until Steinberg had already looked at the roadmap and determined the feature's overall impact. Then the fundraising would begin, to meet the budget informed by those factors.

Romantique Tp wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:46 pm
One example is the mixer undo, which was probably the most common feature request ever along with automation curves. It benefits massively from the new mixer console introduced with Cubase 7 (and refined in later versions). I wouldn't be surprised if the main motivation for the mix console redesign was so that in the future, mixer/VST undo could be implemented in an elegant way.
Sure, I agree - but then Steinberg could collaborate with users in the campaign system to explain such scenarios. Raising funds to pay for the mixer undo doesn't preclude Steinberg from rolling that functionality into other improvements. I don't see how (a) planning and (b) fundraising have to be mutually exclusive, as you're saying. In reality, they both occur today - it's just that users aren't directly involved except to buy upgrades.

Romantique Tp wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:46 pm
Steinberg has people planning each release. They know what users want and they're obviously also closely watching what the competition is doing, but adding features and fixing things takes time.
I'm thankful for the hard work Steinberg people put into each release. But there's really no system for measurement of demand for feature requests that could compete with one with real money behind it. Plenty of user requests get lost in these forums, because the entered data is not normalized/well-formed. There's no system for involving users in the development of new features. Because of this, many unhappy users don't even bother posting on the forums. They just go elsewhere - when their thoughts and funds could instead help drive future success of Steinberg.

Romantique Tp wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:46 pm
That's just how things are.
At one point, there were no DAWs. That's just how things were. Some people said, "Use one of those computers for mixing music? Ridiculous." That's just how things were.

I'm glad Steinberg didn't stay there.

Bottom line: With a simple system to capture great feature ideas and fund them, Steinberg could have (a) more money, (b) more features, and (c) more happy users.

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by mitchiemasha »

ultradust wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:50 pm
Right now, if someone had a bundle of money and a feature needed, they would have many obstacles to overcome: Overcome the personal decision to hassle with a manual reach-out to Steinberg;
No... people who have that kind of money and need something done, they get it done. That's how a lot of these things came about in the first place.

Crowdfunding is an amazing for things that need it. Steinberg is not 1 of those things.
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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by ultradust »

mitchiemasha wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:44 pm
No... people who have that kind of money and need something done, they get it done. That's how a lot of these things came about in the first place.

Crowdfunding is an amazing for things that need it. Steinberg is not 1 of those things.
It comes down to this:

1. Without a system for doing so, it's a big, custom hassle full of uncertainty for a non-Steinberg person to try to get involved in implementing a Steinberg software feature. Users have no real way to get directly involved in the development process except to try to break through the walls Steinberg has erected to separate users from the company.

2. With a system built and managed by Steinberg, all users - rich or not - could participate in upvoting and funding the new features they want. Steinberg could open the doors to participation in the development process to their users. Every single user could get involved in the development process in a way that would bring real results.

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by mitchiemasha »

ultradust wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:50 pm
Because the platforms that exist today for crowdfunding require the campaign leader to be able to certify that they can deliver the planned goods. I'm not a Steinberg employee or involved with Steinberg in any way, except as a user, so I would have no legitimate authority to raise funds on behalf of features to be implemented by Steinberg.
See that's not how the go getters think and you missed my point. You don't need to be a Steinberg employee. You don't need to clarify the planned goods. All you would be doing is plowing you're own money into seeing if you could get enough people to support a Kickstarter campaign, should Steinberg introduce one. The Idea being, if you could get a 1000+ Steinberg customers to say they would, then Steinberg might consider it (not that i think they would) (Not that i think you'd get 100 people, never mind a 1000). If you want to see the light of an idea, you have to flick the switch yourself. If you believe in it as much as you do here, you have nothing to lose, how could it fail! In other words if YOU can get 100 people to say YES, they would support it. I'll give you a YES too, a challenge, 1 step closer to 1000.

How do you find Steinberg customers? I can think of many ways... For that I'd want paying or at least a cut!

One thing people don't realise, it's those who take the action that actually get somewhere, you have to open doors yourself. You never know, you could end up being the Kickstarter Campaign manager, depending on how far you take your research and how well you develop the idea. It's the people who do this that become someone.

Disclaimer: I don't recommend it. It would be a complete waste of your time and effort. I don't know how Steinberg runs it's ship but I have an idea of Business in general. Crowd funding would result in a huge step back simply implementing it, all just to make a tiny step forward. In that time frame other DAWS could completely destroy them. The only way they could do it is if the idea was handed to them at no waste of resources, cost to themselves, fully thought out and ready to roll!!!
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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by mitchiemasha »

If you can get 20 Steinberg customers to say yes, I will discuss it further. If you get 100, you can have my yes too.

And... It doesn't come down to those things. You're looking too far at the end instead of thinking about the beginning. Making a comment here was a start. Now all you are doing would be going around in circles. We've heard your idea, we understand your idea. Now go find some people to support it!

I love Cubase, I love Steinberg... Naturally if there was Sourcefunding and people wanted it, i'd throw money at it. BUT, I'm a firm believer in Steinberg knows what they are doing. They will implement what they can implement, when they can implement it. Half the time I don't even know I need a new feature until I get it. And, once we start using it, it's hard to believe we lived with out it.

I trust them 100%, although i'm not into all this increasing GUI, pluggins taking up more screen space, unnecessarily.
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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by ultradust »

mitchiemasha, thanks for continuing to volley ideas at this thread!

I like the way you're thinking in the last couple posts. Can you help me understand this, though?
mitchiemasha wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:24 pm
All you would be doing is plowing you're own money into seeing if you could get enough people to support a Kickstarter campaign, should Steinberg introduce one. The Idea being, if you could get a 1000+ Steinberg customers to say they would, then Steinberg might consider it (not that i think they would)

...

If you want to see the light of an idea, you have to flick the switch yourself. If you believe in it as much as you do here, you have nothing to lose, how could it fail! In other words if YOU can get 100 people to say YES, they would support it. I'll give you a YES too, a challenge, 1 step closer to 1000.

How do you find Steinberg customers? I can think of many ways... For that I'd want paying or at least a cut!
So, I obviously can't legally go do a Kickstarter (or other crowdfunding platform) campaign to raise funds for a Steinberg feature because I'm not currently involved with Steinberg. Are you saying:

- that I personally should go start a platform to perform the crowdfunding function that I'm proposing;
- that I should somehow start the features fundraising, independent of a crowdfunding platform or Steinberg;
- some combination thereof, or something else?

Intriguing ideas.... Clearly Steinberg would need to be heavily involved though so it doesn't seem like a hostile feature-takeover sort of situation. :D

mitchiemasha wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:24 pm
One thing people don't realise, it's those who take the action that actually get somewhere, you have to open doors yourself.
...
It's the people who do this that become someone.
Yes, see - generally I agree with this sentiment here; hence, this thread to talk about it. My thought is that Steinberg could partner with people inclined to open doors themselves and let those people suggest and fund feature campaigns. I like where you're headed with what you wrote.

mitchiemasha wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:24 pm
Disclaimer: I don't recommend it. It would be a complete waste of your time and effort. I don't know how Steinberg runs it's ship but I have an idea of Business in general. Crowd funding would result in a huge step back simply implementing it, all just to make a tiny step forward. In that time frame other DAWS could completely destroy them. The only way they could do it is if the idea was handed to them at no waste of resources, cost to themselves, fully thought out and ready to roll!!!
I have to disagree that it would be "a complete waste of time and effort." If people get the features they need more quickly, and more people stay with Steinberg products as a result, I think that would be a benefit as opposed to a waste.

I do agree that Steinberg wouldn't want to start out throwing huge amounts of resources at this. They could start small - a campaign manager, maybe a project manager or two putting part-time effort into it.
Last edited by ultradust on Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by ultradust »

mitchiemasha wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:37 pm
If you can get 20 Steinberg customers to say yes, I will discuss it further. If you get 100, you can have my yes too.
...
I love Cubase, I love Steinberg... Naturally if there was Sourcefunding and people wanted it, i'd throw money at it.
Now you're talking! Maybe we'll team up yet. :D

Sure, I agree - someone would have to do the hard work to get this started. You've given me some good food for thought on that - thanks a bunch!

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by mitchiemasha »

ultradust wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:16 pm
So, I obviously can't legally go do a Kickstarter (or other crowdfunding platform) campaign to raise funds for a Steinberg feature because I'm not currently involved with Steinberg. Are you saying:

- that I personally should go start a platform to perform the crowdfunding function that I'm proposing;
- that I should somehow start the features fundraising, independent of a crowdfunding platform or Steinberg;
- some combination thereof, or something else?
Even though you haven't got 20 confirmations yet. I will answer this last question. As getting those people is the answer.

You're still thinking about the end game instead of the first steps. The only campaign you should be thinking about right now is finding people that would support a Steinberg campaign, if they were to create one, as i wrote above. Steinberg aren't going to listen to you in this thread but if you could get 1000+ Steinberg customers behind you, all seriously willing to commit at least £20-£50. That's a potential £50,000. Now you have some grounds to talk to them on a business, professional level in stead of a random user on the forum.

Right now the only thing you would be doing is looking for potential supporters. That is your campaign, not a source funding one, simply finding people who will back your idea. You have to lead. Once you get the keyholders in your court, some potential major backers, and lots more people on board, you can then bicker amongst yourselves about the rest of it.

But as i said. I don't believe you'll get the backers, which is a simple "yes, i'd support that", not actual money. I doubt you'd even find 20 on this forum.
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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by mitchiemasha »

ultradust wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:16 pm
I have to disagree that it would be "a complete waste of time and effort." If people get the features they need more quickly, and more people stay with Steinberg products as a result, I think that would be a benefit as opposed to a waste.
That would be a good thing. The reason why i said it would be a waste of time and effort is because it won't see the light of day. It won't get off the ground. You have my answer. Get 100 potential supporters and you'll have 101. I'll pay £50 regardless to what the feature is.
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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by peakae »

When Waves did their crowdfunding on the headtracker gizmo, the reactions i heard was.

'Wow Waves are going under, they can't fund their own research anymore'
'Have you seen the low prices on their plugins, something is going on"

Imho a bad signal to send, that could hurt the company more than any potential gain.
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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by ultradust »

peakae -

That's a fantastic point, and I agree with it.

The way Waves goes about its marketing and presentation tends to strike me the wrong way most of the time.

I think the effect of Steinberg campaigns in this regard would be all about how it's presented.
  • If it's presented as "Give us your money if you want new features," then your assessment stands 100%.
  • If it's presented as "We're trying to revolutionize the industry with a whole new way of doing things. We want to be the first to really accelerate the tools users want. We're making you, the user, a partner in development for the first time," then I think it could be seen as Steinberg pioneering again much as they did by establishing VST and other technologies.
Maybe in the long run, the platform could even be used by other audio companies (DAW companies, plugin authors, etc.). Steinberg could build a new way of doing audio software development that would really work directly with the end user.

The fact is, Steinberg only has so much money coming in, and selling new licenses and upgrades for Cubase and WaveLab is a steady (but precarious, given competition) business. At the same time, there are piles of money they could rake in from people who would gladly give it for new features they need. Effectively, the money's just sitting there, waiting to be taken. A system is needed for Steinberg to efficiently and beneficially take that money. If Steinberg put a system in place, they could capitalize on that available money while increasing brand loyalty and customer retention.

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Re: Kickstarter for Feature Requests | get the features we want

Post by Winter Rat »

I think the only way to get more new features with every new version of Cubase is hiring new people and rising prices.

Look at the hottest topic in the thread - 7868 views and 97 replies only and how many unique forum members really support this topic? I don't wanna calculate.
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