Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Share your wishes for the future of Ableton Live
hyperscientist
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Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by hyperscientist » Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:45 am

Dear Ableton, please consider becoming more open about your current and future development.

Being open and in constant dialogue is the modern way of doing business.

It is not enough to simply listen to your customers anymore.

It may be fine to your old customers, but will not be enough for newcomers that are accustomed to modern business practices and consider what you are doing disrespectful.

Thank you.
Last edited by hyperscientist on Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

re:dream
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by re:dream » Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:18 am


Angstrom
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by Angstrom » Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:09 pm

Implying that the old customers don't complain about this

:lol: :lol: :lol:

re:dream
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by re:dream » Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:28 pm

No Angstrom, your complaint is not that they don't dialogue

It is that they did start a dialogue, and then didn't listen.

Angstrom
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by Angstrom » Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:52 pm

Actually I've said to Amo that in the past the developers and staff used to hang about more on here and generally talk about the problems in implementing some user-requested feature or other. EG one that comes to mind would be Robert explaining issues in implementing recording automation in Session (sometime around L6) . My recollection id that when the company was smaller and younger you'd see the team members on here talking about specific hurdles, often coding late at night.
Amo strongly disagreed with me on this opinion of mine, but we both have selective memories I guess.

Well, I've said all this before, and recently
viewtopic.php?p=1644128#p1644128

But think about when was the last time you saw a post like this one

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=22529&p=143802#p143802

madlab
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by madlab » Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:41 am

Totally agree with Angstrom on this point.
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Machinesworking
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by Machinesworking » Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:21 am

Angstrom wrote:Actually I've said to Amo that in the past the developers and staff used to hang about more on here and generally talk about the problems in implementing some user-requested feature or other. EG one that comes to mind would be Robert explaining issues in implementing recording automation in Session (sometime around L6) . My recollection id that when the company was smaller and younger you'd see the team members on here talking about specific hurdles, often coding late at night.
Amo strongly disagreed with me on this opinion of mine, but we both have selective memories I guess.

Well, I've said all this before, and recently
viewtopic.php?p=1644128#p1644128

But think about when was the last time you saw a post like this one

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=22529&p=143802#p143802
While I agree that it's a negative I get why.
The larger the user base, the more open the programmers/owners etc. are, the more people use that to attack them. Plus the more you post, the more likely you put your foot in your mouth. There are at least 4 or five developers of plug ins that have mouthed off about things that make them look like asses over at KVR, to the point to where I would avoid using their software even. Windows developers that don't know enough about OSX to code their cross platform plug in efficiently on OSX blaming OSX etc.

Point is most software companies end up with silent developers because of these reasons among others. It's too bad, but it seems to be common that a developer gets burned out on keeping an online presence. Urs Heckman at KVR is an exception, but he's much loved there, so it works for him as of now.

hyperscientist
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by hyperscientist » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:30 pm

@Machinesworking, and while I agree with what you are saying - it is a double edged sword, but! Look at Bitwig at KVR - they are much more open then Ableton here and it works well for them - as far as I see. Basically companies tend to do their marketing differently these days and it's more pronounced every year. Today's marketing is all about being open and have brilliant customer support. Ableton is a Berlin based company - they are literary surrounded by those hipster companies that do it this way - they just need to be wiling to risk a bit and try :) Yeah, I know it means much for a well established company. I'm just voicing yet another opinion, so they know some people want it :)

pencilrocket
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by pencilrocket » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:30 am

Machinesworking wrote: Windows developers that don't know enough about OSX to code their cross platform plug in efficiently on OSX blaming OSX etc.
Priority of the development for an OS is lower than the others. You have got to learn the difference between their public position and what they are thinking.
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Machinesworking
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by Machinesworking » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:26 am

pencilrocket wrote:
Machinesworking wrote: Windows developers that don't know enough about OSX to code their cross platform plug in efficiently on OSX blaming OSX etc.
Priority of the development for an OS is lower than the others. You have got to learn the difference between their public position and what they are thinking.
of course, the boring part is porting things. NI make a great case in point for how hard it can be, Absynth was Mac OS at first and took forever to not be a CPU pig on Windows, Reaktor was brutally unstable on OSX until about 4.7..

The point was that it's better to just buckle down and do the work sometimes, some Windows developer who ports to OSX who complains about how backwards he finds OSX is going to scare away end users, of course the same is true in reverse when an OSX developer ports and talks about how much he hates Windows etc.

Or in this case, do Ableton employees want to hear peoples grief about M4L, etc.? and if they defend any decision they make, will it alienate more people than not saying anything?

re:dream
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by re:dream » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:31 am

Pro-tip: the Ableton Developers are on twitter.

@AbletonDev

They don't want to be bothered with support requests, but it seems to me that design and development feedback is legit.

#justsaying

Tarekith
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by Tarekith » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:55 am

I love the way developers like URS Heckman interact with their customers too, it definitely puts a more human side to things. Even when they make mistakes about release dates and such, as long as they admit and explain why, people seem to understand.

It was nice when the Abe's posted more here, but honestly after awhile too many people just started being rude and demanding towards them. I don't blame them for wanting to stay away from the bickering and the trolls, it was amazing Henke put up with as much as he did for as long as he did here.

Angstrom
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by Angstrom » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:44 pm

I think the reason Robert could put up with it is twofold, firstly he's a performer so he's run into opinionated arseholes after gigs who say things like "I think you could do it all better if you added a euphonium" and "You should do more stuff like Daft Punk" , that gave hime the thick skin required to be able to shrug it off a lot easier.
Secondly Robert was so busy with music that his role became a bit of an advisory position in the company, he'd call in after a gig and say "why the hell can't I clone clips?" Or something, and they'd have a chat about his frustration. So back then he sort of felt our frustrations as a fellow user, and also someone who knew all the reasons why. He straddled the fence and could empathise with both sides.

Of course these days the company is massive, much much larger than those days. I'm sure nobody feels like they have such a strong sense of ownership over the product and combined that part of the performer's personality which makes us say opinionated stuff in public!

I think some of Robert's last messages were along the lines of "I've decided not to speak on Ableton matters, because my opinions could be interpreted as those of the company". I don't know if that was his idea, or that of a tense board meeting.
As lovely as Agile is for developers all voting on stuff and holding hands while programming, there's something to be said for having a opinionated captain at the helm determined to head for Tortuga. A tryrant!

TomViolenz
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by TomViolenz » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:12 pm

Yeah I think the big difference is that if Urs talks to his customers, he is the boss of his company, so whatever consequences it has what he says, is solely on him. But the boss of a company as big as Ableton is now, has much more important things to do than to hang out on forums. (and he may not be all that involved in the development of the program anyway)

I think this partly explains the pattern we see that small, new companies talk much more directly to their customers, while bigger ones seem to hide behind PR departments. The stakes are also much higher for the latter. Btw, I don't think what the OP states is true. This is not a thing that modern companies do and old ones didn't, it's rather a small company vs. big company distinction.


And I for one would already be thankful, if they'd actually listened more to us ;-)

Angstrom
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Re: Ableton should have a dialogue with us - not just listen us

Post by Angstrom » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:37 pm

I'm 100% sure they listen and act on what customers say. I mean, a tuner, dual monitors, session automation, etc. etc. all user suggestions.

The issue is when we spot a terrible flaw, report it and get no response back at all. There's a perception that Ableton think the broken thing is actually good. lets say they added a fictional new feature called "The Growser", it's a malformed mutant, so users point out all the way it's broken. A small company would respond to such criticism with a variety of "look, this is phase one,chill the fuck out" and some technical stuff about the innards. When we hear silence there's the implication that this abomination, the fictional "Growser" is going to be left like this for all time, we are now its carer, feeding it through a tube and wiping its leaky orificies. Forever.

A simple community statement like "yeah, it's a bit shit, sorry, but don't worry we'll fix it next time" has all sorts of repercussions for the wider company in terms of media and reviews (therefore sales) , so who brings that up at a meeting "I'd like to admit to the customers we fucked up a bit!". Only a small dev team could own a ballsy statement like that. In a large team who would take the responsibility for opening Pandoras Box and saying "yep, the growser is a bit of a monstrous failure". For a large team its preferable for sales and internal politics to stay quiet and work on it.

To the frustration of users.

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