On Friday night, I had the opportunity to join the 9th annual Pre NAB editors lounge panel discussion as a last minute fill in. I found myself uncharacteristically less participatory, mainly due to the experience and stature of the others on the panel. The brain power on the panel could power a small town.
During the mostly esoteric discussion, one of the comments I made was along the lines of “In the post FCP 7 fog, neither Avid nor Adobe have been aggressive in pursuing those in the fog”. (paraphrased) I had been ruminating on this notion for awhile, and off-off-off record conversations with folks at Adobe and Avid seemed to agree, so I honestly didn’t think it was a major point of contention.
It seems this may not be the overwhelming viewpoint I had built up in my mind’s eye. Rather than turn the stage into a further off topic discussion, I thought my warm corner on the ‘net may be a good resting place.
A wise man reminded me recently that consumers buy products for many reasons. Of the many reasons – and one of the easiest and most powerful – is the notion of comparative analysis. “I’ll buy Brand X sheets because they have a higher thread count than Brand Y”. “Car A gets better gas mileage than Car B.” It’s simply a way we as consumers put into context the value of an item. It’s not the end-all-be-all of sales and marketing, but it is one of the most powerful. In the realm of technology, simplifying things often is just what the doctor ordered.
It’s somewhat frowned upon in the corporate world to make such public comparative declarations. I get the psychology: no one wants to be an imitator, no one wants to use a competitor as a benchmark. IMHO, as a result of this, neither Avid nor Adobe have made a substantial marketing push around the concept of”
“We know Final Cut Pro 7 had many features that were very beneficial. [Our Product's] tools complement the workflow you’re used to, and even improve upon it. See how our media management concept is familiar…”
Seems kind of like a no brainer, right?
I admit that my viewpoint is a bit unique from the rest of the panel: I no longer sit in the chair as a daily editor, I’m not a single facility technologist, and I’m a bit younger. I do, however, work with editors, producers, C level managers from virtually every vertical: gov/ed, post, independent, television, rental, and house of worship. My vantage point allows me to not just observe, but interact across the Post landscape as a whole. The common reoccurring concern is “FCP, as we know it, is gone. What now? What do I switch to?” They are often begging for someone to point the way and to guide them. While I and my employer enjoy being resource looked to in order to answer these questions, how many millions of editors do not have us as a resource? They need someone – or some thing – to stop with the marketing bullshit, and tell it to ‘em straight. Cast a wider net: not just appealing to the ones the ones ‘in the know’. Stop ignoring the pink elephant in the room by simply offering cross grade pricing or the ability to work with FCP media and projects (this seems like getting the horse to drink before you’d led them to water, eh?). Publically own up to the gap, fill it, and reap the financial benefits. This is what I mean by not being aggressive. There is a finite window to capture the hearts and minds of the editors lost in a fog before they choose a product that may not be yours.