|So the architecture of the dominant player in the market you intend to compete in was meaningless to you? Do you have any idea how absurd that sounds? Did it EVER occur to you that you might have learned something EXTREMELY VALUABLE about how to design your product by understanding how the market leasders products worked? EVEN if you still intended to bring out PC based software?
I DO know how they work. As I mentioned, much of my career was involved in the process control world, in which far more stringent and more ambitious control scenarios were involved and on which lives, not home theaters, depend. So I know perfectly well how automation systems work, and ones that involve multi-million dollar factories, not just home theaters.
The particular details of what CPU or disk drive is inside the Crestron system is immaterial, though I have nothing against knowing this if it comes up. All automation systems are, in terms of their fundamental features, about the same. As posted above, it's exactly what I would have expected, and I'm not at all suprised that I'm not suprised.
And it's not that it means nothing to me, it's that it wouldn't have affected my design. I already know how to design an automation system, because I worked with them in the past, and understood well the requirements from the point of a custom installer who needs a flexible toolkit that can create as much reusable functionality as possible to minimize effort on each new job. I hardly had to go take a Crestron class to know that their basic design is the same as everyone else's.
I do know who my competitors are in the business, regardless of whatever answer I may have given you a long time ago. I've done a lot of looking around lately. I know that my system can do what it needs to do to address the automation market, and I bet that I work far more closely with my users than Crestron does with theirs. Have you talked directly to the core engineers at Crestron lately? Well, my customers talk to me every day and I'm constantly improving the product based on their feedback, and I usually get those changes in in the very next release, and I fix problems that day usually.
As I said, the primary issue with my product is that it doesn't have enough devices supported at this time, which is not a lacking in capabilities, it is just a lack of ability to get access to the devices I need in order to write drivers for them. The other major issue is that home automation is a backwater market at this time, unfortunately. Though many people, and I, believe that it will break out soon, at this point it is primarily driven by custom installers doing fairly small numbers of installations for big money, and those custom installers, as has been shown many times in conversations here, have vested interests in the systems that they already know, and they aren't much interested in trying new ones. There is a DIY market, and I'm mostly addressing them at this time, for those practical reasons.
So I've had a fairly hard time convincing custom installers to even try it out. And it wasn't because I don't know Crestron's product line by SKU, which they never even ask about. It's primarily because it's new and they don't know it and generally don't have the time to learn something new. Some are interested, and they are planning on using it in upcoming installs, and that will grow.
I know my system is the next step foward because I know that they have a centralized system, based on proprietary hardware, and try their best to keep information about how to use it proprietary, so that they can charge for access to it. I, OTOH, have a network distributed system, completely object oriented, ORB based, user based security, with a fully object oriented macro language, fully document everything so that anyone can access the most technical features of it, and target general purpose hardware which is very price competitive.
I fully understand the issues of marketing, but I also understand that it costs money, which I don't have at this time. I am working with various resellers right now to get them involved, and they have more marketing skills than I do, and will help me out in this regard. But, in terms of the technical issues, I assure you that I know what I'm doing, and I know how automation systems work, and I've done jobs in hundred million dollar factory automation upgrades in the past that could kill people if not done well, and I know my product has the capabilities it needs. The automation world didn't appear when Crestron created their system, it had existed for a long time before. Crestron, like me, created a system to meet those requirements, and I understand the requirements just as well as they do. I just used newer technology, and targeted general purpose computing and networking hardware, whereas they created a centralized, proprietary system. But in terms of what they are capable of vs. what I am capable of, they are certainly about the same, because the requirements are well known.
The reason Crestron is dominant right now has nothing to do with the superiority of their systems. I've heard enough Cestron people talk about it to know that it's not going to be winning any Nobel prizes. I'm sure it's competent enough, but that's all. They are winning, because they've won in the past, and they are the status quo at this point. Even a technically superior product has a lot of work to fight that status quo, because it's heavily entrenched. But, that is also their greatest weakness, because they've had to accumulate a lot of evolutionary baggage at this point, like all companies do. They are big and have lots of support issues, and it slows them down.
So they are vulnerable to younger, faster, more flexible and hungrier competitors, who are willing to take on the smaller jobs, and work more closely with users, who can afford to start off from scratch with newer, more flexibible software technologies, and who can sell their products a lot cheaper. It won't be easy, but it never is. And everyone like me, who has the balls to step out and create something new, inevitable has to take a bunch of crap from people who want to naysay their vision and their work.
|Oh ya, one last thing. I DID take the time to download your product and evaluate it just to be aware of what's on the market and it's not "meaningless" to me to know the answer.
When I can download a Crestron system for free for 30 days, I'll be glad to check their system out.