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Crestron iSys panel prices? - Page 3  

post #61 of 117
Quote:
Do also try to remember that those Isys panels have a built in processor and can exist as both control system, touch panel and Windows interface. All in a very attractive package. And this is such a simple feat of engineering that there are many competing products for consumers and integrators to choose from.
But look at something like this from Planar:

http://www.planar.com/products/Retai...s/DS/DS15.html

It's a full Intel/XP computer with built in touch screen, in a fanless, attractive package. Add our software and some external serial ports, and it's a powerful control system, touch screen, and Windows interface. The primary difference between this and the iSYS is that this one is not a diskless system.

They are really selling it as a commercial product, so they are charging a fair amount for it, about $3500 is the least expensive I found. But still, it's the same sort of product and all it needs is the control software and ports to become a powerful control system.


And the Nobu wall mounted system is also a full XP machine with integrated touch screen, so just add CQC and external serial ports and you've got a powerful control system, touch screen, and Windows interface. It sells for about $2000 dealer price.

http://www.nobu-usa.com/Product/12TouchPanel.htm


So clearly these types of products aren't rocket science. They aren't trivial fo course, since no quality product is, but they are not a big step up from what Dell and Gateway do, i.e. integration of standard compnents into a nice package, well tested to work together. In this case, the package is just fancier and they are more specialized, so lower volume and higher price.

The big problem is that diskless configurations would be purely of interest for OEMs to apply to vertical apps, so no one out there really makes these for general sale and any company who wants one has to make their own right now.


If you look at what you need to build this type of box:

1 - The custom enclosure. Expensive up front as mentioned, low cost per-unit after that.
2 - micro-ITX motherboard. These are common and inexpensive, with plenty fast enough CPUs, lots of memory, fast AGP video with scaling, USB, ethernet, audio, and CF card support all on board. Really nice ones are in the $250 range, retail.
3. Touch screen unit. These are also fairly common and not terribly expensive. When Planar 15" standard touch screens can be had for $500 retail, the cost of the actual touch unit itself cannot be much more than $100.
4. Embedded XP for the OS. About $90/unit low volume, as low as $45/unit at higher volumes.
5. Solid state disc system for holding configuration data. These are also getting quite reasonable and more than good enough capacity, and are very smart about moving stuff around to keep wear down.

For a non-portable unit, this is basically what you need to create a product very much like the iSYS boxes. It could run our entire product suite and have plenty enough oomph to control the entire home with some outboard serial ports (either USB or ethernet based.)

Paying straight up retail for everything, for a system with 512MB static disk storage (probably considerably more than required) and 512MB RAM, eXP, and a really good mini-ITX motherboard with all the goodies required for a full system, leaving aside the initial custom enclosure cost, you could put together all the bits above for about $1300. For even a small volume I think you could get that below $1000. For a large company, at higher volume, less than that.

If you really wanted to video in, you'd have to add a video capture card, but for most folks looking for home automation that wouldn't be a requirement. Lots of folks just use IP based security cameras these days, so the video comes in over the LAN as MPEG or similar format.
post #62 of 117
Oh, and BTW, I should have pointed out that that $1300 price above included a nice, non-custom molded enclosure, not just the parts. Without that enclosure, the individual parts that you'd put into the nice custom enclosure are probably closer to the $800 mark, retail, assuming maybe $200 for the naked touch screen unit at very low volume.
post #63 of 117
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
I have absolutely no doubt that this is true, and I don't mind at all admitting that. I'm sure you do have far more than me, but that doesn't have a lot to do with understanding what would go into this kind of product.
The point is that generalities based upon experience prove little in a particular case. Your experience and knowledge may or may not be relavent but you would need to see what was inside the product to see which side of the bell curve you fall on.



Quote:
The reason we can't afford to do it now is that the custom enclosure would cost a few tens of K to get the design and molding done. The actual resulting enclosures are cheap after that, but the up front cost is kind of high for a company like ours. But that product would be completey stable and robust, and would use much of the same foundation technology as the iSYS.
[/b]
Crestron is using embeded XP to run the panel not the control system. The control system, whether that built into the Isys panel or the processor runs on Crestron's OS and its software which does not depend on any version of Windows and which has a track record that goes way back. When there have been issues as in the case of the TPMC-10 they have the resources to deal with them and they do unlike the other company whose history under different managment is not quite as honorable.


Quote:
Now if Crestron chooses not to buy available technology and to build their own, where there are companies out there that specialize it those things and can do it better and cheaper, that's their call, but I don't cut them any slack for that, though as an engineer I can appreciate their having done it.
[/b]
This would depend upon how much better their scaler was but I suspect you are correct, especially since the hardware, at least in the case of theTPMC-10, is not theirs. But having had to deal with Viewsonics tech support in the past and Crestron's, to say nothing of the rest of the computer industry's poor approximation of support ( although I must admit that Linksys has provided a level of support far in excess of what you would expect for equipment at its price point. ) I would happily pay a premium for tech support that actually provides support. The TPMC-10 is priced very much where you say you would come out but the larger panels are intended for the presentation market and have a whole lot more features that would probably be useless in a residential application but would be very useful in a commercial setting.

A screen shot is hardly proof of a usable UI. I do not have enough fingers or toes to count the myriad examples of cool graphics that are confusing to use. A cool button and one that is not still provide the same control. It is navegation and flow that matter, especially on smaller sized panels. Designing a GUI on a large panel is much easier than on a 5 inch diagnal panel then a 15 inch.

Finally retail price is generally 5 x manufacturing cost. As you have indicated mold costs are high and these are new panels. Crestron's market while many times larger than yours is still not as large as LG. Samsung, Viewsonic, BenQ and every other Asian manufacturer. Software development is expensive and I suspect few businessman would work for what you or I earn given the amount of hours we put in. The point is that these products do not sell in quantiy precisely because they are so expensive. The TPMC-10 @ 4k is far more reasonablly priced but does not have the same feature set. I have not seen that many tablets with the conenctivity options of the Isys IO panels although PC towers certainly have the room--but not the portability. While the Slink-e and Audiotrons of the world cause many on this forum to salivate most people just want to listen to their music. iTunes has been successful until one trys to integrate it. Then using your software has an advantage as one could simply load the Apple software. On the other hand you have to deal, as I have today with XP regisrty errors, computer viruses and Trojans and I would not wish to deal with a control system that needed full time TLC in the form of an IT department as does windows. Crestron runs the panel on embedded XP not the control system. If the panel goes down the critical control program governing the security system, HVAC and lights still work. That is not the case with control systems running Windows.

Alan
post #64 of 117
Since we are cross posting, you have described above the TPMC-10 which at 4k retail from a dealer is not that grossly overpriced considering the software development and some other business matters such as rent, salary and return on investment-- and of course the capital investment of the dealer. I suspect that if you had to build and test each of these products and had a dealer base your price points might not be so different.

The Isys IO have the ability on the panel to be a full control system with the associated connectivity ( to a point ), mic, speakers, white board and composite, S-video, component and SXVGA and of course its proprietary RS485 network. They need to do this from an e-prom, provide the custom connectivity, the compensation networks ( for running video over CAT5 ), custom software for the white board, and I would guess echo cancellation software as they claim full and half duplex audio. I am certain they are making a profit and you are looking a retail prices through custom channels not manufacturing costs through mass market channels. The 12-15k cost is MSRP not dealer cost and thank god that they still support their dealers. Of course, dealers are a four letter word on this site.

Alan
post #65 of 117
Quote:
The Isys IO have the ability on the panel to be a full control system with the associated connectivity ( to a point ), mic, speakers, white board and composite, S-video, component and SXVGA and of course its proprietary RS485 network.
The box I describe above also has the ability to be a full control system. The motherboard has audio I/O including DD/DTS type audio, more than high enough RGB output for any size touch screen likely to fit into a custom enclosure, a couple of serial ports on board, text to speech, and some of them will have S-Video input. You can connect plenty of outboard ports for a reasonable price, either there near the box, or for a somewhat higher price remotely over the LAN.

The video input really isn't nearly as important for home automation, as described above, since LAN based video input is pretty common now. The whiteboard stuff, for our target market, wouldn't be really a concern either, though if someone is really hot to put our system into a few hundred presentation rooms we'd be happy to provide that functionality.

As to price, SmartHome sells that Nobu 12" wall mounted system for $2600 retail. And it's capable, with the addition of from say $350 to $1000 for external ports, according to how much stuff you want to control, it can be a very nice full home automation controller with the addition of software like CQC. It would be nicer to be diskless, but that doesn't really cost more, it's just that they don't see a market for such a product so they don't make one.

Quote:
A screen shot is hardly proof of a usable UI. I do not have enough fingers or toes to count the myriad examples of cool graphics that are confusing to use. A cool button and one that is not still provide the same control. It is navegation and flow that matter, especially on smaller sized panels. Designing a GUI on a large panel is much easier than on a 5 inch diagnal panel then a 15 inch.
It's just an example I built. CQC's interface system is completely open ended. You can create whatever layouts or sets of screens to navigate between you want. So you can create whatever you feel is best, but you can also make it look very nice, which does count with many people in terms of making the sale.
post #66 of 117
Dean,

I think your software is ridiculously overpriced. I can buy Microsoft Windows XP for less than $99 and it's got 4 billion lines of code and thousands of programmers working on it. And you expect me to pay you $200 for your little home brewed concoction? Are you insane?

I'll consider it for $5.
post #67 of 117
Quote:
On the other hand you have to deal, as I have today with XP regisrty errors, computer viruses and Trojans and I would not wish to deal with a control system that needed full time TLC in the form of an IT department as does windows.
That just isn't true of these sorts of closed systems. They will not accept any incoming connection, which is trivial to set up, and all of the standard Windows LAN still will not even be installed. Embedded XP allows you to create configurations in which (to a reasonable degree anyway) the things you don't need aren't even part of the OS image. So yo don't need standard LAN features, so no NetBIOS attacks. You don't need any of the automatic updates features, so that can't be used for attacks. The user will never install any apps on it or mess with the configuration, so no user-caused problems. The OS and control system images is in read only memory, so even a virus cannot do anything to change the OS or control system. All the ports will be locked down for incoming connections, so you can't get in through any open ports. Only outgoing connections would be allowed.

If you allow web browsing through this device, which is pretty optional in my opinion, then they could possibly run something that would do something ugly if you didn't restrict the browser settings. But since the box would run in a very limited privilege account, no virus they downloaded could make any change to system settings even in the running OS image in memory. Personally, I probably wouldn't even install the browser, leaving that to their standard computers.

So you can completely lock this type of configuration down so that it is no more subject to viruses or problems than other embedded systems would be. And I'm sure that a high end customer with a few of these iSYS devices around the house wouldn't really care that the controller was still chugging away if all the touch screens were dead. But I doubt Crestron is worried about that, for the exact reasons I just outlined. I'm sure that they've done all those things to lock down the system against outside threats.

Windows is only subject to abuse because it is normally used in an open configuration by naive users. When those conditions don't exist, and it's running in the kind of locked down, read-only system we are talking about here, it's safe and it'll remain stable as long as the control system software is solid and the hardware configuration is well tested, quality components.
post #68 of 117
Quote:
I think your software is ridiculously overpriced. I can buy Microsoft Windows XP for less than $99 and it's got 4 billion lines of code and thousands of programmers working on it. And you expect me to pay you $200 for your little home brewed concoction? Are you insane?

I'll consider it for $5.
Did you stay up all night working that one out?

Everyone knows that MS is happy to sell Windows for a fairly low price, because it increases their dominance of the PC market, and they can therefore make their money selling things like Office, Powerpoint, Project, Visio, development tools, etc... A full suite of MS office software would probably be about $2K. The professional development suite is over $1K, which is why I'm still using an older version.
post #69 of 117
While you are locking down features to prevent problems Crestron is attempting to open them up. They are making it possible to turn on your TV to the Food Channel and then down load the recipe you like. You can easily serf the net or read your e-mails without having your system infected. And as someone who does control lots of HVAC, lighting and now security systems most clients are very happy to know that the malfunction of a user interface does not affect the program running these subsystems. It part of the reason one uses a separate lighting processor with a Crestron lighting system. The point is that the offending ( expensive )touch panels are being marketed to the presentation market where here-to-fore one needed various devices to ensure that any computer would sync to the projector, microphone, speakers ( and placed ever so carefully and balanced to avoid feedback--I have done presentation systems it is simply not part of my core business) then have a control system near by so the very wise marketing team can turn on this very complicated system. Laser pointer and RF mouse are optional but all of these can be easily integrated into the IO panels. It is not intended for residential use but for commercial and educational facilities. It makes for an easy, attractive and uncluttered lectern at price points similar to the separate products you would have had to use previously. VNC is not equivalent to RGB in terms of quality

I run a small custom shop. As such my overhead is far less than, say QQQ's. I do not need to support the same overhead. In essence you are me to QQQ's Crestron. You have few jobs so tech support is easy. You can tweak the software more easily. Crestron has an open control system and while they have settled on an expensive hardware/inexpensive software strategy they still have to support many more systems of more types and dealers than you. No one is calling you for a tutorial on RS-485 addressing or for basic networking help. Being small and large have different economies of scale both in terms of purchasing but also in terms of overhead. While they want to move boxes they also understand that custom software development is expensive and I am referring to the programs written by dealers for end users. So they have developed software wizards, training and certified programmers to make it possible to make more systems possible. You are not selling systems but a software solution and possibly some suggested third party devices. And you do not need to support a dealer base as does a real company.

The TPMC-10 is far less stable then most other Crestron panels. Any IT pro I speak with detests Windows servers in favor of the far more stable Linux. Hackers take aim at Microsoft products and yes, they are susceptible in part due to the fact that 99.3 per cent of end users do not have the IT knowledge to deal with a more closed OS. I pretty savvy but regedit is a command I would prefer not to type and editing the registry is a place I would rather not be. Crestron has the clout to play with Viewsonics and Microsoft. Perhaps as a developer you have phone numbers at your disposal that are not at mine. I do know I do not wish to pay their hourly rate when most often they will not even be able to provide help.

But you are at least advertising in the perfect place. Yet not even these DIY's who hold contempt for the pros save when they need help are running to purchase a DIY system. Not even the Nigerian thief who can be found posting on this site, installed an illegal HTPC running DVD Lobby, and selected Crestron instead of your software for his boss' system ( and not paying programming nor labor probably placed the two systems in the same price category. )

Alan
post #70 of 117
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
Did you stay up all night working that one out?

Everyone knows that MS is happy to sell Windows for a fairly low price, because it increases their dominance of the PC market, and they can therefore make their money selling things like Office, Powerpoint, Project, Visio, development tools, etc... A full suite of MS office software would probably be about $2K. The professional development suite is over $1K, which is why I'm still using an older version.
Ah, well in that case I still object to your insane pricing. I can buy Microsoft Office for $399 which has a billion lines of code and thousands of developers working on it. Or I can buy your home brewed concoction for $200. It's insane.

Heck I can but Norton Anti-Virus for $20 which has hundreds of engineers working on it. No matter how you cut it, your pricing is insane. Based on an analysis I have just completed I think CQC is maybe worth about 42 cents a copy. And that's cutting you some slack.
post #71 of 117
Quote:
While you are locking down features to prevent problems Crestron is attempting to open them up. They are making it possible to turn on your TV to the Food Channel and then down load the recipe you like. You can easily serf the net or read your e-mails without having your system infected. And as someone who does control lots of HVAC, lighting and now security systems most clients are very happy to know that the malfunction of a user interface does not affect the program running these subsystems.
Your lack of undestanding of software technology is showing again. Locking down the system doesn't prevent any of those things. The lockdown prevents incoming connections, not outgoing. It means that the device isn't intended to be part of the local LAN as a standard computer and does not advertise network services to the outside world, but it is perfectly free to initiate any outgoing activity it wants to.

And it can also provide services a well, by just opening up the ports specifically needed by that service, and that software just needs to be careful about who it lets in and implement good security, but that applies to any system, Crestron's or ours.

Quote:
Yet not even these DIY's who hold contempt for the pros save when they need help are running to purchase a DIY system.
Ummm... well, yeh, a lot of them are. There is a LOT of activity out there in this area, it's just that the bulk of it is media oriented right now, with automation being second place for them. But that is changing now that products like CQC are coming along, which have both the powerful back end automation architecture, and the ability to operate either within their network as a standard system and/or in a locked down kiosk style mode, and which can take advantage of the PC's powerful media capabilities (coming up next for us) and low costs.
post #72 of 117
Quote:
Heck I can but Norton Anti-Virus for $20 which has hundreds of engineers working on it. No matter how you cut it, your pricing is insane. Based on an analysis I have just completed I think CQC is maybe worth about 42 cents a copy. And that's cutting you some slack.
Ok. Whatever.
post #73 of 117
42 Cents

Dean you could give your initial product away with very basic control and make money on the additions. Just look at the Cell phone industry. A 5 cent plastic case is being purchased from anywhere between $7-$20

Now that is nuts. DirecTV pays it installer contractor a basic fee for xx rooms and the client ends up with a 4 room system and DVR for $0 with a contract. DirecTV makes money on the programming.

Put the product in peoples hands, get them hooked..........

The AV business I'm in is different with clients who will spend money on reliability and ease of use. When we install satellites on the larger projects we charge by the hour and for the wire. No price matches.

Different business models. If your numbers are still that low are you in the right business model?


Dave
post #74 of 117
We'll make our money the old fashioned way, thanks. Our product is very cost effective and, for the moderate home automation installation, perfectly capable of doing those things that AMX/Crestron are being used for, for considerably less, and just as robustly. And as we move forward, it'll do all the things that those systems are being used for, and still for less and just as robustly. And it is adaptable to the level of flexibility vs. security that they want, and their level of desire to do it themselves or not. I think that's a good enough advantage to work with, and I'll take my chances.
post #75 of 117
You guys will never learn.

He will never understand.
post #76 of 117
studiocats

I'm in need of a challenge! :D

Dave
post #77 of 117
Deany, Deany, Deany

You never learn man. You get into these discussions that only hurt your already very slim chances of success. Somebody should do you a favor, run your company, lock you in a room and feed you pizza under the door.

It is really sad to see a very smart programmer self-combust in public.

Even Bill kissed IBM's a$$ for years to make his company succeed. This forum hosts many custom installers and all you do is piss every one of them off by publicly dissing the products they make a living with. What r u trying to achieve? You need to learn to be humble. You will not take down Goliath this way dude. Since AMX or Crestron are not going down any time soon and you are not ready to take them down anyway, why diss them man??? Even Control4 does not do what you are doing and they may possibly be the ones ready to challenge the guard.

What possibly could you have to gain by dissing Crestron? You need to learn to live side by side dude. These installers reading this forum need to make a living before your product is ready for primetime and they will be the early adopters. Get my point?

I hope you thrive and do get your Ferrari. It wont be from any of my hard earned pennies though. Until you hire someone to front you, I have 100% certainty that you will not be around within 12-24 months. Take it from an ex- programmer that once was brash, flamboyant and ignorant like you but somehow did manage to get his own Ferrari (or something like it) by realizing his own weaknesses.

You still dont realize that you dont know what you dont know and that is a scary place to be.

My 2c

Pablo
post #78 of 117
I'm not "dis'ing" anybody. This is a discussion of the merits of the pricing of a particular product.
post #79 of 117
Again,

Economics 101. If enough people have paid a certain amount for something, it is not overpriced. It is priced just right. When nobody buys, then it may be overpriced.

Jut look at your product. Even 'free' did not get a lot of people rushing to your door. Was 'free' overpriced? I think so...

Pablo
post #80 of 117
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
Did you stay up all night working that one out?

Everyone knows that MS is happy to sell Windows for a fairly low price, because it increases their dominance of the PC market, and they can therefore make their money selling things like Office, Powerpoint, Project, Visio, development tools, etc... A full suite of MS office software would probably be about $2K. The professional development suite is over $1K, which is why I'm still using an older version.
Dean, have you looked at a MS financial statement? Windows and Office are the biggest franchises of MS with the highest profit margins in the history of mankind. Windows is not by any stretch a loss leader to get other products into your PC. More than 1 billion computers running windows at $100 a pop. And it is upgraded once every 3 years. That is more than $25 per LINE of code every 3 years. 'low priced' software my a$$.
post #81 of 117
Quote:
More than 1 billion computers running windows at $100 a pop. And it is upgraded once every 3 years.
I would imagine that the bulk of their sales is via pre-loads on new machines, which probably are a lot less than $100 per copy, and that not all of them are upgraded on every round (particularly the home machines of non-technical users which might have one version until the machine is trashed.) And I'd also imagine that Windows development costs are pretty high compared to something like Office, relative to the bucks they both bring in.

Anyway, I could be wrong, but it's not particularly relevant to the subject that was being discussed anyway.
post #82 of 117
Quote:
Originally posted by PabloReiter
Deany, Deany, Deany

You never learn man. You get into these discussions that only hurt your already very slim chances of success. Somebody should do you a favor, run your company, lock you in a room and feed you pizza under the door.

It is really sad to see a very smart programmer self-combust in public.

Even Bill kissed IBM's a$$ for years to make his company succeed. This forum hosts many custom installers and all you do is piss every one of them off by publicly dissing the products they make a living with. What r u trying to achieve? You need to learn to be humble. You will not take down Goliath this way dude. Since AMX or Crestron are not going down any time soon and you are not ready to take them down anyway, why diss them man??? Even Control4 does not do what you are doing and they may possibly be the ones ready to challenge the guard.

What possibly could you have to gain by dissing Crestron? You need to learn to live side by side dude. These installers reading this forum need to make a living before your product is ready for primetime and they will be the early adopters. Get my point?
No, he does not get it. Just look at his CLUELESS response to you. I've tried to advise him in debates on these boards and have told him EXACTLY what you just told him. The last time he was posting at Remote Central I asked him why he continually does everything possible to piss off custom installers and preach to them about how "it's so obvious that software based systems are the wave of the future" INSTEAD of gently promoting his own product. Right here in this thread he has several custom installers who work on very high-end projects, AREN'T threatened by his product regardless of what he thinks (i.e. we would consider selling it if we believed it gave us new possibilities) yet he continually proves to us that he is clueless about the industry so we can't take a risk on his product. And on top of it insults us by preaching that we are "set in our ways" (not necessarily in this thread) and aren't interested in his product because it's too cost effective. He's developed an industrial strength product that AT THIS TIME only could be successfully implemented by Crestron and AMX type dealers because of its complexity yet he wants to market it as a $200 type DIY kit with no profit potential for installers! Dean missed the part of business school where you need your dealers to make a profit if you want them to sell your product. There is NO market for the product as it is currently being marketed. He should increase the price of his software to dealers and then create some type of standard retail start-up implementation fees that dealers could work off of and present to a client. Maybe something like $1000 for a media room, $3000 for a media room and 6 zones, I'm just pulling numbers out of the air to give some examples. The problem is that then he loses his entire argument that he's obssessed with which is how cost effective it is compared to AMX and Crestron. But it's only cost effective because he's not allowing, nor showing anyone where there is any profit potential! And if he adds some profit potential (which would mean it would become more expensive), which there is NOTHING wrong with, than it flies in the face of his religion which is automation with off the shelf parts.

He needs to offer soemthing to dealers that they can make a decent markup on or NO ONE will want to sell it! But then he'll be just like those big bad evil guys AMX and Crestron. And he'd have to lose sleep at night thinking about how he compromised his religous stand. AMX just got purchased for $315 million BTW. AMX and Crestron are both having their best years ever.

The very first question anyone wants to know if you want them to sell your product is "how is this going to benefit me". Busines 101. Dean needs to answer that question if he's going to make any money. His business model would work fine if Best Buy was going to sell his software but they aren't!
Quote:
I hope you thrive and do get your Ferrari. It wont be from any of my hard earned pennies though. Until you hire someone to front you, I have 100% certainty that you will not be around within 12-24 months.
I've actually looked very closely at his product and with great interest, not only for myself but because I consult for a very large venture capitalist with major hooks in this industry. Every time I got close to taking the next step and contacting him and looking closer at his product he engaged in behavior on this board that steered me away from further interest. And it's not like we haven't tried to advise him about 100 times. His product is a real product if he could ever get his ego out of the way and instead of criticzigin Crestron figure out why they are doing so well and how he can compete against that using the strenghts of his product but also using many of the very same tools Crestron and AMX employ.

There was a guy in the loudspeaker business very much like Dean. His name was John Otvos and he had a business named Waveform, a passion for what he did and built one of the best loudspeakers on the planet but he continually managed to piss off everyone that could make money for him. Like Dean, he was obsessed with showing how his way was the right way and everyone else in the industry was overpriced. I knew the very first day I spoke with him on the phone that he would go out of business sooner or later and chose never to sell his loudpspeakers for that reason. Of course he did go out of business.

In Dean's case he may get lucky and a large company will be turned on to his product and buy it rather than do the work themselves to build it. Otherwise he needs to lock himself up in a room and do what he does best and write code and give complete control of the company to someone else.
Quote:
You still dont realize that you dont know what you dont know and that is a scary place to be.
Is that an original? Can I plagiarize that line?
post #83 of 117
If anyone here takes my belief that this one particular product is overpriced as so insulting to them personally that they wouldn't consider doing business with us, that would seem strange to me. I've not 'preached' to anyone in this thread, I've just been expressing my opinion about a particular product, I've not meant to insult anyone, and I've not responded in kind to some pretty unkind comments.

As to your concerns about our business model, they are valid as it stands now. We are caught in a hard place right now. Guys like you won't use our product, for understandable reasons of conservativeness and not wanting to be the first guy on the block and so forth. So we are pretty forced right now to try to sell into the upper DIY market in order to get the product out there and prove it in the real world so that it can be proven robust and powerful enough to meet the needs of systems of this or that level of complexity.

So, we can't afford to suddenly make it cost $5000 retail because then no DIY person would buy it, but few of you guys would still buy it either because to you it would still be both unproven, and we would just end up being abused for daring to sell such an unproven product for such a high price. So we would end up with a product that the folks who are willing to use it now and help us prove its viability wouldn't buy it, and with one that still has all the same concerns for the people for whom that higher pricing model would be interesting, so that they could make money as value adding middlemen.

Our current plan is that we will finish up our current .Net interface viewer, which will provide us the ability to get our graphical interfaces onto wall mounted pads, running natively on things like Viewsonics to get rid of the need for RDP, set top boxes, video phones, and any other CE.Net 4.2 devices that come along, or that we end up being able to build ourselves or talk someone else into marketing. This is getting close to being done now.

The next step after that will be where we will address your concerns, with a diskless configuration, much like the iSYS systems architecturally, based on Embedded XP, and so forth. At that point, we will have a viable split between the software-only DIY world where we can continue to sell a very inexpensive software package for those folks who want to roll their own and grow our user base, and the custom installer world where we can then sell an appliance type configuration in a closed hardware configuration. That will be a product that can be sold though various retails channels, being a physical hardware product, and around which full solutions can be built by folks like yourselves and appropriate markup for value added can be applied.

So we do understand what you want. You've said it many times, and I've agreed with you many times. We just have to have a product in the meantime that we can sell to the market we do have, to keep us up and running until we can get that product done that you are looking for. And that upper end DIY market also provides us some opportunity in the meantime to get some amount of consulting revenues, where we only need to provide that part of the final solution that lie within our area of expertise (the software/configuration part), so that we can get some good revenues to keep food on the table while we get the product out there and prove it in the real world, and work towards what you guys need.
post #84 of 117
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
If anyone here takes my belief that this one particular product is overpriced as so insulting to them personally that they wouldn't consider doing business with us, that would seem strange to me. I've not 'preached' to anyone in this thread, I've just been expressing my opinion about a particular product, I've not meant to insult anyone, and I've not responded in kind to some pretty unkind comments.
Dean,

You again miss the point. Being successful in business can be as much about being a gentlemanly politician (and I'm using that word in the best of ways) as it is about having a good product. It's of course also about having a deep understanding of the industry you are participating in.

Anyhow, let's put it this way. There's a good reason I participate here anonymously. It allows me to state my opinions openly and strongly when I choose. I would choose to not have that luxury if I participated here as a representative of my business. In business I wish to be on good terms with (almost) everyone in the industry. Knowing how to accomplish that takes tact. Tact does not always come easy, especially for geeks, but it's an absolute requirement for success for most of us.

Your very first statement:
Quote:
If anyone here takes my belief that this one particular product is overpriced as so insulting to them personally that they wouldn't consider doing business with us, that would seem strange to me.
reflects your complete misunderstanding of what Pablo and I just tried to tell you, in exasperation and without tact.

It is often the way you express yourself that causes everyone to have the negative reactions they do, not merely your opinion. Here is a perfect example from another poster who is a perfect politician (and he doesn't even need to be!):

Quote:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=514177

I like a polished, well-designed system (e.g. Sonos) as much as the next guy, and I wish the systems integrators on this forum nothing but success in their endeavors. But then there's the rest of us, for whom budget is a big issue; I'm simply not in a position to be a Crestron, Niles or Sonos customer - DIY is more my speed (and price range.)
Now who could possible take offense at that? Or you have the opposite, which is the guy that inevitably pops into threads and starts bragging about his DIY system and how it blows away "high-priced rip offs". And surprise of surprises, that guy usually gets a very negative reaction.

So once again, let me offer an alternative approach, which I am about to dream up on the spur of the moment (I'm sure with a little thought someone can do much better).
Quote:
Poster 1 (thread starter): I'm looking for a high-end automation system for my home. Everyone is recommending Crestron or AMX. Are there any other alternatives I should look at?

Poster 2: (your typical custom installer): Crestron and AMX pretty much own the market for high-end control systems. Those are really your only options for a high-end control system.

Poster 3 (Dean): Crestron and AMX make outstanding products. If you are interested in looking at some alternatives, I'd like to suggest that you take a look at my companies products (insert web site here). Our company is striving to offer a scalable and flexible automation solution that is based on a powerful open software architecture. Our software can accommodate systems as small as one room in conjunction with a handheld remote control or as large as multi-building estates with full fledged touchscreens throughout. Some here may warn you that we are a new company and that is true. But our size can also be a benefit and we will work directly with you to make sure your system performs exactly as you need it to. Again, AMX and Crestron make outstanding products, and we are not trying to replace them, but rather offer an alternative for people that would like to explore a powerful system based on an open software architecture.
That's just an idea. It could certainly be phrased better.

Finally, I will point out that if you do change your posting style (I'm not holding my breath but miracles can happen) you'll probably carry some old baggage with you for a short while and you'll continue to get negative reactions for a while, even to a post such as the one I paraphrased above. But if you stick to being positive and humble about your product, and never disparage the competition, you might be amazed at how quickly people would start embracing your company and stop harassing you all the time. And when someone does respond, you should do what appears for you to be almost impossible. IGNORE THEM and continue to be positive.

Do you really think anyone (but a moron or an idiot) has anything but admiration for someone that loves what they do and works as hard as you do to make it happen, especially when it happens to be in the industry we also love? Do you really think I would even bother to write this post if I didn't think you had the potential for a successful product here?
post #85 of 117
Quote:
Anyhow, let's put it this way. There's a good reason I participate here anonymously. It allows me to state my opinions openly and strongly when I choose.
I don't feel comfortable doing that. For me personally, that would be too hypocritical. If I'm not willing to say it with everyone knowing who I am, I shouldn't say it. And, let's face it, if you lose that anonymity, and it's all too easy to happen, then all the things that you wouldn't have said as your real self will be laid bare and it will be all the worse.

Quote:
And when someone does respond, you should do what appears for you to be almost impossible. IGNORE THEM and continue to be positive.
Ok, I will make a honest attempt at this. If you see me slipping, smack me to remind me.
post #86 of 117
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
I don't feel comfortable doing that. For me personally, that would be too hypocritical. If I'm not willing to say it with everyone knowing who I am, I shouldn't say it.
That's a completely legitimate viewpoint and I even half way agree with you. On the other hand, I don't lose sleep at night over posting anonymously ;). Just to give an example, I sometimes might recommend company A's product over company B's product (or visa versa) to a poster here. If someone from company B whose product I also sold saw me do that, they could call me up and ask me why I didn't recommend their product. Or worse. That's reality and it's why *sometimes* sales guys here say stuff like "it depends on your preferences". They are afraid to say publicly. So the anonymous thing works for me. It also lets people know I'm not posting with an agenda to get sales, so hopefully they know they can trust that's not the motivation behind my opinion. Plus I'm just posting for fun. Anyhow, it works for me and to each his own. Some day I may get rid of the whole QQQ thing. It started on a lark and I rolled with it.
post #87 of 117
I figure it wouldn't help me anyway, since people would guess who I was even if I used a pseudonym. And of course if I actually recommended our product under a pseudonym, then I'd really catch a raft of crap if my cover was blown.

BTW, did I tell you that our company is striving to offer a scalable and flexible automation solution that is based on a powerful open software architecture, and that our software can accommodate systems as small as one room in conjunction with a handheld remote control or as large as multi-building estates with full fledged touchscreens throughout?
post #88 of 117
Quote:
Originally posted by Dean Roddey
I figure it wouldn't help me anyway, since people would guess who I was even if I used a pseudonym. And of course if I actually recommended our product under a pseudonym, then I'd really catch a raft of crap if my cover was blown.
I'd know it was you as soon as a discussion started about religion and an atheist who pisses off all the religious folks walks into the thread :D.
Quote:
BTW, did I tell you that our company is striving to offer a scalable and flexible automation solution that is based on a powerful open software architecture, and that our software can accommodate systems as small as one room in conjunction with a handheld remote control or as large as multi-building estates with full fledged touchscreens throughout?
Sounds very impressive :)!

p.s. But I'd take out the word "striving", I don't know what marketing idiot you've got working for you that put that in there. I'd change it to "our company offers a scalable...
post #89 of 117
Not that there's anything wrong with the competition of course. I love those guys like my brothers.
post #90 of 117
We posted at the same time. See my post with p.s. above.
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