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Graphisoft personnel interactions on AC-Talk

Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
I'd like to move the discussion begun here:
http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=36142

http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=188452

concerning Graphisoft staff involvement in this forum to here, to keep the topics segregated. I'm only quoting the most recent post from that thread:
Bricklyne wrote:
My guess would be that just like Laci Neda (whom I believe was actually an architect harking back to the old days of ArchiCAD created and developed by Architects for Architects), the other two, Balazs Simonyi, Laszlo Vertesi, are likely also long gone from the firm.

What the hell happened to this place?
And more importantly what's happening to this firm?
(I would love to move the posts on that issue to a new thread, but I can only completely duplicate this thread and then one-by-one delete all OTHER posts - which would take me an hour.)

It's true that we have had direct communications from Graphisoft staff here over the years. Sporadic, but it was here; it may seem that there has not been as much lately.

That does not mean that they are not listening. They are aware of everything that happens here. Really. I cannot speak to why there is little direct comment here, but we have heard many times over the past year from the head of technical support, Gergely Kmethy, and have recently had a post from Laszlo Vertesi, the VP for Product Development:

http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=186598#186598

I understand that feeling like there is a direct personal involvement from GS staff would have a positive feeling, and you give examples of other small firms that do that. But, there are ample firms - such as Apple - who do not have employees respond at all on their forums. Or Intuit who have staff respond less often than Graphisoft staff responds here.

If GS were more present here, I cannot imagine that they would tell you definitively that they would solve any particular problem - who knows what resources it would take and what other issues would arise between the promise and the actual delivery, or slipped delivery. So, the most they might do (I would assume) if more present would be to make politically correct and safe comments to make users feel good and not promise anything with a definite time frame - in other words, just soothing, marketing-speak. To do that, they would have to hire another marketing employee which would take budget away from actual development, or else result in passing the employee costs on to us. (If they hire more marketing staff, I'd personally want them to pound the US market doing actual marketing as market penetration and increased sales revenue would lead to the answer to most of our wishes.)

Enough rambling from me...

Cheers,
Karl

PS A large number of the staff at Graphisoft still consists of people with architectural degrees. ArchiCAD is still created by architects for architects. I think it would be good if their marketing department wrote an article for their web site describing this history and how it continues even today.
One of the forum moderators
AC 27 USA and earlier   •   macOS Ventura 13.6.3, MacBook Pro M2 Max 12CPU/30GPU cores, 32GB
19 REPLIES 19
Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
I just checked on posts from gkmethy, the head of technical support (worldwide).

Working backwards, he has posted on these forums:
April 22, 15, 13
March 31, 30, 30, 30, 23, 22, 14, 14
February 22, 22, 21, 18, 18, 18, 17, 17, 11, 8, 1, 1

Seems pretty active to me.

Cheers,
Karl
One of the forum moderators
AC 27 USA and earlier   •   macOS Ventura 13.6.3, MacBook Pro M2 Max 12CPU/30GPU cores, 32GB
Akos Pfemeter
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
Guys, please let me assure you

#1 - that GRAPHISOFT may not be participating in many of the discussions here (we prefer letting you talk with each other) but we are still closely following conversations on ArchiCAD-Talk.
#2 - that GRAPHISOFT has by comparison by far the most architects employed in key positions to have influence on delivering the greatest design & documentation tool for architects.

Just a few names with M.Sc. degree in architecture in GRAPHISOFT today:

Laci Vertesi - Head of the Product Development Department
Miklos Szovenyi-Lux - Head of the Product Management Department
Greg Kmethy - Head of the Technical Support team

+ most of the Product Managers
+ most of the Technical Support guys
+ most of the Quality Assurance guys
+ the entire Marketing Department (including myself)

Laci Neda and Akos Bezegh are personal friends to many of us and we keep regular contact with them eventhough their career paths led them to other parts of the AEC/IT industry for the time being.

Please keep on going with the great discussions you have had on the forum for ArchiCAD users - you can be sure we will be following 🙂

Best regards,
Akos
Akos Pfemeter
Director of Global Marketing
GRAPHISOFT
From my side, I would like to say that I find the involvement of Graphisoft staff at the forum to be satisfying. The forum has basically a user-to-user philosophy, but in some critical issues there is involvement of staff. I think heavier involvement would maybe ruin the spirit of the forum.

In any case, I think most of the complaints are about the "Wishes" section of the forum. There are items there lagging for years, and no-one seems to care. So maybe it would be best if that section would get eliminated altogether.
Mac OSX 13.6.4 | AC 26 INT 3001 FULL
Anonymous
Not applicable
Because GS is not responding directly to some users' wishes I find it ludicrous to automatically assume that GS doesn't care about it's users or it's business.

Does that make any sense at all? Are the people at GS that uncaring, arrogant or stupid? I somehow don't think so, but if you do, then I might suggest Revit et al. Could GS be more transparent and communicative? Possibly. If GS's philosophy and vision doesn't seem to match yours-hey it's a free world.

At this point in my career I do mostly custom residential. Most of my clients come with a wish list a mile long of things they are convinced they absolutely must have. I listen very closely, but I rarely do exactly what they ask for. And in the end, they are happy that I didn't. Not exactly the same situation, but very similar.

Don Lee
Anonymous
Not applicable
ok, so i will ask next question,

can you tell us something more about wish forum and all wishes in there that was wrote to you by architects who use archicad. Things that will make our life much easer, increase our productivity and will help you to sell more copys of archicad for sure...

I want to ask you directly: Why GS didnt fullfill some of our most wanted wishes from wishes forum, wishes which extend archciad core and basic funcionality ?

Its ok, you can develop what you thing is needed, but you should alys fullfill some wishes with quote from wishes forum.

Something like

"Showing Zones in Section views" - done
"improved stair tool" - done
etc

there are planty of them in wish forum



I want to say GS team i LOVE u, but i still cant
NCornia
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
I think this particular wish (about the wishlist area itself) is a stellar idea. Archibaldo has it. http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=35844&sid=4ca0948457af44a8dd05ebc3f7b87ea9

The wishlist is not very clear at the moment as to what are the most requested historically. Many wishes have been duplicated over the years and so votes are dispersed. It would be nice if a section of the wishlist area was cleaned up so that someone could visit and at a glance see a simple, moderated list or graphic, sorted so that the most requested wishes float to the top rather than the latest post. This is what the web is for, metrics. Facebook is all over that.

If the section were visually simple and organized both GS and the users could clearly see what users want and some could be checked off with each release as Necko has stated. I think Necko's idea would definitely increase customer satisfaction and a reorganization of the wishlist format would make Graphisoft's job of sifting through the piles much easier. This is a win-win solution in my mind.
Nicholas Cornia
Technical Support Team - GRAPHISOFT North America
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Karl Ottenstein
Moderator
I agree that the wishlist forums are out of control with duplicates and lack of organization. There are so many wishes there, I cannot imagine moderating/merging them even if the forum software allowed merging of poll data.

Still, there are several things to keep in mind. First, no wish has received enough 'votes' to be truly meaningful IMHO. Sure, a lot have scores very close to 5, but with total votes of 20 or so out of hundreds of thousands of users. Even the Stairmaker wish, which I think everyone would agree with, only has 89 votes. Insignificant statistically, particularly since the votes are not a random sample of all users, but a self-selected sample of people with accounts on this forum.

I like the idea of picking some of the top wishes and sampling users to see what their priorities are. For all we know, Graphisoft's marketing department already does this and none of us discussing this have been in the marketing sample.

In any case, the idea of picking the top "x" wishes and expecting Graphisoft to deliver them is naive. Each wish has a cost in resources as well as a place where it fits most appropriately in their long-term development and marketing timeline (which is of course proprietary). For example, if there is a plan to change some major underlying technology, it would make no sense to spend a lot of resources adding a feature which would then have to be completely reprogrammed after the technology change.

Even announcing why a most-asked-for wish would not be implemented could reveal future product plans.

I don't want to nip this discussion, only to say that I really don't think it will lead to anything. As Akos Pfemeter stated below, Graphisoft does indeed read and listen to everything that happens here. We should have confidence that they are making the best choices for new features based on their planning process and resources. (If we lack that confidence, it doesn't matter - its their company.) There is no reason for them not to do their best with the resources they have to satisfy both existing and new customers - and, from time to time, even to delight us.

Cheers,
Karl
One of the forum moderators
AC 27 USA and earlier   •   macOS Ventura 13.6.3, MacBook Pro M2 Max 12CPU/30GPU cores, 32GB
Yes, I agree the Wish section needs a good clean-up. There are obsolete wishes (about Plotmaker!), duplicate wishes, fulfilled wishes (not many, but there are!), and its difficult to navigate. After a nice re-arrangement the idea of archibaldo could be implemented...

@Karl: which is the wish about stairmaker with 89 votes? The oldest one doesn't have a poll
Mac OSX 13.6.4 | AC 26 INT 3001 FULL
NCornia
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
I think the major take away here is that the wishlist section is a landfill. Why not archive it and start it anew with a more concise format that is more useful? I agree that it is naïve to think Graphisoft constantly has there ear to the forum. Forums in general are the most passive form of getting your voice out to make any change and a number of users that post here offer fewer solutions than criticisms and complaints (to be expected in any forum, just look around). The real value is the user to user communication.

If the wishlist is to exist then it should matter and be relevant. If not to GS then to the users. I would like to see it reformatted or archived and closed as it just seems to provoke negative ridiculous comments about GS for not listening.
Nicholas Cornia
Technical Support Team - GRAPHISOFT North America
ARCHICAD on Twitter
Tutorials
GRAPHISOFT Help Center

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