There is another open letter addressed to the main competition, but some important issues could/should be easily asked also to Graphisoft too.
It is another sign and proof that many architects worldwide (also renowned) are struggling with tools/software that is inadequate (functions, bugs, etc.) and of poor performance.
Architects / Designers rely/depend so much on these tools on daily basis, but the relation with developers and also the responsibility of the developers to the users are not reflecting the importance of this relationship.
Another culture is crucial and urgently needed!
Graphisoft has survived because in the past it was driven by people with a vested interest in architecture. These days it appears to be driven by shareholder profits, marketing and a false perception of user need. As detachment from real world user need grows then the lower the chance of survival. Much like the current energy market there may be a limited number of suppliers who can fix their own price for fossil fuels, but there comes a point when alternatives e.g. green energy - solar etc are found and their dominant position will collapse through irrelevance. The end user hold the key to the success of any business. For a business to survive it needs to deliver what users want. It's no good selling fuel for ICE vehicles when everyone is driving electric & hydrogen.
Graphisoft need to start delivering solutions to those recurring and practical issues that are raised in this forum each day; and there is little point to holding webinars with Q&As if all they do is roll their eyes and say "We need more time" when a difficult subject is raised. The engagement is good, the results that we were promised from listening aren't really happening.
Yes! So true!
Technology development needs visions, embracing new approaches and advances (software, hardware, workflows, collaboration, etc..)
But at the same time also demands-centric dedication to the existing and (still) ever-growing user base.
(There are some good proposals in 'the way forward' section of the letter.)
Graphisoft should be happy to already have such an impressively dedicated use/fan base, determined to collaborate with the developers to elevate/enhance/improve Archicad.
What I don't like, for example, is the attitude of GS to 'warn' the users of each new releases of OS (Mac) instead of welcoming it. This says a lot.... about how new developments are seen: as a 'danger'
AC should always be fully compatible from day 1 and make use of new features (that's why there is a many-month-long beta-test phase.)
But this is only a side note of concern.
It's just that. Listen to what the users want and need. But you need to ask them first. Have you? I did.
It's just a small sample, but it shows that you'd need to start asking questions.
Archicad 4.55 - 25 | HP Z840 | 2× E5-2643 v4 | 64 GB RAM | Nvidia Quadro M5000 @ Windows 10 Pro x64
I thought about starting a thread on the topic of opportunities for GS when that letter got released but got disheartened just by thinking about the lack of engagement from @GRAPHISOFT to recent posts about customer engagement and the missing roadmap. These are posts made on this new community platform which GS constantly promote as an initiative to increase user engagement and foster discussion. These are posts that judging by the number of "likes" (why cant we see views?) resonate very well with the community. Yet, these are posts that have gotten no official engagement what so ever.
The open letters are a clear sign of discontent with where the market leader has gotten us but instead of grabbing this opportunity by engaging with users and capitalize on its own heritage GS seem determined to continue to work on elaborate sales pitches meant to take us through the drought by imagining how wonderful it will be when the rain comes pouring down. Feels quite stupid standing thirsty when we all clearly can see the reservoir from which they just need to fix som old pipes and lay some new ones in order to give us a reliable stream of water right here, right now.
Yes, and wonder is all we can do as we stand downstream looking up at the dam wall. It would be nice if the operator could give us a truthful reading of the water level so that we don't have to take on the riskfull endeavour of scaling the wall or siting around waiting for enough cracks to appear just to find out that it is empty and that we would have been better off spending that time searching for new springs.
In the end we can decide to some extent about what we are actually prepared to pay for in CAD software products. We can still choose other options that might help in our practice ?
There are not many options with Autodesk, Revit of Revit LT ? From my knowledge there is nothing in between ?
We should pay only for the things we will actually use, if that was actually possible ?
It’s particularly difficult if you have a big firm to care for, that is doing big commercial projects regularly. Because you need a much higher level of collaboration and that’s when things tend to get complicated with CAD data transfer.
When companies tend to focus on revenue rather than service, people eventually will walk out on them and use something different.
It’s pretty obvious, the big companies buy out the small ones and then they start to control the market more and more.
In the end we could all go back to the drawing boards and end all of our subscriptions, like the old days and no particular CAD software company could have a legitimate hold on us ?
We have all been milked by the upgrade schemes to help development of CAD software. What if it’s time for them to pay us back with free upgrades ?
In the end the story line doesn’t change very much, it’s mainly about who can exploit who ?
If you don’t want to be exploited, simply end your subscriptions if you are in a position to do so, or use something different ?
Or go into buying and selling, that way you can get your money up front and then you can pass the product onto the customer that they have actually paid for.
With CAD software, why pay them up front ? Let them deliver first then pay them. Otherwise we will just get more and more of the things that they are complaining about in that letter above.
Just to add onto this topic, only in the last couple of days there's been yet ANOTHER open letter to Autodesk - this time by UK Architects, excoriating Autodesk again and following up on the infamous 2020 Open letter
I'm not certain if this was done in concert with the Nordic architects ( I doubt it), but it certainly seems to be following the same vein.
At least they seem to be holding Autodesk's legs to the fire and their commitment to do better.
A whole year on from when Graphisoft came up with promises themselves to do better on customer-engagement and more open-ness with regards to an open roadmap and the way forward in terms of development, we instead have a(nother) crappy release and even MORE radio silence then even before and less interaction.
It's like night and day.
But then again we don't have the Bjarke Ingels' and the Zaha Hadid's and the Stern's and the sort of big-name Architect muscle that's driven those Autodesk letters and given them so much media coverage that Autodesk can't ignore.
Graphisoft can afford to simply ignore those loud disgruntled but ultimately irrelevant rabble-rousers on their user-forums (.....that would be US) and continue to act like everything is hunky-dory.
You would have thought with Autode$k getting its first mauling from its dominant client base Graphisoft would have seized the initiative rather than joining them on the downhill road of indifference to customer need.
Graphisoft may have said hello a few times in their webinars, but it seems as with Autode$k they may have listened but not heard. To have any impact AC needs a seismic shift in usability before the competition takes the high ground. I don't think we are expecting a constant stream of wow factor new features (although that is a key factor for upgrading). What needs addressed to make a difference is urgent and tangible action to improve basic usability by cleaning up bugs, simplify workflows and completing features that have been half delivered. I doubt all of these aspects require a deep rewrite of the code and many could be dealt with quickly at the user interface which is failing on so many levels, and has been ever since any trace of colour was removed from the icons.
It may be great marketing to say we can do this trick, but if you can't find the button to make it happen or the workflow to get consistent results is absent then no one will benefit.
Perhaps Graphisoft could deliver quarterly or even a monthly optional "patch" update for some improvements & fixes as a sign of positive engagement.
I also think it is not about new and fancy features, half-baked and not relevant for most of the architectural user base (the product is still called Archicad).
It is mostly about making the current toolset work, nailing down bugs, and making the thing as robust as possible. And of course: PERFORMANCE!
This is the minimum to be expected.
Then, of course, come the still missing features like INSTANCES (maybe from favorites) and much better direct 3D-file exchange (FBX, SKP, etc) - and no import as 'objects' anymore!
Yes, top priority right now need to be triage based maintenance - make AC the best version of itself and start with the easy things. There need to be a substantial and continuous effort to go through the application looking for things that are upright broken and things that could be optimised, harmonized and consolidated. As @DGSketcher suggested the result of this effort should be delivered with short intervals - not bottled up to be marketed as a new feature in yearly releases.
To Graphisoft: Regarding a real and specific 'Public Roadmap' it needs the open involvement of the users. Almost all software developers use open Trello boards with voting-function.
This would give us users a clear view of what is going on and also provide influence on several development projects.