Thursday, October 7, 2010

Could the eCraft make the cut with Make The Cut?

There was an intriguing message in the Make The Cut forums that Andy, the developer, and Craftwell have opened lines of communication.  None of us know where this will lead; but, there are a number of reasons why I think Craftwell would benefit enormously by an arrangement with Make The Cut.

First, if Make the Cut or Sure Cuts A Lot can cut to the eCraft it takes a LOT of pressure off of Craftwell in an area in which they have the least experience.  There is no doubt at all that the Craftwell team KNOWS hardware design.  The eCraft, as I have said over and over, is BRILLIANTLY designed.  THAT is their area of expertise and it shows.

But, what is also abundantly clear, is that Craftwell is NOT as skilled and experienced in the area of software.  And, having a bit of a safety valve in place as they sort out and build that experience will not be a bad thing.

This would not preclude Craftwell from designing and delivering a world class software product down the road.  In fact, in my opinion, it would HELP them in that quest by taking pressure off of constant fixes to a poorly designed initial product and let them back up, regroup and build a team of consultants and in-house experts in the management of software development that would know how to deal with farming out the actual software programming effort.  Right now, the tail seems to be wagging the dog and the tail has the dog in a very bad place of dependence.

Craftwell needs something to break themselves away from that dependence.  And, that something could be Make the Cut or Sure Cuts A Lot.  Once that dependence is broken, Craftwell can step up and have more control over the development process in the future.  But, to do so means reorganizing their development strategies, which will take some time.

However, it would be well worth it.  As long as we can cut, using SOME software, I will be the first to urge every eCraft owner to give Craftwell the space to do what I know they want to do... provide a PRO product that more than lives up to the name.  I don't think that will be as likely to happen if Craftwell doggedly pursues their own path without the help of 3rd party products like Make the Cut.

So, I'm hoping the lines of communication produce some cooperative efforts to support the owners of the best hardware in the business.  That would be very exciting to a LOT of owners.  And, frankly, increase the odds that Craftwell could eventually deliver a killer application of their own... which is our ultimate hope.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,
I've just joined your community of followers, after reading many of your blog posts and Yahoo group posts. I join with all the other eCraft owners who are so grateful for what you are doing.

My comment on this particular blog post is that I hope you're intending to communicate your opinion to Craftwell about joining with Make The Cut. You seem to have a good relationship going with Craftwell, and I think they'd listen to you as spokesperson for us users.

Tom Meeks said...

Thank you, Rainie for that nice comment. I know that some of the Craftwell employees follow my blog and I hope they see this article.

I don't have any idea how this is all going to play out, even if the patch ends up fixing the major things in this release.

Companies need time to find their footing. And, it's particularly hard when one's product is hardware that relies on excellent software to reach its full potential. Sometimes, the first business plan if not the one that makes a company soar.

It seems to me, from the outside, that ANYTHING that CRIPPLES the eCraft hardware in ANY WAY is detrimental in the long haul. And, ANYTHING that reveals the power of the hardware is a good thing. The question is simply how to go about finding and building that software.

Today, I was driving back from Wilmington, Delaware. The traffic was backed up about 15 miles from the tollroad south. So, I got off at the new rest stop that allowed me to go NORTH, even though my destination was SOUTH. I went NORTH to the next exit and took a road that paralleled I-95 south with little traffic impeding me.

Craftwell may have to go NORTH for a little while in order to go SOUTH. And, in their case it might mean teaming up with a known quantity as they step back and take a long hard look at their ultimate software goals.