16 Dec 2010
God, grant me:
Serenity - to accept the things I cannot change
Courage - to change the things I can, and
Wisdom - to know the difference.
~ Reinhold Neibuhr, theologian, 1934 ~
Everyone is aware of two facts: we need significant change in the pricing models of the Lasso product line, and it's not exceedingly obvious to the whole world what must be changed or what those models should be.
As a new owner, I have a desire to pick at the scab of the past, and uncover what lies beneath, no matter how disgusting. I itch to change everything. I promised change. I intend to challenge everything.
I'm a veritable frickin wannabe Obama.
And, I can imagine, everyone is waiting for a big change to happen. And the possibility of change is uncomfortable and dangerous. With change comes FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). As a wise man once said;
"FUD is a powerful thing. Don't make your business decisions based on it." - John M.
If you read through discussion lists concerning Lasso, you'll find that everyone has an opinion, but given that the demand for change is tempered with fear of change, the whole system is practically paralyzed. I can't imagine how a committee - or an open-source project - doesn't eventually grind itself to a halt with failure of common direction unless it has a Benevolent Dictator for Life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benevolent_Dictator_For_Life).
(I asked Kyle if his previous plan was to be a "Benevolent Dictator for Life", and his response was "not benevolent". I laughed so hard I spilled my drink.)
Of course, we don't want to yank the chain of change to hard lest we flush some legitimate opportunities or goodwill, or damage what might be a critical piece of the perfect future.
So here is what I am going to do, and what was planned from the start: everything, and nothing too fast.
Our product changes are happening aggressively now, and we will be getting much completed in a short period of time. They will start popping up in January (well, some things already have, for example new Lasso 9 installers).
Our business changes will begin in January, but they will not be radical and earth shattering and shocking. We will not be suddenly offering everything for free, or selling Lasso with copies of Playboy, or releasing Lasso as a stand-alone app for iPhones. We will be taking a broken business model, making subtle and logical updates to the OS pricing structure, adding new opportunities in the licensing vision, and provide a logical plan for the future. We will be nursing the business logic back to life.
In a few years, pricing will likely be completely different - but we will steer into the corner so we don't tip out the people in the current ship. We will continue to listen to the community, and let it drive the future - pricing and functionality - in a logical way. While listening, we will also do everything we can to drive new people to the community, in droves.
In January, you will still be able to buy a good-ole fashioned copy of Lasso at the same price (well, in CAD, so less then before) as you have been for the last decade or so. A copy you buy in a month will still have the same logical value as it does today. This will change, but not like a hammer hitting a nail into a board, but rather like a nail slowly loosened from a board by the wind.
We will also make sure there are other ways to get into Lasso, to lower or remove the barrier to entry, without destroying the current license value.
We will bend things, but not break them. Things will change - some things fast, and other things slow. Only fools rush in.
I'm looking forward to releasing something this week - we'll see how the testing goes...
I am very excited to see what Lasso will be doing in the future. As a fairly large Lasso hosting company in respect, alot of what happens can dramatically affect my business. I hope that whatever it is, is good for everyone.
I'm excited for the changes. Lasso is a great language and I look forward to its continued use!