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9 hours ago, abacab said:

You are the marketing expert. My background is 30+ years in IT.

Agree to disagree, OK? :)

Absolutely. My background is actually both in business strategy-- I was a Fortune 200 business strategy director -- and marketing strategy and a writer on marketing strategy before founding my own company.  Also, I'm an old rock drummer, which completely destroys any credibility not already destroyed by mentioning my marketing background. ;)

Peace.  

Edited by Peter Woods
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I tend to agree with Peter here. I'm also from a marketing background, now working in WFM (currently governement employed, just to get revenge for paying tax 😝) and nowhere near the experience he has. But looking at XLN, they seem to be doing well. It may not seem like it if you focus on just a couple of products. But don't foget that RC-20 is basically the weapon of choice of EVERY hiphop producer / beatmaker. That is a HUGE market. And XO is very high regarded in the EDM world. Not (yet) 'RC20 hiphop status', but it's relatively new, so give it time.

I'm not sure about the numbers, but looking at VST usage in hiphop and EDM in comparison to adding drums to rock (I'm downplaying it), I know where my focus would be.

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45 minutes ago, Nick Blanc said:

...nowhere near the experience he has ...

Awww, what a kind way of saying old! Hahaha! 

Edited by Peter Woods
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2 hours ago, Christian Jones said:

Gat dang that horse got beat to s#!t didn't it

Next up, NI's and Izotope's potential future strategies. 

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9 hours ago, Joakim said:

Toontrack must have made some changes to their legal structure, but here is anyway the results for 2021. Their turnover is roughly 3 times that of XLN. Max Martin is an owner in XLN btw, or at least he was.

Both companies may have a different international legal structure etc, but these are anyway the mother companies of both.

Both companies seem financially stable, if judged by these key figures Joakim kindly posted.

But it's interesting that in proportion to revenue (omsättning) and results (resultat, årets = year's), XLN has a lot of assets (tillgångar, summa = total). Just ~22% less than Toontrack.

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10 hours ago, Peter Woods said:

Absolutely. My background is actually both in business strategy-- I was a Fortune 200 business strategy director -- and marketing strategy and a writer on marketing strategy before founding my own company.  Also, I'm an old rock drummer, which completely destroys any credibility not already destroyed by mentioning my marketing background. ;)

Peace.  

Well, as long as we're copping to our business heritage, I'm the dude on the ground.

PwqiOrh.gif

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2 hours ago, John Maar said:

Well, as long as we're copping to our business heritage, I'm the dude on the ground.

PwqiOrh.gif

Now should we look at BFD next? 

Edited by Peter Woods
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I just hope Abacab's right about XLN, because I just bought that 10 pack of drums recently, and I already got f'd once by Cakewalk's "lifetime updates" grift. So if XLN pulls that s#!t I'm gonna be real, real upset 😦

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11 hours ago, Peter Woods said:

Next up, NI's and Izotope's potential future strategies. 

What about Cakewalk Bandlab's strategy? What money's even being made there? Different thread/topic I know but I don't even know what their strategy is to keep this daw around

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26 minutes ago, Christian Jones said:

What about Cakewalk Bandlab's strategy? What money's even being made there? Different thread/topic I know but I don't even know what their strategy is to keep this daw around

If you go back and read Meng's (BandLab CEO) posts in the old forum, he wanted to give the BandLab web community a full desktop DAW to "graduate" to. That is why he was happy to buy the Cakewalk IP off of Gibson's hands, and he committed to this community that the Cakewalk DAW would always be free.

He is a musician himself, and heads up a large Asian music conglomerate that includes BandLab, Cakewalk by BandLab, Guitar.com, Harmony Company, Heritage Guitars, lab.fm, MONO, MusicTech, NME, Swee Lee, Teisco, The Guitar Magazine, Uncut. So CbB is sort of a sideline that he invested in for his other 50 million users... :)

BandLab Technologies is now Caldecott Music Group. https://caldecottmusic.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BandLab_Technologies

Business model: "BandLab Technologies doesn't charge for its software or digital musical content, but instead focuses on retail, manufacturing and media advertising sales."

https://www.bandlab.com/

Edited by abacab

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8 hours ago, Christian Jones said:

What about Cakewalk Bandlab's strategy? What money's even being made there? Different thread/topic I know but I don't even know what their strategy is to keep this daw around

Okay, even though I was just kidding when I made that post, I do enjoy talking strategy (I used to have a publication that was my outlet to write on strategy years ago, but shut it down; even with accolades from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Wharton, UChicago, Northwestern and a major book deal and it had a nice impact on my career, it was too much work to keep it going and I actually started the business I now run out of that publication). So here goes....

If you dive into the Bandlab app and social media platform, you'll see that it's an ecosystem built around musicians and their fan basses. It's a social media platform for musicians and their fans -- kind of like a modern era version of MySpace in some senses, and a lot more. Bandlab presently has more than 30 million users, and at the moment, I believe everything is free for musicians except for sending their music to streaming services, there is a small fee for that. It seems rather apparent that Bandlab is trying to build their community to some certain level. After they hit that milestone,  it's conceivable that they will review their revenue model and may make adjustments and they may even have planned that long ago. They may put costs all on fans or they may put some fees on artists. Either way, it is pretty interesting. 

Edited by Peter Woods

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On the positive side of our discussion on XLN, one of the signs, of course, a company's strategic direction and if they're growing, maintaining or holding their position is found in whether or not they're hiring and how aggressively they're hiring. Of course, XLN is a small business with less than 20 employees, so there's not much going on with regard to hiring. But it appears that they have two roles that are currently open. One is for a Machine Learning Engineer and the other is a Data Engineer (for e-commerce). So the former is focused on products, the latter is focused on online sales.  I have no idea if they're adding staff or replacing staff that has exited the organization.  Both roles appear to be seeking fairly junior level staff. But considering the lack of recent product releases from XLN, even if they're merely replacing staff, it's still positive, IMO, a sign that they're continuing the operation. Of course, that doesn't tell us much about the Addictive Drums, which has been the topic of a good degree of discussion in this and past threads in this forum.  

https://careers.xlnaudio.com/jobs/1789960-machine-learning-engineer

 

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19 hours ago, John Maar said:

Well, as long as we're copping to our business heritage, I'm the dude on the ground.

PwqiOrh.gif

One thing I should have added: those multiple, violent stab wounds were from my bosses. My clients loved me. I may have been the only consultant they ever worked with who cared more about their success than his/her bottom line. More than once, I walked away from business when the board and the C-suite wouldn't walk the talk. Each of those times resulted in multiple stab wounds. 😋

Edited by John Maar
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On 9/21/2022 at 11:33 AM, Peter Woods said:

Awww, what a kind way of saying old! Hahaha! 

Haha I'm sorry, but yes! No no, I got my marketing bachelor because the topic interested me, just to learn very quickly that the real world wasn't my thing. Maybe I got a wrong start at a large financial multinational, but I lasted about 1,5 years in the marketing world. So that's it for my experience.

But I still enjoy the topic so I am reading your posts here with great interest.

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8 hours ago, Nick Blanc said:

Haha I'm sorry, but yes! No no, I got my marketing bachelor because the topic interested me, just to learn very quickly that the real world wasn't my thing. Maybe I got a wrong start at a large financial multinational, but I lasted about 1,5 years in the marketing world. So that's it for my experience.

But I still enjoy the topic so I am reading your posts here with great interest.

I got into marketing because I was a musician and didn't prioritize school. I grew up in a working class neighborhood.  The son and grandson of police officers, I contemplated becoming a cop. I was an honor roll student in HS. but I wanted to be a musician and songwriter.  At 18, I started playing in bands in nightclubs. My mother was a pro musician and music teacher and she thought I had the talent to make it. My father, like most cops, thought being a musician was stupid. So marketing became my fall back if music didn't work out. I actually didn't go back to college to study marketing until I was 26. In fact through college I was traveling the Midwest as a drummer in a rock band and was recruited by the co leader of a band that just got signed who wanted me to play drums her band to support their (Veruca Salt) debut major label album, but I thought,  as a devout Christian at the time,  it wasn't right for me. (I was stupidly idealistic,  little did I realize how unethical the business world is). So, I got my degree in marketing at 29 and started out in  project management on some  of the world's largest direct mail campaigns before getting into marketing management. 

While I've done a bunch of writing and speaking in the field since,  I can't say, looking back,  that I would do it over again.  I think I should have taken that drumming gig with Veruca Salt and if I went back to college after that fell apart, I think technology would have been a better choice.  I worked closely with Padmasree Warrior (former CTO at Motorola,  Cisco, etc) and she offered me a role as a Technology Director when I was already very well established and had a global reputation in marketing, largely due to my writing and the public speaking that came as a result of my writing. But looking back, I think it would have been a good fit. I stayed in marketing,  largely because I love the strategy side and how technology transformed the field. 

Having a son looking at colleges and trying to decide on  a major right now, definitely has me reflecting on things to provide him with good advice. I've been setting up calls for him with my friends in engineering,  architecture,  technology, meteorology/nanotechnology/science, but not marketing. I told him,  "If you struggle in college,  don't worry,  you can always switch to a marketing major as a fall back plan. "

Edited by Peter Woods

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On 9/22/2022 at 1:00 PM, Nick Blanc said:

Haha I'm sorry, but yes! No no, I got my marketing bachelor because the topic interested me, just to learn very quickly that the real world wasn't my thing. Maybe I got a wrong start at a large financial multinational, but I lasted about 1,5 years in the marketing world. So that's it for my experience.

But I still enjoy the topic so I am reading your posts here with great interest.

I, too, started in Marketing at the U.W.-Madison School of Business. I only made it through the 1st semester, junior year. I reached a point where I couldn't stand the students I was in class with, and their attitudes toward other people and their money. I did not want to be like them, and I certainly didn't want to work with them. I had a dream one night that after graduation, the only job I could get was in northern Wisconsin, working for a paper company and having to create a marketing program for a brand of toilet paper that I absolutely wouldn't use myself. So, after a lengthy internal heart-to-heart, I switched to the U.W. engineering school. Had to go back and take some freshman math courses. Took me seven years to finish. Turned out to be the perfect choice for me (all the student loans after I maxed out the GI Bill notwithstanding).

Edited by John Maar
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11 hours ago, John Maar said:

working for a paper company and having to create a marketing program for a brand of toilet paper that I absolutely wouldn't use myself

You know the phrase fight fire with fire? You could borrow it and turn it into something like in the war for cleanliness, be sure to fight sh** with sh** 😁

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23 hours ago, John Maar said:

I, too, started in Marketing at the U.W.-Madison School of Business. I only made it through the 1st semester, junior year. I reached a point where I couldn't stand the students I was in class with, and their attitudes toward other people and their money. I did not want to be like them, and I certainly didn't want to work with them. I had a dream one night that after graduation, the only job I could get was in northern Wisconsin, working for a paper company and having to create a marketing program for a brand of toilet paper that I absolutely wouldn't use myself. So, after a lengthy internal heart-to-heart, I switched to the U.W. engineering school. Had to go back and take some freshman math courses. Took me seven years to finish. Turned out to be the perfect choice for me (all the student loans after I maxed out the GI Bill notwithstanding).

Working for a paper company? I'll refrain from Dunder Miflin references, as I'm sure others in your life haven't. 

While I did stay in marketing -- and now I'm a business owner -- I completely relate to what you're saying. At most small and mid size companies, the marketing department really doesn't engage in marketing, they're doing the 4th P of marketing, promotion (i.e., Product, Place, Price and Promotion). Most people have enormous misunderstanding about the function of marketing strategy vs marketing communications. The former is the one that would make strategy decisions, for example, when we discussed BCG's metaphor "cash cow." That actually pertains to a product marketing strategy. But the majority of small and mid-size companies mislabel promotions teams -- they handle advertising, sales support collateral, websites and PR -- as marketing, when they're actually doing marketing communications. The filed can absolutely be very filled with large egos and narcissists, like sales and the c-suite cultures are famous for being. I developed a reputation as kind of a geeky, anti-typical marketing director from writing and speaking. But yeah, going to events, even ones I've keynoted, I've often felt more at home with my friends from other departments. I have a business of my own now and the closest friends I've had from my corporate days were from IT, analysis, electrical engineering and finance. The classes I found in school I enjoyed the most were actually philosophy and religion classes. My niece, after she received a graduate degree in communications visited me and inquired about a job at the company I worked at at the time. I had a very good relationship with the head of the communications (PR) department and could have gotten her a well paying job,  But I had a long talk with her about the reality of ethics in the business world. After that, she told me not to help her get in at the company I worked at (a very well known brand) and went back to school to pursue a PhD. Over a decade later, she is a college professor and loves her work. 

For me, I always took the marketing communications side of my skillset -- because I have held positions in business strategy, marketing strategy and marketing communications -- and have advised a lot of charities that help people. But frankly, part of me has done it because I always wished I did something more significant to make the world a better place to make up for what I wasn't doing in my career. I try to do that with my business today and I did my best to do that when I was a director, by promoting diversity and ethics by developing strategies that pushed companies to behave more ethically -- never making the case based on ethics, but instead, making cases on what business people care about, the bottom line, money. But the reality is, if you're not the CEO, you only have so much control over what the business does, and my experience is, the more senior you get in any corporation, the more you see things that, if you have strong ethics, will  present concerns. I see that in my son. Very much like a young version of me. So, while I have a bunch of former colleagues who are now CMOs who can help him if he pursued the same field as me, I think he's better off in a field that's more cerebral and less ethically challenging on a regular basis. It was more than a decade ago when I closed out my publication on marketing that received accolades from every ivy league school except one. And, of course, no longer an employee and over a decade old, those accolades mean nothing professionally anymore. But one actually still means something to me. The head of Wharton's ethics department wrote that every business student at Wharton should be reading my writing because of my "profound understanding of business ethics." It blew me away because I never actually wrote about ethics. Why? Because I knew, in a business career, when you move into senior roles, companies see managers obsessed with ethics as potential whistleblowers. So while I would have loved writing about ethics, I deliberately avoided it. But somehow, this professor saw that drive in me. In the last ten years I've stopped doing public speaking, except for talks at some colleges, funny enough to marketing graduate students at UChicago and Northwestern and now my son is a senior in HS deciding on a college major and knowing how similar we are in terms of ethics, I have told him that I think he might find the ethics challenges of a career in marketing and the superficial nature of many of the personalities in the field to not be a great fit with his values. That said, as big data and data analytics have become increasingly important  in the field, it's less of a Mad Man mentality than it was in my early career.  All of that said, my son is contemplating engineering, architecture, science/meteorology/astronomy and physical therapy,  I want him to do whatever makes him happy, but I am guessing science/meterology/astronomy, archeology or physical therapy would be the most fulfilling fields for him. 

Edited by Peter Woods
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11 hours ago, Peter Woods said:

Working for a paper company? I'll refrain from Dunder Miflin references, as I'm sure others in your life haven't. 

You just HAD to bring that up, didn't you? 😄

Happy to hear that you're happy. Getting to the right place in life is usually difficult to impossible.

This thread has gotten WAY off topic, but that's OK, because XLN haven't done doodlely squat new in forever. It's off-topic threads like this that keep them in the light.

Back off-topic.

I am SO glad I moved on from marketing to engineering, but I have to add one important caveat. What I did learn through my 1st semester junior year, especially the three semesters of accounting, really helped me later in my engineering career. Not many engineers can talk to the C-suite and be taken seriously. I could talk their talk.

What I consider my best-ever moment happened in Korea in 1999. I had a partnership with PWC Consulting at the time. They had a lead for a major consulting gig at LG-Caltex (the petroleum group of LG). They wanted a white-face to present the program to the board and they specifically wanted one from Motorola, the inventor of Six Sigma. Well, that turned out to be me. LG brought three rows of aluminum stadium seating into the boardroom for the unit presidents and senior VPs. Along the opposite wall were seated the local PWC staff trying to get the contract. There were 10 guys on the board, very old. Each was stone-faced enough to be on Mt. Rushmore. The chair at the opposite end for the CEO was empty. His personal assistant, one of the most lovely women I've ever seen, dressed in a formal ancient Korean gown, came in through a private door and set a glass of pink juice on a doily and left the room. That was the signal that the CEO was arriving. He came in and the entire LG group stood and bowed for precisely the same amount of time without looking at each other and sat back down. The angle of their bows was also so precise, I could have shot a laser across their backs. They all stared straight ahead and never looked at me. I thought I was in real trouble. The CEO sat down and very casually crossed his legs and looked off to my right, also not looking at me. I'd done my research and found out that he'd been at U.W.-M. at the same time I was, studying for his PhD, so I greeted him as a fellow Badger and gave my 45 minute presentation that no one appeared to be paying attention to. I felt like a comedian who'd gotten zero applause during his entire routine. When I finished, I asked for questions. The closest board member to me on my left turned and asked "who else in our business is doing this?" After a moment of contemplation, I responded "what's wrong with going first?" No more questions. I thanked them for their "attention". The CEO got up to leave the room (so I and everyone else in the room thought), but he walked around the board and came up to me, already a breach of protocol. I held out my right hand with my left hand, palm up, slightly leading my right hand in a position of #1 respect. He grabbed my hand and put his other arm around my shoulder. Now EVERYONE was looking. He whispered to me "that was exactly what I wanted to hear" and turned and left the room, which was full of stunned faces, which I read as "he's going to make us do this." That one answer was worth several million dollars of revenue. I spent the next 9 months there, helping them get the program going.

I was able to bill them over $5K a day, just for my time. I smoked my partner in the U.S. who had responsibility for the Americas. He was a real buttwipe, so I enjoyed every moment of our annual business review with the Moto C-suite that year. 

Edited by John Maar
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