May 4, 2012

Articulate understands the practitioners...learn the lesson

I've been in the software industry for a long time and I've never seen the perfect product. As I've been reading all the hype on Articulate Storyline this week, I am reminding myself of that. It looks like a great product. But a game-changer...not likely.

A software tool is not a game-changer but a community of practitioners can be. I agree with R.J. Jacquez when he lists Articulate community as his number one reason to appreciate Articulate Storyline. It is how we use the content authoring software that really matters. Articulate gets this and has created a software tool that is in response to its community demands. That is where I believe Articulate creates competitive advantage.

Community driving software development...that's how to build a great product. Lectora? Captivate? Where you at? There are lessons to be learned here. I think one lesson is this:
Where the company wants to be is not necessarily where the community of practitioners wants to be. But, in the end the community is who drives the adoption of software.
There is a key distinction that's important when listening to community. The difference is between listening to features that the community wants and listening to what the community wants to do. I think Articulate is focused on the latter while many companies focus on the former.

There are a lot of creative content developers out there looking for tools to express themselves to their fullest. Let's build better communities and better software!


JRA said...

I've never attended a Lectora User Conference, the 2012 LUC will be my first. I've heard Lectora does an excellent job of support and listening to users.

Now, Adobe... while the Adobe Rapid eLearning Blog and group do some activities and posts, it is nothing like Articulate's evangelists.

So I agree with you in part. Many products grow and gain marketshare because the developers listen to users. TechSmith is another great example of a company constantly looking for best practices and new ideas.

Unfortunately some companies are still stuck in old business models.

Jonathan Shoaf said...

JRA: Enjoy LUC! I went a couple of years ago and met a lot of great people. I know several people that will be there this year and I am jealous! Over the last few years I would have like to seen major improvements to their Publisher product. Instead, they have focused on new products. Maybe there will be some big announcements this year.

These companies have a lot of opportunity (with improvements in social media) to create helpful communities around their products.

Sheldon Swimmer said...

Excellent point, Jonathan. It seems to me that Lectora is too busy bashing Articulate or creating crap software like Snap! to focus on their community. They seem to be moving downstream and their community is reflective of $99 per license software. Sadly they don't realize we need solid tools, with a great community to flourish.