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datakick

Goodbye

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I'm just glad to see you back.

Just in time, to step into the front war line ūüėÄ

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But as it seems I'm in a small group of people that is not so much concerned about the future. Nor for thirty bees, nor for sun going dark.

I'm using it active without any issues and will use also after sun goes dark ūüí™

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Although the TB codebase and technical knowledge is very good, the company is pretty much worthless. Its a major hazard and risk of open source development that often comes from purist views and very well intentioned plans to build a great system and codebase.

Eventually, as we can see, even the best intentions and hardest of skilled work and knowledge grinds to halt without money.

There's no hard business edge here, no commercial drive or visible business plan of any substance.

Trying to survive off donations from passionate techs is entirely hopeless.

I spoke to both lesley and datakick a few days before this happened about leadership and commercial innovation and I'm not entirely surprised to see this happen sadly.

I was happy to step in on the business side of things and help fund it but decided this company was far too risky to invest in with almost no commercial or legal substance or power.

I do have ideas and optimism for thirtybees though if it could find its commercial feet and work to a plan.

 

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4 hours ago, toplakd said:

I do think all should stop with this mass hysteria.

It all started with corona,

little later @datakick saying goodbye

3 days later ownership over @thirty bees was taken together Patreon revenues

and on April 20. the sun went dark.

.

Cool down, drink some 0% beer and enjoy the sun for next 5 days

0% =  Really ?

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Does anyone know key metrics about thirty bees such as how many downloads, how many sites (and who and where) for which it's a currently a platform, which core/ non core modules are installed and the amount they are used?

Part of what I'm talking about would involve an authentication and tracking system for both core and non core modules to bring company and dev revenue based on activity so things would scale to each site's power and T/O.

Each module would authenticate upon back end login by the site owner and the module would disable if it wasnt authenticated or paid for.

I realise many would cringe at this because it sounds money grabbing and potentially privacy invading.

However I believe scaling module cost to site performance will help onboard many owners. and secure recurring revenue for devs and the company, all of which would be empassioned to see the customer succeed.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Mark said:

Does anyone know key metrics about thirty bees such as how many downloads, how many sites (and who and where) for which it's a currently a platform, which core/ non core modules are installed and the amount they are used?

Part of what I'm talking about would involve an authentication and tracking system for both core and non core modules to bring company and dev revenue based on activity so things would scale to each site's power and T/O.

Each module would authenticate upon back end login by the site owner and the module would disable if it wasnt authenticated or paid for.

I realise many would cringe at this because it sounds money grabbing and potentially privacy invading.

However I believe scaling module cost to site performance will help onboard many owners. and secure recurring revenue for devs and the company, all of which would be empassioned to see the customer succeed.

Sorry @Mark but this sounds disturbingly like the path to the Dark Side. Like exactly the path PS decided to take. And we all know where that landed up.

From what I've seen over here, this is decidedly against the ethos of this project and was stipulated against in the Project's Modus Operandi, where 'we won't charge for modules' and 'won't charge for something that was free ala Presta' is clearly mentioned. 

So a definite no no. 

Edited by Theo

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1 minute ago, Theo said:

Sorry @Mark but this sounds disturbingly like the path to the dark side. Like exactly the path PS decided to take. And we all know where that landed up.

From what I've seen over here this is decidedly against the ethos of this project and was stipulated against in the Project's Modus Operandi, 'where we won't charge for modules' and 'won't charge for something that was free ala Presta' is clearly mentioned. 

Yes I realise this is likely to be the prevailing view for awhile and I understand exactly why and have those views also. There's lessons to be learned about the way PS went about things on the commercial side of things that can be incorporated into this but virtually everyone knows that every company has to make money to thrive.

We would need to do that in a way that works for the site owner and where they will be happy to pay upon performance (unlike PS).

Sites like this are far too complex to do without money and we can see what happens without it.

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11 minutes ago, Mark said:

Yes I realise this is likely to be the prevailing view for awhile and I understand exactly why and have those views also. There's lessons to be learned about the way PS went about things on the commercial side of things that can be incorporated into this but virtually everyone knows that every company has to make money to thrive.

We would need to do that in a way that works for the site owner and where they will be happy to pay upon performance (unlike PS).

Sites like this are far too complex to do without money and we can see what happens without it.

The issue here is lack of leadership and direction recently, and not lack of money. 

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14 minutes ago, Theo said:

The issue here is lack of leadership and direction recently, and not lack of money. 

It would be good to know what the facts are about that. But even if the company is rolling in money, we are seeing comments from datakick (for example) saying here that he mostly works for free as does Traumflug, apart from money to do the odd project.

 

So if the company does have money, its not doing anything much with it.

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4 hours ago, Theo said:

The issue here is lack of leadership and direction recently, and not lack of money. 

I definitely think one problem is lack of money. I guess it's hard to build a company on open source and no income except donations and partnerships and ads.

If everyone who is using TB would pay a monthly fee of $10 ( which still is veery cheap for a e-commerce platform) I don't think we would have these problems. And if you can't afford $10 a month for the technical heart of your business maybe it's time to do something else.

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Posted (edited)

Lesley isn't forthcoming with any data here on financials , downloads, installs, sites, modules any metrics whatsoever.

He mentioned earlier that he was up for whatever worked, but isn't providing any metrics so we see what this company is actually achieving and so we can see what can be done.

I should think another lesson from this is to make a company in which there is more than one stakeholder and key contributors have a stakeholding.

Its not cool to have only one person running a large scale business system like this.

Edited by Mark

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I am generally very open about things with our community. Some people might not like the answers I have given at any given time, but I have always tried to be forthright with them. 

I am unsure where you recent hostility against me or thirty bees has come from. You contacted me last year about partnering on a project roll out. You asked several different questions / opinions and I told you what I thought. You mentioned you might want to invest in thirty bees, but never anything past that, until you contacted me a week or two ago just to tell me to fuck off basically. You were mad because your bug reports were not handled satisfactory. Here is the last conversation for the people reading and wondering.

zjv8vRf.png

k5OejxR.png

 

But yes, I am up for whatever works, as long as it works for our mission and our community. I am not up for scaling module prices based on how much business a shop is doing. I am not for selling code that thirty bees produces. From the start of this company / project those have been the values. I might not be capable of piloting the company or project much longer, but I am not going to turn it over to someone that will exploit the community. These people have been awesome to me and thirty bees over the last several years and I am trying my best to leave them in capable hands with my integrity intact. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Briljander said:

I definitely think one problem is lack of money. I guess it's hard to build a company on open source and no income except donations and partnerships and ads.

If everyone who is using TB would pay a monthly fee of $10 ( which still is veery cheap for a e-commerce platform) I don't think we would have these problems. And if you can't afford $10 a month for the technical heart of your business maybe it's time to do something else.

I agree with that.  I was already OK with being a contributor for 5$ just for the awesome support. I stopped today because I do not see the point in paying for something while I do not know where it is going... 

However, that being said, I think a small fee to keep things going and develop the product further is not too much to ask - a model such as what Adobe does, while not necessarily great, if it is reasonably priced, would make sense.  If there is decent support, upgrades and maintenance, I do not see why not.  The platform is solid, fast and so on.  The potential is definitely there!  It needs to be more known, bring more people interested in it.  The whole getting a cut from modules approach and the awful, let's milk customers for all they are worth Zen system from PS is not a smooth way to go. I think up to even $20 a month per shop would make sense.  It is not a lot of money - honestly, if people cannot afford $10 or $20 a month for a piece of software the actually generates them income, then I don't see why they are doing it - and if it can keep things going, and going further because it was promising, I do not see why not.  This project was shaping up to be great.  It would be a shame to see it die on the vine.

I am not a technician, I am nota pillar of this community, I am just expressing my opinion on the project, for which I care about and that has helped me tremendously, more than any other solutions I tried.  I would like to see it live on, because, frankly, the alternatives are not thrilling.  There is something here.  It needs to be shaped up and pushed forward.

Edited by movieseals
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Such approach calls for end of compatibility with other prestashop 1.6 themes and modules which are not verified by thirty bees, as one can not provide solid bug free platform when system allows installing modules/themes which are not verified to be 100% compatible (this is where most bugs crawl out from under the bed).

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, movieseals said:

I agree with that.  I was already OK with being a contributor for 5$ just for the awesome support.  I think a small fee to keep things going and develop the product further is not too much to ask - a model such as what Adobe does, while not necessarily great, if it is reasonably priced, would make sense.  If there is decent support, upgrades and maintenance, I do not see why not.  The platform is solid, rapid and so on.  It needs to be more known, bring more people interested in it.  The whole getting a cut from modules approach and the awful, let's milk customers for all they are worth Zen system from PS is not a smooth way to go. I think up to even $20 a month per shop would make sense.  It is not a lot of money - and if it can keep things going, and going further because it was promising, I do not see why not.  This project was shaping up to be great.  It would be a shame to see it die on the vine.

I don't agree with that. For me the subscription model is a rip off basically. Think Adobe Creative Cloud and a million other services. Why pay for something recurrently where a once-off worked and was justified?

Also, $5/20 per month might be affordable for some, but for others it just adds up too quickly and eats into important budgets like hosting, security, themes etc.
To put things into perspective, I'm in a 'third world' country with an exchange rate that's definitely not favourable (to me). So where Panda may be $75 +- and worth it, it's an expensive expense.
I simply cannot justify a recurring expense for the platform. Then I may as well go to something like Shopify etc. which is not great imo.

However, what I would be ok with is a very low once-off fee or 'cost of entry'. Like $2. Think about it. The more people you get to come to TB, the more money it makes. 2 milllion users = 2 million dollars.
So it's motivation for the project to draw in more users, isn't a rip off and helps to generate good cash for the project and its future development with very low cost of entry.  

Edited by Theo
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1 minute ago, toplakd said:

Such approach calls for end of compatibility with other prestashop 1.6 themes and modules which are not verified by thirty bees, as one can not provide solid bug free platform when system allows installing modules/themes which are not verified to be 100% compatible (this is where most bugs crawl out from under the bed).

I agree, but I think for the most part, this is the long term plan anyways, right?  At some point, anyhow, we will have to move away from PS as they are more and more developing for 1.7 anyways.  I think we could, however, buy out the rights from some modules that are particularly useful or integrates some functionalities into the core over time to palliate those issues.  Again, I am no techie, but it seems logical to me.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, movieseals said:

I agree, but I think for the most part, this is the long term plan anyways, right?  At some point, anyhow, we will have to move away from PS as they are more and more developing for 1.7 anyways.  I think we could, however, buy out the rights from some modules that are particularly useful or integrates some functionalities into the core over time to palliate those issues.  Again, I am no techie, but it seems logical to me.

I like my once off $2 fee idea better. 
Also re modules - there's still plenty of actively supported great 1.6 modules out there - so dropping support = bad idea.

Edited by Theo

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3 minutes ago, Theo said:

I don't agree with that. For me the subscription model is a rip off basically. Think Adobe Creative Cloud and a million other services. Why pay for something recurrently where a once-off worked and was justified?

Also, $5/20 per month might be affordable for some, but for others it just adds up too quickly and eats into important budgets like hosting, security, themes etc.
To put things into perspective, I'm in a 'third world' country with an exchange rate that's definitely not favourable (to me). So where Panda may be $75 +- and worth it, it's an expensive expense.
I simply cannot justify a recurring expense for the platform.

However, what I would be ok with is a very low once-off fee or 'cost of entry'. Like $2. Think about it. The more people you get to come to TB, the more money it makes. 2 milllion users = $2 million dollars.
So it's motivation for the project to draw in more users, isn't a rip off and helps to generate good cash with very low cost of entry.  

The recurrence to help finance the constant improvements.  But I confess that I did not think about all the possible situations.  But the truth is, either platforms charge monthly, or take a cut of your revenues, or they milk you with the modules and the support just to get the basic function going, with no more updates unless you pay and so on.  Somehow, someway, we have to pay for the development.  But I am open to other methods too.

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2 minutes ago, Theo said:

I like my once off $2 fee idea better. 
Also re modules - there's still plenty of actively supported great 1.6 modules out there - so dropping support = bad idea.

Not saying that support will need to drop off tomorrow - but it will have to happen eventually.  Just with PHP upgrades and so on, eventually, there will be less and less greatly supported PS 1.6 modules as PS moves further and further down their own path.  It is just a matter of time, no matter how nobody wants it to happen.

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1 minute ago, movieseals said:

The recurrence to help finance the constant improvements.  But I confess that I did not think about all the possible situations.  But the truth is, either platforms charge monthly, or take a cut of your revenues, or they milk you with the modules and the support just to get the basic function going, with no more updates unless you pay and so on.  Somehow, someway, we have to pay for the development.  But I am open to other methods too.

For me it makes more sense to draw in more users every month - not milk the existing user base. It helps and motivates the project to grow. By getting more new users to do the once-off fee.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Theo said:

For me it makes more sense to draw in more users every month - not milk the existing user base. It helps and motivates the project to grow. By getting more new users to do the once-off fee.

I am not in disagreement.  Just trying to find ways to keep things alive in a way that make financial sense for everyone.  But to draw in more users, you need a massive, aggressive marketing campaign.  And you need funds for that too.

 

15 minutes ago, toplakd said:

Such approach calls for end of compatibility with other prestashop 1.6 themes and modules which are not verified by thirty bees, as one can not provide solid bug free platform when system allows installing modules/themes which are not verified to be 100% compatible (this is where most bugs crawl out from under the bed).

Also, there is nothing forcing TB to handle the bugs from developers of other modules - Prestashop does not even do it themselves.  And I speak from experience!  Getting your module serviced, even after you paid big bucks, is often a challenge!  It is often not a very pleasant experience.

As long as the platform works, if you can get other addons working - and that could perhaps be another source of revenue, having some TB guys fixing the modules so they work. I know it is not for everyone but it might be an avenue.

 

Edited by movieseals

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, movieseals said:

But to draw in more users, you need a massive, aggressive marketing campaign.  And you need funds for that too.

 

The once off fee will help with that. And yes, you need have an aggressive marketing campaign (and an aggressive go-getter attitude). Take on the competitors heads-on and actively go for Presta - which to be honest, in a head-to-head battle, TB will win in my opinion. Literally squish it into oblivion.
Let their users know this and they will come over to TB en masse and funding (even with once-off) will no longer be a problem. I guarantee it.
 
And no need to charge for something that was free before (regarding the recurring and charge module ideas).

Edited by Theo

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13 minutes ago, movieseals said:

Also, there is nothing forcing TB to handle the bugs from developers of other modules

Yes I know.

But when bug reports are opened/reported on forums, most of them do not show up if only native modules and themes are installed.

And when reporting the problem no one even bothers to test if one can reproduce the problem with normal shop installation.

Most bug reports just say, that does not work and no information is provided (version, theme, thirt party stuff. possible overrides) and sometimes than this continues to insulting the members who are trying to help for free, and marking them " Are you a bit desperate for cash" or "maybe try a gala or something to raise money".

This brings down the mood, and goodbye of willing to help for free on the end.

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1 minute ago, toplakd said:

This brings down the mood, and goodbye of willing to help for free on the end.

I see your point.¬† There are no easy solutions, is there? ūüėě

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