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Avid laying off 120 people

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walter biscardi
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 5, 2009 at 6:52:42 pm

This really should be in the Business Forum.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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cowcowcowcowcow
Bob Zelin
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 5, 2009 at 7:59:02 pm

gee, maybe they should have lowered their prices A LONG TIME AGO.

gee, maybe they should be nicer to their customers, like answering questions without a $4000 support contract per system (kind of like EVERYONE ELSE in our industry).

Bob Zelin




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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 5, 2009 at 8:17:43 pm

Bob,

Good points. I'd add that maybe they should have also been involved in sites like the COW rather than trying to drive all the interest in anything to do with them, back into Avid.com. Yes, that way they control their user base but by doing what they have done, they have also made sure that anyone considering their options will find everyone else but Avid. At least in the vast majority of cases.

I remember when they hired the customer advocate from Media 100 to build interaction with their community and the first thing that she and her team did was to work to drive the traffic from sites like the COW over to Avid.com. I remember telling some of the COW's leaders back then that this was a strategy that would backfire, as it was akin to founding a religion based on celibacy as one of its tenets of faith. If there are few new converts to the thing, it has to die out over time.

Avid is a strong company but I suspect that their place in the food chain is going to weaken and erode in the days ahead. They will survive, and will likely enjoy a decreasingly small but strong niche that serves a specific buyer well. But growth? That is not going to happen for Avid. To quote my friend Tim Wilson: that ship has sailed.

Ron Lindeboom


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John Davidson
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 5, 2009 at 11:34:54 pm

There have been few experiences more joyful, fulfilling, and financially rewarding than when we switched from PC/Avid to FCP 4 years ago. The real shame was I learned on Avid - they had me - but they didn't see the dark horse of FCP coming for them until it was too late. Who was really going to drop 50k just to get SDI in/outs? Come on, man....



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Shane Ross
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 6, 2009 at 3:03:18 am

They are good now. They are listening NOW and making great leaps and bounds NOW. But one problem is that they were so difficult to deal with and ignored their customers for years, and that is tough for many people to get over. I know many people who will never go back. Because the platform they switched to FROM Avid now works fine for them.

This is a shame. I really like the software, and it is a LOT better. And I like the fact they are listening to us, and that they made the software cheaper so that it wasn't only affordable by the BIG places. But the problem is that, well, they still are too expensive...the HARDWARE is. The software is VERY feature rich and is leaps and bounds above the competition in many areas. But the hardware is still VERY expensive, and isn't nearly as feature rich as stuff 1/10th the cost.

I like the software, and I like the new company, so I hope they they recover. They are still the best solution for many many workflows. But their old ways are tough for people to shake, and the hardware is still too expensive. That is one thing that is holding me back from switching back entirely.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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walter biscardi
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 6, 2009 at 3:09:50 am

[Shane Ross] "But their old ways are tough for people to shake,"

That's the reason why I will never go back to Avid unless I absolutely, positively MUST go back to them.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" now in Post.

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Rafael Amador
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 6, 2009 at 4:17:30 am

I think that in the past the market was drove by big companies (TV stations, media networks,..) making big purchases. Multimillions dollars contracts signed by executives that just happens to work for such kind of companies. Distributors could live for ever with just few contract a year (maintenance, training,..).
In the early 90's in my country the distributors of the big companies (SONY, ABEKAS, AVID,..) became RICH (some of the purchasing executives too).

Today the driving force of this market have moved. Small companies and free-lance moves more than the big companies, and in general the guy who buy is the guy that use the equipment.
There are also small companies offering products that competes in quality and price with the bigs.
The technology is not anymore in the hands of two. Today an small teams are able to develop thing like the RED or the NANO.
Lets add to this the reluctance to the big companies due to the historical miss treatment to the "no much rich" customers.
I'm just sad for these 120 persons that will loose their job.
Cheers,
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 6, 2009 at 12:22:29 pm

It has been 4 years since we moved away from AVID, last month was time for an upgrade and of course it was FCP all across the board again. 4 Edit stations with a total of 28 MAC's.

I cant imagine how much it would have cost if we tried to it with AVID.I feel for the 120 people as well but I think in a 5-6 years AVID will become a storage solution only. Who knows?

Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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walter biscardi
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 6, 2009 at 12:30:11 pm

[Emre Tufekci S.O.A.] "but I think in a 5-6 years AVID will become a storage solution only. Who knows?"

Well they already took and then killed my favorite storage company, Medéa. Even called me personally to assure me that the brand and products would still be around for purchase. After that call is when I started looking for other solutions.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" now in Post.

Creative Cow Forum Host:
Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, Apple Color, AJA Kona, Business & Marketing, Maxx Digital.

Blog!

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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 6, 2009 at 4:15:54 pm

[walter biscardi] "Even called me personally to assure me that the brand and products would still be around for purchase."

That was THREE teams back, Walter. ;o)

They likely meant every word they were saying but when whole teams change out as radically as they have at Avid, things change with them.

Ron Lindeboom


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Mark Suszko
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 6, 2009 at 7:36:03 pm

I came across a used video gear site run by a guy nicknamed "Uncle Geo". Seems like a cool guy. His page on used Avids made it clear to me that getting a used Avid, even a recent one, is not for the faint of heart. The systems are not often well documented, they each individually have a lot of variability in components and things like drivers and plug-ins, proprietary drives are a pain, it is a huge hassle for him to certify one much beyond the point of "hey, it lights up when you turn it on; after that, you're on yer own!"

Ron will surely vehemently disagree, but I think part of their slide is from losing marketing buzz and a perception of market leadership from their decision to pull out of NAB's big Vegas convention. Back in the day, they were the industry pioneer, leader and big dog, and dominated Hollywood editing, but I think they kept this mountain-top view of "you must climb up here to our level" as far as getting new users. And they grew the brand from buying up other products, kind of like Pinnacle did, instead of making new stuff from scratch. Again, nothing others didn't do to some extent, Apple didn't *invent* FCP, after all... But I think Avid didn't do a great job integrating the products across the line and across all users.

FCP started out much like Sony Vegas, a small, fast, affordable little mammal running under the feet of huge reptile dinos. So cheap to try, yet producing such good results,you forgave a lot of early shortcomings. As soon as people got over the name snobbishness of not having an "Avid" suite, (with Avid PRICES and OPERATING COSTS) those products boomed in the marketplace.





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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 6, 2009 at 7:56:03 pm

"getting a used Avid, even a recent one, is not for the faint of heart."

I have been using AVID for 9 years, when I started using FCP 4 years ago I was blown away how user friendly it was. I also found out I was editing twice as fast on a FCP as an operator as opposed to AVID.

Also system errors and downtimes have been cut down by 80% since switching to FCP.Still AVID Unity with Interplay is still my favorite.

Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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Shane Ross
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 6, 2009 at 8:24:43 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Avid, even a recent one, is not for the faint of heart. The systems are not often well documented, they each individually have a lot of variability in components and things like drivers and plug-ins, proprietary drives are a pain,"

Well, to be fair, the same goes with FCP.

If you just buy the FCP software, you can deal with all things firewire, and tapeless. Same now goes with Avid. Software only deals with tapeless and firewire formats. But then you add the DX hardware, and you have to deal with drivers and installing and all that. Same with FCP...get a Kona or Matrox or Decklink card, and now you have to deal with installing drivers and keeping up with what is current for your software versions. Add external storage? Same for both, as Avid no longer (hasn't for a while) required Avid specific drives. You can use firewire, or eSATA, mini SAS...fibre...with both. UNITY? Well, that is highly technical, but then so is SanMP, XSAN...all that. I think the playing field there has leveled. but before, when it was fully integrated systems ONLY, like the Meridians or earlier...Adrenaline too...you had to really REALLY know your stuff.

People think FCP is so much easier, that you plug in a Kona card and there you go. Uh uh...you gotta know what to do with the drivers and how to set up the cards and all of that.



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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grinner hester
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 6, 2009 at 8:51:39 pm

It's not the difficulty of getting it goin' that will be the demise fo Avid. It's their down-grading of product line with simultaneous false marketing of that rapidly deminishing line. They should have just declared a regrouping and done that. Making their clientele beta test for them as they try to catch up with FCP was a bad decision by management that obvioulsy had no experience with this. In the last 5 years, nobody has sold more copies of FCP than Avid. It'd be hard for them to pretend to wonder why this is happening at this point.
Of the 120 that were sent home, how many of those do you think were editors/consultants? Exactly... because they don't consult with editors.




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Scott Carnegie
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 3:13:14 pm

"Exactly... because they don't consult with editors. "

That's completely not true. Bob Russo is an editor, and the product evangelist for Avid. I'm an editor and have had direct input on product, I am also a moderator on the Avid forums.

As for the forums, the Cow put all of the Avid products into one forum, while the Avid page has several for different products, which I what I have always preferred.

I started off posting in 2000 at avidpronet.com, which was eventually migrated into Avid's site, which I continued onto. So I think this idea of criticizing Avid for "driving interest" away from the COW is not a valid argument for several reasons, one being that several folks weren't on the COW in the first place and two being that there is nothing wrong with trying to bring your user base to your company website, it's good marketing.

They have screwed up with the pricing on Mojo DX and other things through the years, that's for sure. This just shows that competition is good and will determine pricing, that’s why Media Composer costs what it does now compared to several years ago.

We just bought 6 Avid's (2 Symphony Nitris DX, 4 NewsCutter Nitris DX) along with Avid Interplay to run during the Olympics, I think they are focusing more on these things than in the single operator system.

There is room in the market for several products. The Avid bashing going on in this thread is unwarranted.


http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Tim Wilson
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 7:40:18 pm

[Scott Carnegie] "criticizing Avid for "driving interest" away from the COW is not a valid argument for several reasons"

It's valid because we specifically asked for help, and were told twice that Avid had no interest in spending energy on outside forums, and were spending the effort on bringing it all to themselves.

Ron and I were also each told this separately, me, within just a few months of leaving Avid to come work at the Cow. I had certainly seen this process well underway before I left - I just hadn't heard it stated quite so clearly until I asked.

To another of your posts, I think that Avid has had a huge number of problems, but I agree with you that failure to consult or hire editors has not been among them.



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Scott Carnegie
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:09:35 pm

"we specifically asked for help, and were told twice that Avid had no interest in spending energy on outside forums"

Sorry, I should have clarified that I wasn't saying it didn't happen, only that I think it isn't a reason to criticize them.

I don't think it is a fair criticism to make of a company that they want to spend their resources on their own product rather than someone elses.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Tim Wilson
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:37:43 pm

[Scott Carnegie] "I don't think it is a fair criticism to make of a company that they want to spend their resources on their own product rather than someone elses."

Our point is simply that Avid's strategy of disappearance from other forums, and from any website but their own, has helped them disappear from the public eye.

It's not just for forums, though. Look around the web. Apart from Avid's own press releases here and there, you'd think Avid already HAD stopped selling new products.

Avid wanted to disappear from anywhere but its own site? Mission accomplished. It's a measure of Avid's success with this strategy that we live in a world in which Avid is irrelevant, if not entirely absent, for anyone but their current customers.

We didn't ask them for money. We asked Avid if they wanted our help elevating their profile through a variety of platforms beyond the forums (web articles, magazine, newsletters, podcasts, etc.), and they told us no. We tried again as recently as last month, and haven't had the courtesy of a reply.

We don't take it personally. We see it as consistent with the policy that they told us that they would pursue three years ago, and that they have.

That's their prerogative. But it's also fair of us to criticize them for what we see as a short-sighted, and ultimately self-defeating strategy. Reducing the web footprint that you can get for free is not part of anyone's recipe for success.

As Ron observes, banner ads at MacWorld.com aren't enough to compensate for this.


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Scott Carnegie
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:59:02 pm

Thanks Tim, I have a clearer idea of what you are stating now.

I actually have brought this up to Avid before, since I rarely hear their name mentioned on podcasts like the DV show and Digital Production Buzz and it sounded like they might look at a sponsorship of some kind. perhaps I will bring it up again. As I mentioned in another post in this thread, I think that marketing is where Avid falls short.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 8, 2009 at 1:21:39 am

[Scott Carnegie] "I actually have brought this up to Avid before, since I rarely hear their name mentioned on podcasts like the DV show and Digital Production Buzz and it sounded like they might look at a sponsorship of some kind. perhaps I will bring it up again. As I mentioned in another post in this thread, I think that marketing is where Avid falls short."

Like Avid itself, there are some people that follow these shows -- but their actual counts are quite small (and even DV Magazine is getting down to a pamphlet size, with few advertisers) compared to Creative COW.

Their conference moved to Pasadena this year because it had shrunk so small over the years that it could no longer justify the costs associated with the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Conversely, The COW has well over 2 million monthly unique visitors but unfortunately, Avid thinks an iPod show with a few FCP people scrambling for a place in it is more important than a site that has two million+ unique people each month that ARE actually interested in video. Go figure.

I think that Avid has so marginalized themselves that they will continue to lose marketshare until they get down to only the ones that demand "Avid heavy lifting abilities." But hey, even companies like Bunim-Murray (who were once staunchly Avid-based) are now using FCP systems and they have mighty heavy workflow demands -- so at least some of even Avid's most truly core market focus have found ways around them.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:39:28 pm

[Scott Carnegie] "I don't think it is a fair criticism to make of a company that they want to spend their resources on their own product rather than someone elses."

Dog breeders and royalty do this also, Scott. Unfortunately, in the end, it pulls from a shallower genepool and in the end breeds a lack of diversity and has birthed things that are sickly and twisted.

But hey, it "kept the money among the royals," so it served its purpose -- even if later generations paid for all the inbreeding.

Ron Lindeboom


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 7:56:36 pm

[Scott Carnegie] "I am also a moderator on the Avid forums."

Thank you for stating your bias honestly, Scott.


[Scott Carnegie] "As for the forums, the Cow put all of the Avid products into one forum, while the Avid page has several for different products, which I what I have always preferred. I started off posting in 2000 at avidpronet.com, which was eventually migrated into Avid's site, which I continued onto. So I think this idea of criticizing Avid for "driving interest" away from the COW is not a valid argument for several reasons, one being that several folks weren't on the COW in the first place and two being that there is nothing wrong with trying to bring your user base to your company website, it's good marketing."

We used to have our Avid forums broken out by products but we recently consolidated the forums to more accurately reflect the kind of "outside the Avid ecosystem marginalizing" that is more indicative of the way that outside users perceive Avid.

Like it or not, Avid is becoming increasingly more marginalized as time goes on. Where will it end? As I said to Shane, I believe that Avid's abilities far exceed their competitor's (because they DO listen to editors) when it comes to media management tools, project management, and other high level features that users of Apple, Adobe and Sony can only dream about.

Is this a knock on Apple, Adobe, or Sony? No, for cost-to-benefit curves, their products are pretty hard to beat. For many users their feature sets are enough. Is it enough for everyone? No. And for those whose demands are greater, there will always be Avid.

Another company that works in these rarefied airs farther up the mountain, is Autodesk. Autodesk has built a profitable company that works well with a focused and smaller segment of the market.

Avid appears to be making moves that are designed to try to bolster their presence in other areas of the market -- in this case, the consumer segment served by Macworld.

Will it work? Me, I don't think so -- but you are welcome to think whatsoever you wish, Scott.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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Scott Carnegie
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:21:36 pm

"Thank you for stating your bias honestly, Scott. "

Thought that would be fair :)

It seems that much of what we are talking about is marketing, and Apple has done a top notch job of marketing not just FCP but the Apple brand in the last few years. I see more "common people" with Macs than ever beforem whereas it used to just be editors and graphics artists that would have a Mac.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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grinner hester
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:10:44 pm

[Scott Carnegie] "The Avid bashing going on in this thread is unwarranted"
I guess it depends on perspective. To me, their lyeing in attempt to move product that isn't ready is plenty warrant for negative feedback. If they didn't expect this, they are veeeery bad at their gigs.





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Alan Lloyd
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 6:53:52 pm

I have met George. He's a good guy. Knows the used market like few others.

Tried Avid XPress DV long ago, PPro user now. (I'm just...not...a...mac...person.)

Their stuff is great when it works, and yes, quite costly. As others have noted, it's when anyone else tries to move into hardware tied top the software that the costs begin to rocket upward.

And as a truly odd side question, are they the same people that used to make very good midlevel stereo speakers in MA?


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grinner hester
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 6, 2009 at 8:42:26 pm

Who would have thought they still had 120 employees?
Must all be in the creative writing/marketing department.
I don't expect em to be around much longer. We've not seen effort by that company in close to a decade now.



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Scott Carnegie
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 3:21:03 pm

According to the article "The company employs approximately 2,200 people worldwide."

"We've not seen effort by that company in close to a decade now. "
Cutting Media Composer pricing by 50% isn't an effort? C'mon.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Shane Ross
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 5:00:22 pm

[Scott Carnegie] "Cutting Media Composer pricing by 50% isn't an effort? C'mon"

How about the fact that just 5 years ago a fully loaded system used to run between $65,000 and $125,000? Symphony's double that! Software only for $2500. Decked out you got $20,000? That's pretty good. Cost compared to FCP...still high. But lordy, that's a drop in price. And the updates of the last year...two years...all listening to editors.



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Todd Terry
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 5:16:37 pm

Yes, some positive changes there, but I think will prove to be too little too late.

AVID may have more-or-less invented electronic nonlinear editing (or at least brought it to the masses), but they sure didn't keep up with needs, customer expectations, or seem to give a hoot about looming competitors' developments and pricing structures.

Anyone bought an IBM computer lately?


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 5:37:20 pm

[Todd Terry] "Yes, some positive changes there, but I think they will prove to be too little too late."

I couldn't agree more.

I sure wouldn't bet any of my money on Avid at this point.

Do I think that tools like FCP, Vegas or the Adobe Suite are comparable to Avid? Hardly. In some cases, not even close. But the differences are in feature sets and areas that are, for most people, not great enough to justify the difference in cost.

Example of the difficulty of their marketing message (from actual current examples)? Glad you asked.

Avid is going to be at Macworld pitching Media Composer. Uh, Macworld -- home of more booths for iPod covers and 3rd party earbuds than you will ever find under one roof.

Yes, I agree with Shane that for real pros the media management functions alone set Composer far ahead of FCP. But what will that mean to an audience that is largely there to discuss their iPods and their earbuds?

The cost disparity for a tool that does far less overall than a box of Final Cut Studio -- for twice the price -- is going to fall on dead ears, me predicts.

And in response to Mark Suszko's remark that their pulling out of NAB a couple years back is in large part a cause of much of this, I think that it is just a very small part of it all.

Avid has always viewed their market as insular and their marketing has always been insular. Now that this self-fulfilling prophecy of dwindling presence is playing out, a move to Macworld is almost a laughable market move to try to garner market share. If I were the boss over the person that made that decision, I'd have them on the carpet discussing the stupidity of the move.

But that's me...

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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Scott Carnegie
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 7:13:24 pm

"I sure wouldn't bet any of my money on Avid at this point. "

I've honestly been hearing people say that for years; when they moved from Meridean systems, when they discontinued Xpress Pro, etc. The fact is that all of these businesses are likely to go out of business once day, it's amatter of when.

Here is the latest financial report, I don't know this kind of stuff so I'm not sure how to interpret it, although I don't know how long a company can operate at a loss.

http://ir.avid.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=424568

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Shane Ross
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 7:17:45 pm

OK...if people are writing off AVID now...as they did FCP all but ONE YEAR ago...who's left? Who will really dominate high level film and television post? Vegas? Premiere? Smoke on a Mac?

Avid isn't going to go away. Too many post facilities, TV production and new production facilities and television and film productions rely on it.



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 7:38:30 pm

I don't believe that Avid will go out of business and never said such a thing. What I do believe is that Avid will become an increasingly more marginalized player in the days ahead, ending up with the niche that really understands the real differences that Avid brings to the party -- differences like the monster media management capabilities that FCP and others can only dream of.

What I also question is the throwing of money at an audience like the Macworld crowd, to support a tool like Composer. I grin thinking of the kinds of questions and comments that the Avid demo people are going to get from the iMovie crowd -- many of whom look at Final Cut Express as a huge step-up the foodchain. And Final Cut Studio? To many of this crowd, FCS is for performance maniacs.

My friend Tim Wilson likes to use the expression that "this ship has sailed," a figure of speech that is especially true when thinking that Avid can go into Macworld and court and woo the low-end guys with a tool like Composer at this point in time.

Those are my thoughts,

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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Scott Carnegie
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:14:29 pm

All good points Ron. I think that we as consumers of editing packages are better off the more competition there is between manufacturers and the healthier each individual company is. I certinaly don't hope for any of these companies to go under, but it is likely to happen one day.

In the end, companies need to respond to customer demand, espeically in a hard market with so many options like NLE. If they don't respond to demand, they lose.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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grinner hester
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:24:01 pm

[Shane Ross] "Avid isn't going to go away. Too many post facilities, TV production and new production facilities and television and film productions rely on it."

This has been Avid's thinking. Hence the drop in position. Truth is, all of those workflows rely on edit solutions and the truth is there are rapidly becoming more viable solutions.
For me personally, it's not so much their decline in product as others have grown (though that is a factor to consider), it's their dishonesty through this growing pain process. It makes it veeery hard for folks like me to roll the dice on things like MC4 (the new MC 4, not the first one ;)
The fact that their a dice-rolling factor at all says alot about where they are. Mix that with the massive and understandable distrust they have created and, well, folks get laid off.
I think every indistry ahs two kinds of companies. Those who play for keeps and those who are temporary. I don't see Avid as a for keeps kind of company anymore.



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Scott Carnegie
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 9:01:36 pm

I'm not sure what you mean about rolling the dice, being dishonest or lying. What's wrong with releasing new versions? The great thing about forums is that the early adopters take the risk, report on problems and then updates are released.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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grinner hester
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 10, 2009 at 11:31:09 pm

Thats is what these forums are for. What wrong with lying about a relese though? Weel, aside from being dishonet, it greatly affects revenue... and eventually makes a cmpany have to lay off 120 people... at least.
I understand new software bugs. That's why companies test before releasing. Good companies, anyway. The dice rolling I mentioned is the feeling of consumers as a result of Avid's "creative" marketing. Kike I said before, they would have felt a burn just from the big downgrades they have done but trying to promote em as upgrades is what has led to what they are facing now.
You would have been hard-pressed to finf more of an avid Avid fan than me 20, 15 and even 10 years ago, man. Today, when they ask me to spend "just 10k" for an upgrade that may or may not get me to where I bought into when they falsely advertised Adrenaline, I do indeed feel like that is rolling the dice and I can't afford to gamble today.



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Tim Wilson
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 7:18:43 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "Todd Terry] "Yes, some positive changes there, but I think they will prove to be too little too late."

I couldn't agree more."


Me too...although the IBM analogy is the absolute worst one possible, Todd. IBM is how they SHOULD do it.

IBM realized that any changes that they made to their computer business would indeed be too little, too late. At the same time, they found that the customers who were no longer buying IBM computers still relied on its enterprise-scale infrastructure-building expertise. They transformed themselves into a services company that is bigger than ever.

A key part of their infrastructure services is servers. As announced just last Friday (Ron's birthday - woo hoo!), IBM's server marketshare is #1 and growing. They also had the biggest profit in Q3 of any company in the server business.

So what happened to their computers? They found them to be a distraction to what had become IBM's core domain. They sold the computer business to Lenovo...

...who just announced that their year-on-year profits had doubled, and that marketshare is up 18%, double HP's 9% growth, and well ahead of Apple's growth of 11% (on much lower marketshare of course.)

IBM is doing fine. The computer division they sold off is doing fine. Do you people not read the business news? :-)

Here's how that applies to Avid. One part of the company that has done great is broadcast. Why? Because the transition to digital newsrooms has only barely begun - over 80% of facilities worldwide are completely in play, and Avid has dominated so far. Why? Because of Avid's expertise in enterprise-class infrastructure - integrating not only their own products, but aggressively supporting other companies as well.

You know that Final Cut Pro has been supported as an Avid Unity client for years now, right?

But far more important than networked storage, Avid has the server business nailed. As risky as disk-based playout is, going with non-Avid servers is even riskier - nobody else is as experienced supporting them in news environments.

The moral of the story is that Avid could spin off the video business (doing great, thanks to Media Composer software) and the audio business (Pro Tools, still going great guns), spin of networked storage (Unity), and become a services and servers business that would continue to dominate the market for pretty much as long as they wanted to.

In other words, IBM is EXACTLY the model to follow. If they do, Avid will be bigger and more profitable than ever.

My prediction: they won't.

re: layoffs, my concern (to the extent that I care) is that they haven't laid off nearly enough people. My guess why they haven't laid off more - it's too expensive!! They're reporting termination costs of $7-9 million for those 120 employees, which is right in line with industry averages.

But I think that one of the painful lessons of the current economy is that you really don't need as many people to, say, make newspapers, as you did before. The newspapers that have figured out the RIGHT way to do this are becoming profitable again, and many are even finding subscriptions going up as they now have the resources to grow their businesses.

My prediciton: Avid won't.

But to me, in general, I think of layoffs are often a sign that a company is paying attention. So the question is really, even more than positive management and development changes, whether Avid's layoffs are too little too late.

They should be so wise as to follow IBM's model into the future.


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grinner hester
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:14:26 pm

[Scott Carnegie] "Cutting Media Composer pricing by 50% isn't an effort? C'mon"

Would you as a user or owner not rather have better quality and more options? An admission that thier products are worth half of what they tried to first reem their client base for is hardly a step in the right direction.
...in my opinion, of course.



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Scott Carnegie
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:18:20 pm

" An admission that thier products are worth half of what they tried to first reem their client base for is hardly a step in the right direction. "

I see it as a response to the market demand, that's what a smart business would do. Keeping a price too high to prove a point would be very bad business.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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grinner hester
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:40:42 pm

So would down-grading product line and lying about what it does, brother. Having their clientele beta test for em is their downfall. Test themselves then release when ready (really ready) and I don't see a problem with price point. I certainly didn't when I purchased Adrenaline. It was after I purchased it I realized I got hosed.



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Mike Cohen
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 3:26:37 pm

I will chime in with another take.
I have never used Avid aside from evaluating the Xpress system along with Media 100 many moons ago.

"Avid is laying off 120 people"

You know what, a lot of small medium and large companies are laying off people this year. The bottom line of a business is to make a profit for the owners, the shareholders or both. Is the company is trouble beyond the need to cut costs? Is the company changing its product offerings? There are no doubt many questions associated with the decision that have less to do with product reliability and features and more with cash flow.

As has been discussed on these forums in great detail, there are editing systems at all price ranges and feature sets, giving everyone a choice that suits their needs.

As a Saturn car owner I am disappointed to learn that the company will go away completely soon, no doubt laying off thousands of dedicated workers. But as for my driving options, there are other comparably priced and equipped cars.

Mike Cohen


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 7, 2009 at 8:57:39 pm

When I bought my first Avid it cost 64k (called a Composer One I think) and did less than iMovie does today. But it was a paradigm shift. I owned one of the first ever shipped. Because of being an early adopter, I knew most of the original employees personally. I think there were less than 30 of them in 1989. As I recall the actual president of the company took my order... By 1999 they were ruling the roost of post production world wide.

But then came FCP.

Tom O'Hanian was an editor at the time he co-founded Avid in the mid/late 80's.A few years after FCP's release, I saw Tom at NAB and had heard that he left Avid. I asked him why and we happened to be standing between the Avid and Apple booths when they were across the hall from each other blasting audio levels competing for the ears of all...

Tom said he had to make a difference and they just didn't listen to him anymore. I said what was it that you wanted them to do? He pointed at Apple's booth, and said "That". He knew years ago that they had to adapt or they would slowly go away, or at least, diminish.

The company had the world by the tail, and just plain let it go. Too bad too, after all, they had more to do with the emergence of NLE technology than anybody. Apple just made it affordable, and now pretty much dominates the pro world of editing. Apple has 1.5 million+ REGISTERED users. I think there were something like 80k Avid users in 1999...

It was price/performance that allowed it to happen, and Avid just didn't react well to it. In LA, NYC, Paris, London, Rome, we'll see Avid NLEs for a while longer, their News Cutter will live as long as news stations do, but even they will go by the wayside if the Internet's promise of every media of any kind on any subject is available at a reasonable price. Heck every TV I saw last week in Best Buy is becoming Internet ready... Why watch the 6 PM news if you can get it as it happens on your big flat panel? But I think Tim is right about what they need to do now, but they have this stupid idea that the "high end" crowd sets them up as something special. If they want numbers, they'd better start catering the the larger market that actually makes up those numbers.

Software doesn't make edit decisions... people do. If the tools are as good or good enough, and they are a considerably less expensive, the vast majority of people will chose the value. So far, FCP, Vegas, Adobe have just creamed Avid, and the reaction from Avid is tepid at best. Avid's got a lot of technology though that is proprietary to them... but Tom's departure was very telling for me anyway. As an FCP trainer, I see Avid people all the time in my classes because the market for them has been and may well continue to shrink to nada...

Here in Denver I can count on one hand the number of companies using Avid products now. There are several hundred companies here BTW. Most all of them use FCP. I'll venture to guess that this is pretty much the way it is in all markets everywhere, less so in LA, NY, etc... only because the cost of the real estate is so high, that the extra money for the bragging rights makes an Avid an ok purchase. Or you are one of the rare few that actually need robust media management, and Unity...

In Hollywood, Avid editors are all taking FCP classes I hear. Vegas and Premiere haven't really penetrated the mainstream professional world like FCP did for whatever reason...

I ran Avid's from 1989 until around 2000. I loved them. I was on their beta team, (even alpha team early on) so even had some say in how the software was developed. But in 1999, Avid wanted about $30,000 for a Meridian board set when you could get a "CineWave" at the time that did as much for less than 6k... I jumped to FCP and never looked back. Even with all the freebees I got from Avid, it didn't offset the total cost of running one. My last one cost $105,000. My first FCP bay cost about 20k, and did most of what I needed it to do. It changed my whole lifestyle in fact.

That story is much the same everywhere when you don't need the things that granted, Avid does better (and the vast majority of users simply don't need these things). But there are things in FCP that are FAR better too. Like ergonomics. It's a ton faster to edit on FCP than it ever was on the Avids I ran, and as long as there's modes in Avid it will remain to be the situation. That is more important to me (and most users out there) than better media management any day. It's obvious this is the truth of the situation: just look at the number of registered users.

I was lucky enough to have the ears of the original people, and the high level developers over the years I ran Avid, so didn't encounter the arrogant attitude that developed in the culture there much. It's still there I hear from people, so that too doesn't serve them very well either.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things.

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX Cinema Displays


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Mark Raudonis
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 8, 2009 at 1:20:01 am

jerry,

Your experience mirrors my experience. First Avid? Ver 4.0 on a Mac Quadra in 1993. I think it cost $60K.

You can certainly give AVID credit for "developing" the NLE, but I don't think they'll be around to see
the "democratization" of the NLE. That honor has to go to Apple. Harvard MBA's will be studying this story arc in classes for years to come. Title: "How to take a world class brand and screw it up".

I do see them morphing into a "server company" as Terry Curren suggests.

I'm thrilled that my original, simple, factual post generated such a dialogue. Meanwhile, I'll stick with our 100+ seats of FCP and X-SAN, thank you very much.

Mark



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Terence Curren
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 8, 2009 at 2:09:48 pm

Interesting thread. The big point that many are missing is that in the physical universe, things change.

Remember in the 90s when Apple was "dead"? Doesn't look that way anymore. What happened? Things changed. Jobs came back and was the right guy at the right time. They took a couple risky shots with the iPod / iTunes combo that paid off in spades.

But it wasn't and still isn't FCP that saves Apple. The entire ProApps division could close tomorrow and Apple wouldn't even notice it happened.

And as for service, who helps you at Apple when you can't get video out of your Kona / Decklink to a Panasonic deck?

That's one call at Avid and they do help. Do you pay for that? Yes. But you have to ask what your time is down time is worth. If your time is cheap, then don't worry about it. If on the other hand your time is worth something, then the value added in the Avid proposition is worth something.

I have both FCP and Avid in my company. I can troubleshoot them both but FCP causes me many more hours of downtime trying to handle arcane issues than Avid does.

I have been one of the world's loudest critics of Avid in the past, (just ask Tim Wilson), but I have seen the company turn around in the last few years. I agree that it might be too little too late, but then again... it might not. Remember Apple in the 90s, people were shorting Apple stock like crazy back then. oops!!!!

Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 8, 2009 at 2:43:27 pm

Yes, all of what you say is correct, Terry. Well, except that Avid has no Steve Jobs.

No, FCP did not save Apple and it is true that the entire Pro Apps division could disappear tomorrow and it would barely scratch Apple's future.

While Apple innovates and "opportunizes," growing market share and launching new products -- even going so far as to change the company name to reflect the new reality -- Avid misses opportunities and draws back into its shell. But hey, it did go to Macworld and it did change its logo -- kind of reminds me of when Media 100 changed their logo from a professional looking one to that of what the users called "Satan's Eyeball."

Avid reminds me of the Apple of Gil Amelio, not that of Steve Jobs.

But hey, that's just me.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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Terence Curren
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 8, 2009 at 2:52:19 pm

I'm not saying I would buy Avid stock at this point. But I wouldn't short it either. Could go either way which is a better outlook than I had as little as a year ago.

Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 8, 2009 at 3:02:37 pm

I would agree that Avid's new team is faring better than the last two teams of the last few years.

But in fairness, I think the move to pitch Media Composer at Macworld (even at the new low price point) is far too late in the game to be anything more than a "Hey, let's try something totally different" marketing play -- but one that is doomed to fail, in my opinion.

That said, they have been doing other things that have made far more sense than many of the plays made by their recent predecessors.

Like Tim Wilson, I don't think the lay-offs were a bad thing -- other than for the people directly affected -- and that they likely were being too conservative with the layoffs. Sometimes, surgeons cut away parts of the body to save the life of the patient -- and Mike Cohen films the whole process. ;o) As you said in your first post of this thread, Terry, markets and things change.

When I saw the Macworld play, I almost laughed out loud, except that it was so pathetic.

I have said it before and I will say it again: I don't believe for a second that Avid is going out of business. In fact, I think that they will live long into the future. As long as Adobe, Apple and Sony build the low and middle grounds in this industry, there will always be room for companies like Avid and Autodesk, meeting specific needs of specific customers willing to pay for them.

But will Avid find its future at Macworld? Now that is something that I will bet against.

Ron Lindeboom


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Shane Ross
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 8, 2009 at 5:09:07 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "Avid reminds me of the Apple of Gil Amelio"

*Shutter*

Yeah...I worked at Apple at that time and was SURE that the company was going under. Stock was at $8 and I didn't buy it.

Avid was a bit worse, as they just didn't think that they were going to go under. They were COCKY, and if people went "Hey, I need this minor upgrade to that I can multiclip more than 4 angles," Avid techs would reply "well, that unlock code will cost you $20,000." And if you couldn't afford it, they would reply "If you can't afford it, why are you using Avid?"

Terry...get me over there to manage your FCP systems. I have darn little downtime with ours over here. Only issues are with HDV, but that it the format and the DECKs fault. Can't get that to work on the Avid all that well either.



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Todd Terry
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 8, 2009 at 5:13:39 pm

[Shane Ross] "They were COCKY"

I think Shane nailed it there. One of the reasons I never had the remotest warm-and-fuzzy feelings about Avid.

Pride goeth before the fall.



T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Terence Curren
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 8, 2009 at 6:40:20 pm

[Shane Ross] "get me over there to manage your FCP systems"

You have no idea what you are saying. It is one thing to manage FCP systems in a closed environment. It is another thing to manage FCP systems that see many different projects from different people with different formats in different states of confusion every day.


Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca


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Shane Ross
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 8, 2009 at 7:03:18 pm

I already do. One show is captured at ProRes, another show is captured as DV, and need to be recaptured as ProRes, and stock footage upconverted...and ALL the moves on stills redone.

And then there was the project from hell that had 9 different formats with 4 different frame rates that needed to be edited in such a short timeframe that there was no time to convert anything. Yeah...we had crashes galore for the first week. But then I figured out how to "lessen" that so that we had maybe 1 every 3 days. That project was a BEAR...and one that I wish we had Avid 4.0 for.

But one that I know that Avid 3.5 would have choked on.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Philip Imbrenda
Re: Avid laying off 120 people
on Dec 10, 2009 at 12:47:01 pm

Avid is just getting paid back for their lack of people skill's High price's & failure to communicate with the end user, We tried many times to use the software & always hit a roadblock we now have 5 Final cut Suites, 1 Adobe Premere, 1 Sony vegas and have no problem getting support. I just feel bad for those who are being let go & wish them well.

Tv One Productions


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