[Sidefx-houdini-list] Clear market feedback with RFE

François Duchesneau sidefx at trinix.ca
Thu Jan 31 12:41:21 EST 2008

What motivated this suggestion I guess is more to help the community to 
have a clear idea of what they want and indirectly SideFx but also to 
educate a growing community and make them feel to be part of the 
community. Here's two scenarios.

1- A rather new person to the Houdini world does an RFE that ask for 
something not realy useful for 98% of the community. Let's say that's 
something he's using all the time in an other software. He will discover 
that either nobody vote for it or even better people vote -1 and explain 
why it's not good to have that implement in Houdini and maybe suggest 
how he can do that a  better way. This RFE will be considered solved 
before even reaching SideFx and that potential customer will not 
complain because he will understand and even if he doesn't he won't 
blame SideFx.

In this scenario, if other users coming from the same other software 
want that feature, they won't probably ask it anymore based on votes and 
comments from experienced users.

2- A user ask for something direclty to SideFx but for some reasons they 
don't believe it's useful for the average user. In the RFE public list 
they might discover in fact that a lot of people would love to have that 
tiny feature. I mean how can they know currently? They don't call every 
studio to ask: "hey would you like to have that in Houdini".

I must admit I'm not sure about the best way to implement that so it 
doesn't become like an RFE forum. Probably the best is that everyone is 
allowed to emmit only one comment per RFE (no reply) and be able to 
update it if he changes his mind or if he wants to be more convincing.

Now, I agree so much with the following...

a good quote from a successful innovator:
"What the customer demands is last year's model, cheaper. To find out 
what the
customer needs you have to understand what the customer is doing as well 
as he
understands it. Then you build what he needs and you educate him to the fact
that he needs it."

... but if SideFx keep going with this concept in mind and only take the 
RFE list as a market survey, they'll never become like the other 
softwares we don't like to use anymore.


François Duchesneau wrote:
> Hi, recently I talked with a user complaining the Houdini lack of 
> certain basic modeling features etc. After talking for a while with him 
> I realized some of his requests were good and others are just not really 
> needed by the community and that can explain why they are not taken care 
> by SESI.
> This week too there was a post on the mailing list that diverged to: "to 
> implement a feature or not to implement, that is the question".
> So I asked the question once again and let me know if it doesn't make 
> sense at all, or maybe it already exists.
> Would it be good to have a RFE kind of blog where all RFE are listed and 
> any user can...
> 1- Vote +1, 0, -1 one time per user per RFE.
> 2- Explain why he votes (to help other users make a clear decision)
> 3- Subscribe to a mailing list to be warned of every new RFE
> 4- Make a search on existing RFE to avoid posting duplicates
> That way SideFx could know exactly what the market wants. The user must 
> tell if he's an apprentice or if he has a license to help SideFx decide 
> how much a vote count internally.
> However I think a warning should be made to explain that SideFx cannot 
> automatically respect this list as is for any reason they might have, 
> technical, business etc. In other words, it has to be clear that SideFx 
> is still the one who decides bottom line.
> François
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