It has been said that opinions are like buttholes – everyone has one. And unfortunately, the internet has made sure that everyone’s butthole, err, opinion, is visible whether it matters or not.
One of the dangerous times for any organization is when they move away from the core values that they started with in favor of trying to cater to public opinion. To an extent, that has happened to us. Our core value is to make assets for train simulators and games, and make them better than the maker of the simulator makes them. But success has come with a price. Suddenly we have people assailing us from all directions with their opinions on how this bolt is supposed to be placed, or how this part is supposed to be shaped, or how this picture is the next livery we should do. There are also the critics of everything from our licensing agreements to the colors we have chosen for our website. And since it’s easier to listen to a human voice than than the words of truth in a paper manual, we find ourselves pulled in different directions about how to proceed.
Now don’t get me wrong, it is wise to listen to your customers and fans. But can you imagine what would have happened to Wal-Mart if they listened to every environmentalist, every labor activist, and every house-marm who thought they should have gotten rich working part time? By sticking to their guns despite the helpful intention of fans and the unfailing criticism of their detractors, they have avoided bankruptsy many times over.
So, to avoid an inevitable drift towards misdirection and conflicting objectives, we are going back to our basics – building assets the way we know how; with resesearch, long hours behind a computer screen, and the goal to please ourselves first before pleasing the masses. And being that our current products have very few real complaints that have not been easily resolved, I would say that the people who will benefit most by this old approach to a new problem are our customers.