It’s been a very long time since we’ve communicated with our Note Studio users. As many have pointed out, inexcusably long. So let me start by apologising for our complete lack of communication, and some broken promises.
- We have failed to get version 3.4 out anywhere near when we thought (and promised) we would.
- We have failed to update our blog regularly.
- We have failed to maintain the standards you would expect on our forum, and despite some heroic work by our moderator, people have been exposed to all sorts of pornography and spam.
- Our support has been haphazard - some people have received fast, good support, others have received slow, bad support, or in a few cases, none at all.
I apologise. I am very sorry that we have let things go that way. If this apology is not enough, and you’re still mad, well I don’t blame you. It has been deplorable.
So, are we still alive? Does the company still exist? Does Note Studio have a future?
- Not at the moment.
In writing this, I’ve deliberately kept it brief. Any time I started to go into the whole story, which gave more background on our thoughts, our lives, or justifying how we came to various conclusions, I edited it out. It’s not the most important thing at this stage.
So here’s the summary, as short and sharp as I can make it:
Part 1: The Current State of Things
1. Approximately 80% of our Note Studio revenue comes from the Palm version (Pc-Palm, Mac-Palm, Palm-only). The remainder comes from standalone versions (PC, Mac).
2. We are not confident of the long term future of Palm. Sales of Palm devices seem to be dropping.
3. Sales of Palm Note Studio have been declining, probably mainly due to the above factor. Note Studio has gone from producing more than 50% of our company revenue, to less than 5%. To support our families, we have had to seek other sources of income.
4. Note Studio still requires nearly as much time and effort as all our other ventures combined, despite providing only small proportion of revenue. Personally, we have experienced a number of big changes in our lives, which have also changed our priorities. We have reached the point where we can no longer develop and support Note Studio in the manner we, or our customers, are satisfied with.
5. In its current form, Note Studio is not commercially viable for us. Something has to change.
6. We still use Note Studio every day. We feel that it is a very useful product, and would like to see it continue to improve.
7. We have tried to find a partner who would take over the Note Studio product. We have had a few promising leads, but none have turned into anything solid.
Part 2: Where To From Here?
1. We believe that Note Studio can be a commercially viable product, provided it has:
a) the right people developing it,
b) the product is simplified, so it is easier to develop and support.
2. The current release (3.3.2) will be the last commercial release.
3. We are putting Note Studio ‘on hold’, which means that we are taking the following actions:
a) disable posts on the forum. We don’t actively monitor the forum, and we have had an increasing problem of spams, so that visitors to the forum (who may be visiting from their workplace) are being subjected to entirely inappropriate images etc. This is not acceptable. The forum may be re-opened in the future, but at this stage it is disabled.
b) disable comments on blog. Same reason.
c) taking Note Studio down from sale this week. At this point in time, we cannot =in good faith= continue to sell Note Studio, when we are unable to support it properly or guarantee any future.
Personally, I am reliant on Note Studio. I have been keeping a daily journal since 2004, which by now contains so many details - contact details, meeting notes, decisions I’ve made, research I’ve done, and so on. I would be lost without it, so I will continue to use the current version for the foreseeable future. I have a strong idea of how I would like to see Note Studio develop, but at this stage, we are cryogenically freezing Note Studio.
Again, I apologise for the lack of communication leading up to this announcement. We have really been wrestling with the issue of Note Studio’s future for a long time, and I didn’t want to make any announcement while things were so uncertain. In hindsight, an announcement such as ‘we are uncertain about Note Studio’s future’ could have been helpful a number of months ago. Sorry to leave people wondering.
This announcement will surely contain bad news for a lot of customers, particularly those who are still reliant on the Palm platform, and have been looking forward to 3.4 for a long time. I just want to say again that we were financially unable to develop or support Note Studio in its current form.
A Wiese, Dogmelon Pty Ltd