From: Jim Collas <>
Newsgroups: comp.sys.amiga.misc
Subject: Re: Why has Amiga never asked us what we want?
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 1999 06:30:14 GMT

[snip - relevant rant from well intentioned person]

Warning! I deserve to right to rant once in a while also so here I go:

I know that we still have to improve communication but visibly
communicating with a large community is difficult. I expend a
significant amount of effort listening to and understanding the Amiga
community. I have spent 100s of hours in the last several months
listening to and corresponding with the Amiga community. Here are some
of the activities:

1) I met with over 100 Amigans in multiple groups in St. Louis to listen to input.
2) I have met with multiple groups around the U.S. to get input. I have held
   several press conferences to get input.
3) I flew to Germany and the U.K. in May specifically to meet with 60 to 70
   prominent Amigans and listen to input. Multiple feedback session of several hours.
4) I met with key Amiga developers in U.K. and Germany.
5) I read the most popular Amiga newsgroups daily.
6) We have started Amiga sponsored forums to get input.
7) I read over 100 emails a day from the Amiga community and reply to many of them.
8) I talk to people in the Amiga community many times a week.
9) Bill McEwen and Darreck Lisle read 100s of email a day and compile the common
   inputs and questions fo me and other executives.
10) We are establishing an Amiga Advisory Council consisting of prominant Amigans
    that were nominated by the community.
11) etc ...

As you can see I have had 1000s of interactions with the Amiga
community. I wonder if anyone realizes how much effort this is on top
of running the company. I wonder if anyone realizes how much travel
this is away from my family. I do this because I care about what you
think. I listen to the community and think deeply about the input as I
set the plans. In order to better understand our plans, there are a few
things people should consider:

1) There are many differing opinions in the community about what to do.
   Many times people are pulling in opposite directions.
2) There isn't a single consistent set of requirements from the community.
3) I am trying to make up for several years of flawed decisions. This has made
   the situation very difficult. Because of the delay we can't just evolve
   a product line like most companies would. This also means I inherited
   a community with little patience (understandable).
4) There are a significant number of variables to consider and its impossible
   to communicate them all publicly.
5) There are many things that the community doesn't know relative to new
   technology advancements.
6) We can't share all of our strategic plans publicly.
7) This is an extremely difficult industry to compete in. There are many big
   players with deep pockets. Microsoft just passed the $500B value mark.
   We can't just waltz in with a "me too" strategy.
8) We are basically building company from scratch, not just a product.
   Do people realize how difficult this is to do quickly.
9) There are constraints on budget and resources. We are working as effectively
   and diligently as we can.
10) There are people that will blast whatever we do. No matter what we do.
    It's unfortunate for me but they are understandably fed up because of the past.

I know it's frustrating but don't judge me on the last several years.
These were screwed up and I didn't have anything to do with it. Judge
me on the last 5 months. I am driving Amiga in a way that it hasn't
been driven in a long time. As an aggressive, independent, and
visionary company. I am balancing technology, business, marketing, and
industry dynamics to come up with a plan that gives us a great chance
at being a driving force in the computer industry again. We are in a
very difficult predicament and I am defining a very strong plan to get
us out. It is not easy to understand all of the variables that go into
this plan. It's even more difficult to communicate it publicly. This
plan requires complex compromises and prioritization and not everyone
will understand or agree. Also remember, the first product out is not
the end of our roadmap. The only thing I can assure you is that I do
care about the community and I listen. I will drive relentlessly and
aggressively to bring back Amiga as a driving force. There is 101
things I can do with my career but this is what I have passion for. I
need the Amiga community behind me on this or we will fail. We have one
last shot. We can't afford to be diverted or distracted. We MUST stand
united to succeed.

Thanks for listening.