Go Big Program | New Pricing

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Tabb Firchau, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. Tabb Firchau

    Tabb Firchau Administrator
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    Hi Everyone,

    Sorry for the radio silence from me lately, things have been a whirlwind with IBC and launching our new website.

    First off I want to say that Freefly cares deeply about our customers and our products. Everything we have ever created, was with the intention of providing artists the tools to create media, that was previously impossible. I have spent a lot of time this week thinking about our new pricing, how customers would react, and what I could do to help people understand our perspective and the decisions we made. There are some key points I want to communicate:

    Things change
    Screenshot 2014-09-12 18.20.26.jpg This is a big one. I had a really poignant moment this week that drove this home. We had an embedded systems engineer fly in for an interview at HQ. We did a flight demo with the CineStar 8 and MōVI M5 to show him what we do, what we love, and what drives us to innovate. I had a little out-of-body experience as I was flying and glancing at the camera operators monitor. As I was ripping the CS8 all over the sky and seeing the perfectly stable footage on Hugh’s monitor it struck me what an insane achievement it was to have this little machine floating around the sky creating unbelievable aerial sequences. If I could have traveled back in time 5 years to this shoot I was on for National Geographic and showed the old me this system I probably would have died. I would have sold my liver, cashed in my 401K, and maybe robbed a bank to buy it. I would have paid ANY price to get my hands on what that system creates today. This is my roundabout way of telling the story that the world is moving quick right now. A system that I would have paid 500K (I am not kidding when I say that) to get my hands on is now available to ship to ANYONE in the world next day for under 10K. This is incredible!

    The march of technology and innovation drives prices down, and makes incredible things available to a broader audience. Freefly wants to get our products into as many hands as possible. We are truly proud of what we have created and partnered with you guys to create in the last year. I am not sure if everyone realizes the impact the MoVI has had in the marketplace just yet, but it has forever changed the face of filmmaking. We are intensely proud to be a part of that alongside our customers.

    We aren’t perfect
    We won’t even pretend to be….To be honest I never planned to run a company like Freefly. My plan was to spend my days drinking beers with Jeff Scholl,creating compelling aerial footage and adventuring around the world. That said an incredible confluence of luck, opportunity and perhaps naiveté led us to creating Freefly. I made the decision to trade some of my beer drinking and adventuring so that I could build a company that could help thousands of people with similar dreams create incredible footage. This is why I still wake up every morning burning to get out and shoot, and why I love when customers send us emails with things they have created. There is nothing more rewarding then getting an email from a customer telling me how the MōVI has allowed them to get a job they never could otherwise, or create a shot they didn’t think was possible. This is all to say that sometimes our strategy has flaws. That said the team here genuinely cares about our customers and views you all as partners. Even if you don’t feel like that today I think you will agree our behavior has always (and will always) be aligned with this ethos. On this topic we screwed up on the M10 to M15 upgrade path. We completely underestimated the number of people that would want this upgrade. Once we realized this and how much time / bandwidth / and resources we would waste trying to stick to the original plan we decided to throw it out. The amount of time wasted (both yours and ours) with the initial upgrade program made it a non-starter. While it wasn’t feasible to provide the original upgrade that we discussed, we tried to come up with a solution that still provided a great deal for our early adopters with a 50% discount off the M15 price.

    I know this sucks when things you were planning on change and are not communicated. For that (and other oversights) I apologize. I know these are business tools for you (as they are for me too!) and you are relying on us to equip you with the best tools to win your clients trust and praise. We take this seriously and will try and do better in the future.

    We are growing like crazy
    We have grown an incredible amount in the last year. If you have ever been in a business on this trajectory you will understand when i tell you that it has been INSANE. I know this isn’t your concern as a customer, but I am trying to give some context so you might see our perspective. With this growth we have hired experts. Experts who have helped us provide pro level customer support. Experts who have helped us reduce manufacturing costs. Experts who have helped us improve the supply chain and delivery lead times. The killer team at Freefly is now building MoVI’s faster, for lower cost, and we want to share the increased efficiency with the end customer. This stings if you just bought a MōVI and we get that. If you bought it a year ago, you have most likely paid it off 3x over. What I would ask is picture growing a company from 10 people to over 60 in the course of a year, picture delivering an incredible qty and diversity of product over that same year. This isn’t an easy task and I am extremely proud of the way the team at Freefly has handled it. People show up here at the crack of dawn and work intensely day in and day out. This kind of passion comes from believing in our product and our commitment to your success. I hope that still shines through today.

    If you are still reading I applaud you! This is a long rambling post to drive home a few points
    • We are wildly passionate about our customers and our products
    • We are committed to making the most advanced tools for filmmakers.
    • The world is plowing forward at an incredible pace. Just like each of you we are constantly fighting to carve out our niche!
    Thanks very much to all of you for the last year. It has been an incredible experience to change the cinema world with all of you.


    Tabb
     
  2. Austin Glass

    Austin Glass Active Member

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    I for one am excited to get my hands on the M15. "Go Big," while not what was originally planned, still arrives at the same result as the old upgrade path.

    I recognize that not everyone is in the same boat, but that is at least the case for me.
     
  3. Tristan Twisselman

    Tristan Twisselman Active Member

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    Tabb, thanks for responding.

    You have the Go Big program for the M10 purchasers, what about for those of us who bought an m5 in the last month or two? Anything?
     
  4. Eric De Fino

    Eric De Fino Member

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    I don't have a problem with the new pricing, and generally disagree with many of the comments posted after the announcement. It's been pretty obvious to me that, in order to stay competitive, Freefly had to bring the prices down at some point. (I know 3 people who went out and purchased a competitor's gimbal based solely on the price.)

    The idea of purchasing an M15 at a discount and keeping my M10 is great. Having a backup MoVI on set, especially in Atlanta where many large productions are happening, is a good idea. However, having a backup that is not fully compatible is not ideal.

    The only suggestion I would urge you and your team to consider is to offer some kind of upgrade for existing M10s in the near future. Be it a kit that we can purchase, a retrofit you guys do, a combination of the two, or whatever. I know it may not be that simple, but considering what you have achieved in the last year and a half, it's not unrealistic.

    As you stated, things change, and anyone who's been in this business as long as I (we?) have, knows that well.

    Cheers,
     
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  5. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Tabb, you have always been a class act. Thank you for your candor, for your continued enthusiasm and for continuing to try and do the right thing.
     
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  6. mark Berry

    mark Berry New Member

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    Hi Tabb, Thanks for the great alternative option. Looking forward to receiving the M15.
     
  7. bevan goldswain

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    Hey Tabb, Thanks for the post it was a moving read. You have grown the company really quickly and it's been a tough ride... we get it. You guys aren't perfect... we get it.

    Thanks for admitting that you guys really screwed up the upgrade path (your words not mine). It's us who bear the brunt of that. No one likes it when people go back on their promises/commitments.

    Your way of putting things though, that you have given us a half price M15 in addition to our M10 is just not something that most of us seem to agree with. The way it is being seen by your fans, your believers, your early adopters is this:

    You halved the price of our existing M10 and Doubled the upgrade path that was promised, that we were holding out for.

    We gave you our cash last year months before a release, and you surprise us with an upgrade path that goes back on your word, erodes our trust and you force a very narrow window for us to decide in. This is not the action of someone who cares, it comes across to me and I believe most others as actions that are guided by profit margins.

    Is wedging cardboard in around the camera still freefly's official stance on trying to make the camera sit firmly on the gimbal for the M10?
    Because the camera support really is not very secure at all, and has so much play that it needs something to make the system work well.
    (this is the problem you guys fixed with the fully enclosed cage)

    If cardboard is the fix then would you mind updating the user manual and the images of the gimbal on the website to include the cardboard supports, I think it would give potential buyers a better understanding of what they are buying.

    I know I am being facetious, but you have to understand our anger. After the M5 was brought out which was just a few months after the M10, it was quickly apparent that we purchased a Beta product. When cardboard is the suggested operating method for a problem that gets fixed by some simple mechanical changes we cant help but feel like guinea pigs who tested out your beta model for you.

    But wait.... Freefly announces an upgrade path to the real deal. They honour the earlier adoptors who bought in to the beta phase.
    GREAT. What a story of a company that cares.

    Fast forward to today, and here we are. We were strung along to this point and now you have given us a 2 week deadline to take you up on your deal.

    Things change, yes. We'd be stupid not to think prices would come down, of course they will. But after you make a promise for an upgrade path you should keep it.

    For the meantime... I will just keep wedging in little bits of cardboard.
     
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  8. bevan goldswain

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    No it doesn't soften the blow at all, it exacerbates it.

    "Things change" is the lousiest excuse I can think of for going back on a promise. From here on out I don't think Freefly could ever regain trust in the way it once had. No one will ever believe any other promise or commitment. Because.... "Things change"

    Tabb, for how many scenarios do you plan to use "things change as a strategy"?
    How many promises can you fail to keep this way?

    Pricing changes, yes. What we have now in the M10 would have only been accessible in areospace industries just a few years ago... no one is denying that, no one expects prices not to fall. What we are talking about is a promise you made at NAB 2014, holding an M15 in your hands.

    Your excuse now is "oh well I didn't think so many of you would take us up in the offer".... "things change"

    Tabb I seriously hope you reconsider. If you don't... hey life will go on. I might buy an M15, I might buy a Ronin. Who knows.
    But my trust in freefly would have gone for good, and that is a sad thing because I actually liked you guys.
     
  9. Adolfo Cantu-Villarreal

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    Hi Tabb,

    Could you clarify if the M10 will get the full camera cage? The M10 the price announcement page clearly shows one. This would be a major piece of information all M10 owners could use.

    http://freeflysystems.com/news/7891-2/
    10625044_906699582692306_3801381694485074707_n.png
     
  10. Hi Adolfo,

    I can confirm that the M10 full camera cage will be available as a do-it-yourself upgrade shortly. I don't have dates yet but we are working on the installation instructions currently. As soon as we have a date, we will post on the forums and let folks know.

    Best Regards,
    Denise
     
  11. Martin McGuinness

    Martin McGuinness New Member

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    October 1st would be hilarious.
     
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  12. Charles Lim

    Charles Lim Member

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    Dear Tabb, what took you guys so long to roll out the m15? I remembered that thread of some operator losing a job to you cause his poor m10 couldn't carry the bigger lens. If u guys rolled it out eariler there would have been less bad feelings. Just make sure and keep our investment clear ahead of its competitors. And not bankurpt us along the way.
     
  13. Tristan Twisselman

    Tristan Twisselman Active Member

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    To answer my own question above...
    FreeFly support responded to me and basically says if you just bought an M5, which i did, then it obviously stings but thats life and there is no special or upgrade path or options for m5 owners. I get we didn't lose the value that you M10 owners did but at the same time you guys can now buy an m15, sell it, and be money ahead...you lost 50% of your investment but will gain back much more than that taking and selling an m15 if you buy one at the special price or you can sell your M10 and break even...us m5 owners just get screwed out of a grand...ill be honest, yea the product works and technology is always changing but nothing has changed from a month ago when i bought my m5 except for the price. I thought the radians lost value quick...Lesson learned and I can say that unfortunately my next frame set won't be a cinestar and I wish someone else would come out with a comparable gimbal to the movi for a RED...just a matter of time.
     
  14. JASPER GLAVANICS

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    Hi Tristan,

    There is a comparable gimbal .... The "Ronin".
    Yes it weighs a bit more, however it is made for the RED and is half the price of the "new" M10 price. I have been on quite a few productions here that are using it in conjunction with the Klassen FX Slingshot. Good setup!

    Freefly : I need this M15 update so I can accommodate larger lenses and a matte box. However I have no need for 2 gimbals... Just honour your promise and make the upgrade!!!


    Trust is gone man ..



     
  15. Aaranyan Ramanujam

    Aaranyan Ramanujam New Member

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    Hi Tabb,

    I got 2 Movi M10s(both pre-ordered with tremendous faith) , my clients are asking for M15 as they are also aware of its release.

    Are you asking me to keep these 2 M10s and buy 2 new M15s that too within 30th Sep ??? i will be left with 4 gimbals, where all my clients would only want M15s.

    1) give an option to early adopters to either upgrade the M10 at $3K or buy a new M15 at $6k.up to the customers to decide if you guys are so customer centric.

    2) give us an option to decide and upgrade the M10 to M15 when we can and feel the need for it. It is only fair as we waited months for M10 to be delivered after paying deposit.
     
  16. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
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    Aaranyan have you sent an email to support@freeflysystems.com? Likely you will get a more prompt response to a specific situation.
     
  17. Aaranyan Ramanujam

    Aaranyan Ramanujam New Member

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    Hi GARY,

    Thank you for replying. I did send a mail to support@freeflysystems.com, not one but 4. waiting for reply.
     
  18. Thanks Aaranyan...we received your requests and have responded.
     
  19. Augusto Alves da Silva

    Augusto Alves da Silva Active Member

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    Thank you Denise for direct me to Tabb post but I still think there should be another way of doing things and PLEASE talk to Tabb about this

    1- We bought an M10 for much more than it is sold now (x2)
    2- Design changes were made to improve a product thast needed even more reliabilty and stability
    3- These changes were made on the M5 making it more stable and reliable than M10
    4- M10 first buyers should get FREE upgrades on the full cage, camera baseplate and 3rd axis tuning OR getting the 50% discount on the M15.
    5- This suggestion was made before the slashed price on the M10 but now it makes even more sense than before. We paid 7.5k for this upgrade a few months ago it is the way I see it now.

    Please keep us informed.
     
  20. Augusto Alves da Silva

    Augusto Alves da Silva Active Member

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    Thank you Tabb for the explanation.
    Thank you Denise for direct me to Tabb post but I still think there should be another way of doing things and PLEASE talk to Tabb about this

    1- We bought an M10 for much more than it is sold now (x2)
    2- Design changes were made to improve a product thast needed even more reliabilty and stability
    3- These changes were made on the M5 making it more stable and reliable than M10
    4- M10 first buyers should get FREE upgrades on the full cage, camera baseplate and 3rd axis tuning OR getting the 50% discount on the M15.
    5- This suggestion was made before the slashed price on the M10 but now it makes even more sense than before. We paid 7.5k for this upgrade a few months ago it is the way I see it now.

    Please keep us informed.
     

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