You wake up as the CEO of Propellerhead. What would you do?

This forum is for discussing Propellerhead's music software. Questions, answers, ideas, and opinions... all apply.
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joeyluck
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Post 15 Mar 2019

ernstnathorst wrote:
15 Mar 2019
My "office" (actually a desk in the landscape like everybody else's). That thing sticking up from the backpack is just a baguette, OK?
The baguette should now take the place of what was the pineapple and be featured in all the Reason 10.3 materials :puf_smile:

mcatalao
Posts: 960
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 15 Mar 2019

ernstnathorst wrote:
15 Mar 2019
Well, if I interpret this as you guys guessing what my work days actually look like, at least some of it was right on the money.

Yes, I do feel lots of gratitude for being able to do what I’m doing. I mean come on, this is the best job ever and I get to work with the most amazing people.

Still, there’s certainly some head banging going on now and then as you suggested, not for the reasons mentioned though. Mostly the thing that gets me is the fact that we can’t always live up to everybody’s expectations. There’s a super-dedicated team of amazing people here, doing everything they can to come up with the best experience possible for you guys. But the day only has twenty-four hours and building as complex products as we do Is hard. We make most decisions in teams. However, at the end of the day its my ass on the line for final prioritization’s. If you don’t like how we’re doing things, it’s me the hate mail should go to, not the team.

So what do I do? Being a CEO is like a combination of a guru and a janitor. You’re expected to have answers to questions no one else can answer (not that many, and I often fail) and you need to clean up the shit that it’s no-one else’s job to take care of, simply because their time and talent is better spent serving you guys, the customers. It’s not very glorious actually, at least it doesn’t feel that way to me. Also, it’s not like you can make decisions for new features in the product every day (not even my job, but still). Since it takes a looooot longer for the dev team to execute on those decisions than for the product people to make them, they are pretty far apart (and need to be well founded). Having said that, being CEO is a position of power, I do have a lot of influence on the company's direction. But I too have my restrictions as established by the owners and the board of directors.

But over all, pretty much the day job is to make sure everyone else has everything they need to do their job as well as they can, the information, the direction, the competence, the tools, the money and other resources.

So a typical day could go something like this:

Get up and have breakfast. Tea, not coffee. Check email and Slack to see if there’s any panic or progress.

Get off to work, the subway being over-crowded as always. Listening to a podcast to escape. Maybe go to the gym.

Get into the office and send off replies to the most urgent emails, if I didn't already to that during breakfast.

Check on yesterday's stats, sales, usage etc, to see if we’re on track or if there’s anything alarming.

More emails. Love email. And more Slack. Love Slack.

Meetings about a million different things. Most of which I can’t talk about here, sorry. But it’s from anything from recruiting to strategy, marketing initiatives, product progress, offices, negotiations etc, etc. Again making sure it’s all coordinated.

Lunch, which usually is pretty short.

Checking in on various sources, social media, youtube, competitors, ReasonTalk, what’s going on in the world that I should know about.

More meetings and email, and hopefully some time to work on my long list of projects I’d like to get off the ground. Problem is, everybody else is already busy with what they’ve been tasked to do, so I can’t just go and grab them and tell them to work on what I’m excited about today. I should really learn how to code. And do graphics. And...

Back home to have dinner with the family. Then usually crack the computer open again for something that needs to be prepared for next day. And more email. Love email.

Go into my small study and glancing at the keyboards and guitars asking myself why I don’t spend more time making music.

Brushing my teeth and turing out the light.

That’s about it.

We’re thinking about starting an AMA on Instagram (don’t know when!), so if you want to help us kick that off, send in some questions on this topic or anything else you'd like to find out and I will try my best to answer.

And last, I think you guys are overestimating my music abilities. My beats are many things, but certainly not “sick”.

Keep it up! I certainly will. And as always, deep gratitude for your support of the company and our products.

/Ernst

My "office" (actually a desk in the landscape like everybody else's). That thing sticking up from the backpack is just a baguette, OK?
I was reading this thread and thought "well... It would be rather interesting in the middle of this thread, Ernst coming along and answering..." and BAM!!!!

:)

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Loque
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Post 15 Mar 2019

Most parts sound like my job. I have 3 instead of only 1 monitor - I now feel important. ;)

Thinking now about switching from coffee to tea...
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

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antic604
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Location: Warsaw, Poland

Post 15 Mar 2019

Well, damn! :o

It's the 1st time I see a response from DAW developer's CEO. Respect & thanks! <3
Bitwig 2 // Reason 10 // Cubase Pro 10 @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604
other stuff - "Psytrance in Bitwig Studio" tutorial

WongoTheSane
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Location: Paris, France

Post 15 Mar 2019

antic604 wrote:
15 Mar 2019
Well, damn! :o

It's the 1st time I see a response from DAW developer's CEO. Respect & thanks! <3
Second time. He posted his direct phone number in his first post. How ballsy is that?

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Loque
Posts: 5380
Joined: 28 Dec 2015

Post 15 Mar 2019

antic604 wrote:
15 Mar 2019
Well, damn! :o

It's the 1st time I see a response from DAW developer's CEO. Respect & thanks! <3
Yea, guess he got us by our balls... ;D
:reason: 10, Win10 64Bit.

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antic604
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Location: Warsaw, Poland

Post 15 Mar 2019

WongoTheSane wrote:
15 Mar 2019
Second time.
I meant in general - I never saw top guys from Steinberg, Presonus or Ableton post on forums.

It's different with Bitwig, because with 12-people team every one is a "top guy" ;)
Bitwig 2 // Reason 10 // Cubase Pro 10 @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604
other stuff - "Psytrance in Bitwig Studio" tutorial

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antic604
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Location: Warsaw, Poland

Post 15 Mar 2019

Loque wrote:
15 Mar 2019
antic604 wrote:
15 Mar 2019
Well, damn! :o

It's the 1st time I see a response from DAW developer's CEO. Respect & thanks! <3
Yea, guess he got us by our balls... ;D
With non-transferrable REs you got that right. I've like 800EUR in there (and counting)... :lol: :mrgreen:
Bitwig 2 // Reason 10 // Cubase Pro 10 @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604
other stuff - "Psytrance in Bitwig Studio" tutorial

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bxbrkrz
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Post 15 Mar 2019

ernstnathorst wrote:
15 Mar 2019
Well, if I interpret this as you guys guessing what my work days actually look like, at least some of it was right on the money.

Yes, I do feel lots of gratitude for being able to do what I’m doing. I mean come on, this is the best job ever and I get to work with the most amazing people.

Still, there’s certainly some head banging going on now and then as you suggested, not for the reasons mentioned though. Mostly the thing that gets me is the fact that we can’t always live up to everybody’s expectations. There’s a super-dedicated team of amazing people here, doing everything they can to come up with the best experience possible for you guys. But the day only has twenty-four hours and building as complex products as we do Is hard. We make most decisions in teams. However, at the end of the day its my ass on the line for final prioritization’s. If you don’t like how we’re doing things, it’s me the hate mail should go to, not the team.

So what do I do? Being a CEO is like a combination of a guru and a janitor. You’re expected to have answers to questions no one else can answer (not that many, and I often fail) and you need to clean up the shit that it’s no-one else’s job to take care of, simply because their time and talent is better spent serving you guys, the customers. It’s not very glorious actually, at least it doesn’t feel that way to me. Also, it’s not like you can make decisions for new features in the product every day (not even my job, but still). Since it takes a looooot longer for the dev team to execute on those decisions than for the product people to make them, they are pretty far apart (and need to be well founded). Having said that, being CEO is a position of power, I do have a lot of influence on the company's direction. But I too have my restrictions as established by the owners and the board of directors.

But over all, pretty much the day job is to make sure everyone else has everything they need to do their job as well as they can, the information, the direction, the competence, the tools, the money and other resources.

So a typical day could go something like this:

Get up and have breakfast. Tea, not coffee. Check email and Slack to see if there’s any panic or progress.

Get off to work, the subway being over-crowded as always. Listening to a podcast to escape. Maybe go to the gym.

Get into the office and send off replies to the most urgent emails, if I didn't already to that during breakfast.

Check on yesterday's stats, sales, usage etc, to see if we’re on track or if there’s anything alarming.

More emails. Love email. And more Slack. Love Slack.

Meetings about a million different things. Most of which I can’t talk about here, sorry. But it’s from anything from recruiting to strategy, marketing initiatives, product progress, offices, negotiations etc, etc. Again making sure it’s all coordinated.

Lunch, which usually is pretty short.

Checking in on various sources, social media, youtube, competitors, ReasonTalk, what’s going on in the world that I should know about.

More meetings and email, and hopefully some time to work on my long list of projects I’d like to get off the ground. Problem is, everybody else is already busy with what they’ve been tasked to do, so I can’t just go and grab them and tell them to work on what I’m excited about today. I should really learn how to code. And do graphics. And...

Back home to have dinner with the family. Then usually crack the computer open again for something that needs to be prepared for next day. And more email. Love email.

Go into my small study and glancing at the keyboards and guitars asking myself why I don’t spend more time making music.

Brushing my teeth and turing out the light.

That’s about it.

We’re thinking about starting an AMA on Instagram (don’t know when!), so if you want to help us kick that off, send in some questions on this topic or anything else you'd like to find out and I will try my best to answer.

And last, I think you guys are overestimating my music abilities. My beats are many things, but certainly not “sick”.

Keep it up! I certainly will. And as always, deep gratitude for your support of the company and our products.

/Ernst

My "office" (actually a desk in the landscape like everybody else's). That thing sticking up from the backpack is just a baguette, OK?
:puf_smile: :thumbs_up:

Baylo
Posts: 28
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 15 Mar 2019

antic604 wrote:
15 Mar 2019
Well, damn! :o

It's the 1st time I see a response from DAW developer's CEO. Respect & thanks! <3
Agreed!

Not quite the same thing, but back in the day I remember a chap - Dave Nicholson, I think his name was - who was the Cubase SX product manager *and* moderator of the official Cubase user forum. Talk about a thankless job... Similar in some respects, I guess to the old PUF...

I'm thankful that a pretty good balance has been struck here at ReasonTalk as an independent forum that is well moderated, generally full of helpful and friendly users, and influential enough to have positive and productive participation from the Props. A pat on the back to everyone! :-)

Mark

CUBRICON
Posts: 6
Joined: 20 Jan 2015
Location: California

Post 15 Mar 2019

Ernst,

My guess is that your current demographic is my age, 30 to 50-year-old males who already own a bunch of hardware and software and don’t need to upgrade or buy so much new stuff. You need to get 16-year-olds hooked on Reason. And they will need more than a 30 day trial because, frankly, they don’t know hardware at all.

You need to figure out a way to get Reason into the hands of highschoolers the way image line did with FL Studio. I am not advocating for piracy, but so many of my students started out with a cracked version of FL and eventually they paid for it ( six years later ) when they wanted a stable version or they realized they should pay for their software.

Autodesk have done this with Maya. If you are a student, you get anything from Autodesk for free with a non-commercial restriction. ( but I would not recommend the non-commercial restriction as, that would just be a nightmare to enforce )

So, by getting reasoning to the hearts and minds of teenagers, you find a consumer that has not spent $30,000 in audio related purchases yet. I don’t know what the lifetime value of an audio customer is, but I’m sure it is greater if you catch them early in life.

Think about it this way, how many people started out with a cracked version of Reason 5.0 and then eventually bought the software?

So get Reason into the hands of teenagers and then do all sorts of social media stuff like competitions, artist features, and basic tutorials for making sick beats etc...

Oh, and don’t forget about merchandise! A lot of people actually wanted that orange Christmas sweater! But I would license it so that someone else can take care of the sales and inventory. Or explore using a website like redbubble if the quality is high enough.

So here’s the mantra, like a Microsoft developers conference: Highschoolers! Highschoolers! Highschoolers!!!

Sincerely,
-Ken Lee
If Lee-ving is without you (Highschoolers)

All grammatical error‘s to be blamed on my cell phone

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boingy
Posts: 253
Joined: 01 Feb 2019

Post 15 Mar 2019

CUBRICON wrote:
15 Mar 2019


You need to figure out a way to get Reason into the hands of highschoolers the way image line did with FL Studio. I am not advocating for piracy, but so many of my students started out with a cracked version of FL and eventually they paid for it ( six years later ) when they wanted a stable version or they realized they should pay for their software.
Actually, I think you are not far off. I think piracy did have an effect on my generation, allowing us to play with stuff we could not afford and some of us went on to buy those tools later but the modern way is to have a free cut down version and back it up low-cost upgrades or a shop that sells lots of affordable components. Go check out T-Racks Custom Shop for an example.

Imagine Reason Free with only a basic sampler, one synth and a maximum of 8 tracks. Want more tracks? Buy the 8 track pack for $20. Want another synth? Hey, we have loads of REs at a range of prices. Even Pro Tools has a free version.

And highschoolers are not PC or Mac-centric. It's all about the phone for them so you have to start there and hook them in.

Regardless of all that, kudos to the CEO. :thumbs_up:

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bxbrkrz
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Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 15 Mar 2019

"You need to... You need to... You need to..."

Ok.
I think this beautiful thread is over. Mister Baguette won the day.

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ernstnathorst
Posts: 7
Joined: 23 Aug 2018

Post 15 Mar 2019

bxbrkrz wrote:
15 Mar 2019
"You need to... You need to... You need to..."

Ok.
I think this beautiful thread is over. Mister Baguette won the day.
:puf_bigsmile:

CUBRICON
Posts: 6
Joined: 20 Jan 2015
Location: California

Post 15 Mar 2019

I just had another idea in the shower. Make a fully functional, free version of Reason with the same features and functions as the full version, but it inserts and audio watermark like a “producers tag”.

This audio watermark would be heard every eight or 16 measures while the song is playing and every six or eight minutes when the song is not playing. You could even have different versions of the watermark or tag that the user could pick.

So, just like pretty much every rap beats producer does these days, if you want to get rid of the tag, you have to pay for the license.

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ernstnathorst
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Joined: 23 Aug 2018

Post 15 Mar 2019

bxbrkrz wrote:
15 Mar 2019
"You need to... You need to... You need to..."

Ok.
I think this beautiful thread is over. Mister Baguette won the day.
That is a challenge for me. I would like to interact more with people. But when I stick my neck out some people get the urge to help me run the company. I understand that and don’t mind it at all. It’s just that I don’t know how to respond. I can say “great advice!” and maybe not be entirely truthful. I can mansplain why the idea won’t work and quickly find myself in a rabbit hole of endless discussions (and there will be facts and plans I can’t share). Or I can stay silent and seem arrogant or distant.

Neither feels that great.

So then I climb back into my cave.

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ScuzzyEye
Posts: 1297
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 15 Mar 2019

ernstnathorst wrote:
15 Mar 2019
That is a challenge for me. I would like to interact more with people. But when I stick my neck out some people get the urge to help me run the company. I understand that and don’t mind that at all. It’s just that I don’t know how to respond. I can say “great advice!” and maybe not be entirely truthful. I can mansplain why the idea won’t work and quickly find myself in a rabbit hole of endless discussions (and there will be facts and plans I can’t share). Or I can stay silent and seem arrogant or distant.

Neither feels that great.

So then I climb back into my cave.
I can completely understand that. All I can offer is a great thanks for coming out of the cave and visiting this little forum, and giving us a little insight into your day. Feel free to stop by any time you have an important bread update to announce. :D

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joeyluck
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Post 15 Mar 2019

ernstnathorst wrote:
15 Mar 2019
So then I climb back into my cave.
I knew it!


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Aquila
Posts: 423
Joined: 21 Jan 2015

Post 15 Mar 2019

Absolutely huge respect in taking part in this fun thread Ernst. Also respect for not being afraid of saying words like "shit" in public lmao.

Hats off to you sire. :lol:
ernstnathorst wrote:
15 Mar 2019
Well, if I interpret this as you guys guessing what my work days actually look like, at least some of it was right on the money.

Yes, I do feel lots of gratitude for being able to do what I’m doing. I mean come on, this is the best job ever and I get to work with the most amazing people.

Still, there’s certainly some head banging going on now and then as you suggested, not for the reasons mentioned though. Mostly the thing that gets me is the fact that we can’t always live up to everybody’s expectations. There’s a super-dedicated team of amazing people here, doing everything they can to come up with the best experience possible for you guys. But the day only has twenty-four hours and building as complex products as we do Is hard. We make most decisions in teams. However, at the end of the day its my ass on the line for final prioritization’s. If you don’t like how we’re doing things, it’s me the hate mail should go to, not the team.

So what do I do? Being a CEO is like a combination of a guru and a janitor. You’re expected to have answers to questions no one else can answer (not that many, and I often fail) and you need to clean up the shit that it’s no-one else’s job to take care of, simply because their time and talent is better spent serving you guys, the customers. It’s not very glorious actually, at least it doesn’t feel that way to me. Also, it’s not like you can make decisions for new features in the product every day (not even my job, but still). Since it takes a looooot longer for the dev team to execute on those decisions than for the product people to make them, they are pretty far apart (and need to be well founded). Having said that, being CEO is a position of power, I do have a lot of influence on the company's direction. But I too have my restrictions as established by the owners and the board of directors.

But over all, pretty much the day job is to make sure everyone else has everything they need to do their job as well as they can, the information, the direction, the competence, the tools, the money and other resources.

So a typical day could go something like this:

Get up and have breakfast. Tea, not coffee. Check email and Slack to see if there’s any panic or progress.

Get off to work, the subway being over-crowded as always. Listening to a podcast to escape. Maybe go to the gym.

Get into the office and send off replies to the most urgent emails, if I didn't already to that during breakfast.

Check on yesterday's stats, sales, usage etc, to see if we’re on track or if there’s anything alarming.

More emails. Love email. And more Slack. Love Slack.

Meetings about a million different things. Most of which I can’t talk about here, sorry. But it’s from anything from recruiting to strategy, marketing initiatives, product progress, offices, negotiations etc, etc. Again making sure it’s all coordinated.

Lunch, which usually is pretty short.

Checking in on various sources, social media, youtube, competitors, ReasonTalk, what’s going on in the world that I should know about.

More meetings and email, and hopefully some time to work on my long list of projects I’d like to get off the ground. Problem is, everybody else is already busy with what they’ve been tasked to do, so I can’t just go and grab them and tell them to work on what I’m excited about today. I should really learn how to code. And do graphics. And...

Back home to have dinner with the family. Then usually crack the computer open again for something that needs to be prepared for next day. And more email. Love email.

Go into my small study and glancing at the keyboards and guitars asking myself why I don’t spend more time making music.

Brushing my teeth and turing out the light.

That’s about it.

We’re thinking about starting an AMA on Instagram (don’t know when!), so if you want to help us kick that off, send in some questions on this topic or anything else you'd like to find out and I will try my best to answer.

And last, I think you guys are overestimating my music abilities. My beats are many things, but certainly not “sick”.

Keep it up! I certainly will. And as always, deep gratitude for your support of the company and our products.

/Ernst

My "office" (actually a desk in the landscape like everybody else's). That thing sticking up from the backpack is just a baguette, OK?

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bxbrkrz
Posts: 1075
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 15 Mar 2019

ernstnathorst wrote:
15 Mar 2019
bxbrkrz wrote:
15 Mar 2019
"You need to... You need to... You need to..."

Ok.
I think this beautiful thread is over. Mister Baguette won the day.
That is a challenge for me. I would like to interact more with people. But when I stick my neck out some people get the urge to help me run the company. I understand that and don’t mind it at all. It’s just that I don’t know how to respond. I can say “great advice!” and maybe not be entirely truthful. I can mansplain why the idea won’t work and quickly find myself in a rabbit hole of endless discussions (and there will be facts and plans I can’t share). Or I can stay silent and seem arrogant or distant.

Neither feels that great.

So then I climb back into my cave.
There is a natural push for total conformity. Everything has to be the same, feel the same, look the same. It is not wrong, it's just human nature, being a social creature and stuff. I imagine it would be like falling toward a black hole with a strong pull of anti-creativity. I am sure it is not easy running away from it. But that's exactly why you are the CEO.......

Your cave can be as small or as big as you want inside, just like the Tardis.

Relax dude. We got your back! :puf_smile: :thumbs_up:

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boingy
Posts: 253
Joined: 01 Feb 2019

Post 15 Mar 2019

Oi Ernst! Shut yer face and get back in yer cave!

Oh, sorry. Did I say that out loud? :mrgreen:

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Luxuria
Posts: 80
Joined: 17 Mar 2016

Post 15 Mar 2019

ernstnathorst wrote:
15 Mar 2019

Keep it up! I certainly will. And as always, deep gratitude for your support of the company and our products.

/Ernst
Ernst coming in hot on this thread!

I appreciate the openness and honesty of your day to day. You really have a tough job. You work in the "music industry" so to speak, but it's really managing a company as the CEO title states.

Congratulations on the 10.3 beta announcement! Hope there are many more improvements to come. And keep up with the communication. Love the AMA idea.

You've got me interested in a Reason 11 upgrade. Show me that sexy new sequencer ;)

-Baguette or bong? :puf_bigsmile:

Andy
Posts: 26
Joined: 03 May 2017

Post 15 Mar 2019

1. Remove VST support.
2. Start building hardware version of Reason synths.

ltbrunt00
Posts: 382
Joined: 10 Jan 2017

Post 15 Mar 2019

1. Look at my bank account.
2. Figure out how to speak the native language
3. Find out where the best restaurants and grocery stores are located.
4. Change my wardrobe, everything would be black, dark grays and navy blues.
5. Figure out how to get to the office.
6. Once in the office find the most knowledgeable reason product expert and have them give me a crash course. I would tell them this is a test of their knowledge of the product.
7. Create a separate team with the sole purpose of creating a version of reason with every feature I myself have ever wanted. I would call it something like Reason Unleashed.
8. After a full year come out with a version of reason with current and new features based off what I had added.
9. Get yelled at by the Reason community for adding all these features they didn't ask for.
Reason 10.5

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Jagwah
Posts: 1393
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 15 Mar 2019

What a fun thread, thanks for joining in Ernst, we always like hearing from you! :puf_bigsmile:

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