Propellerhead Software Names Niklas Agevik as CEO

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diminished
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Post 20 May 2019

Another thought on the matter: Niklas was specifically hired to oversee production and global distribution of the orange Reason Season Sweater.
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mcatalao
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Post 20 May 2019

Ernst, thank you for all this years of fun with music, cables and so on!

Now, the uttermost importance... we can assume the real reason for this thread...

viewtopic.php?t=7511341

Is that in reality user Luxuria is Niklas and he was trying to get the grips of the job?

;)

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mcatalao
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Post 20 May 2019

Luxuria wrote:
16 May 2019
Sortitoutonsunday wrote:
16 May 2019
What if this started with the "What if you woke up as the CEO of Propellerhead" thread? Maybe that thread was a secret search for a new CEO? I smell a conspiracy.. :roll:
I started that thread. Let me assure you that I have no involvement with the workings of Propellerheads.

(...)
Oh well it would've been fun... :)

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EnochLight
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Post 20 May 2019

Magnus wrote:
20 May 2019
kiddie not-really-musician hipsters ... actual serious grown-up power users having the best in class tools to make a living with.
You've pretty much just described every DAW. Ever.
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Magnus
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Post 20 May 2019

EnochLight wrote:
20 May 2019
Magnus wrote:
20 May 2019
kiddie not-really-musician hipsters ... actual serious grown-up power users having the best in class tools to make a living with.
You've pretty much just described every DAW. Ever.
Thanks! Essentially a business can’t exist without both a product and an audience. I always think the danger is when a company becomes overly focused on one of these to the detriment of the other.

My sense was always that Propellerhead were a product company and not an audience company. They were the Radiohead of the software world; doing their own thing and not just being crowd-pleasers. So I trusted in the intuition and reasoning behind the decisions that built their products. And whilst I can understand why the new Propellerhead is opening up and listening to customers more (despite not using VST myself) my worry is that if they go to far to being an audience-driven company, ultimately their product will suffer in some way and they will become more like latter day Coldplay than Radiohead. Great for shareholders and sales but not so great for those of us that loved the Propellerhead of old. I guess, to quote George Harrison, All Things Must Pass.

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mcatalao
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Post 20 May 2019

Magnus wrote:
20 May 2019
(...)

Great for shareholders and sales but not so great for those of us that loved the Propellerhead of old. I guess, to quote George Harrison, All Things Must Pass.
If you loved the Propellerhead of old, you can grab any version of reason here:

https://www.propellerheads.com/en/reason/updates

scratchnsnifff
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Post 20 May 2019

ernstnathorst wrote:
17 May 2019
Thanks for the kind words everybody!

Some more information around this. It's been planned for a bit of time, you can say since Verdane made their investment. All the good people around here already knew it was going to happen. What was driving the date was only how fast we could find someone as great as Niklas, which took some time. There are no other changes to management, so it'll be the same amazing team working on all the cool stuff we have in the pipeline.

I'm still an important shareholder in the company. I'll be staying on the board of directors and there's no end date to that. In that capacity I will support Niklas and everybody else in whatever best way I can. I'll be 59 this year. I've been doing this for over 25 years. So there's really good reason (no pun intended) for both the company and me to change things up a little bit. That's the complete and honest to god story, nothing else is going on.

As for the comments in the press release about our plans moving forward, there's no big mystery to be solved there either. We have great plans for Reason on the desktop. We're working on Rack Extensions that we think complement the included selection in the best possible way. The mobile team is working away hard on Compact and just now getting into the groove of having two more products in the catalog. The end goal is the same as it always has been, getting as many people as we possibly can a chance to explore the amazing world of music making, and supporting the ones who are already there in the best possible way we can.

That's exactly what Niklas is going to do, and that's what I will support him in, to the best of my abilities.
When swearing in a CEO at propellerhead you guys should make the new guy program a Thor patch using every matrix slot. :)
Now my only question, was releasing VST in Reason + mobile/web one of your staple ideas that you wanted to take care of before leaving? A bucket list sort of thing? Or even something along the lines of being one of those features that people said would never happen, so obviously that would be the way to go lol

P.s. I still find it funny reading old YouTube comments about vst support and adding audio.
Mayor of plucktown :evil:

WongoTheSane
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Post 20 May 2019

That's a good question. Ernst, what are you most proud of in Reason, in these 25 years?

KRS Music
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Post 20 May 2019

I would also like to show my gratitude to Ernst for all his efforts over the years.

I'm a long term Reason user (Version 2) and I've upgraded to every version (I skipped 9) and I'm now happily working my way through 10 and its reams of content. I have enough rack extensions to keep me busy for the next 20 years, and yes, I still scroll through the entire sale items in case I 'missed summat'. I probably didn't, but hey, what can ya do?

My take is this. Reason is a tool that I use every day, it does exactly what I expect it to in a consistent and reassuring manner. The other thing I get from Reason is new ideas, Grain for example. I didn't really know that I even wanted a brand new granular synth until I had a muck about with Grain. I think it's a work of art and is totally geared towards creativity. It's actually quite hard to get a bad sound out the thing.

What I'm trying to say is that I respect the people who work for Props and I also appreciate the hard work they put into new ideas that clearly require a lot of research and a good eye for current trends.

And ultimately I think that Reason is geared towards creative individuals that want to create music without having to 'jump through a hoop' when the ideas are flowing. That is the most important thing for me.
Last edited by KRS Music on 20 May 2019, edited 1 time in total.

KRS Music
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Post 20 May 2019

Gosh, where's me manners?

To Niklas I should say this. Congratulations for getting the job of CEO of Props.

I bet that was a job interview you won't forget in a hurry.

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Jagwah
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Post 21 May 2019

two shoes wrote:
17 May 2019
...and there's Adam Fielding interrupting the doom and gloom party with perspective and positivity just to remind you that he's not just a better musician than you, but also a much better person.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Jagwah
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Post 21 May 2019

Thank you for your incredible work Ernst! Reason is a huge deal in so many people's lives all around the world, and it will continue to be almost regardless of the direction it takes from here. I think that is a testament to what truly great software it is.

Glad you are staying on the board for now, this new fly by the seat of your pants, I can handle any job, hot shot CEO is worrying many of us! However, I think we should all take comfort in trusting your judgement on this one. ;)

Best of luck with everything! <3

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RustyShakleforde
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Post 22 May 2019

I respect Ernst etc and I am thankful for the innovations Reason has brought to us to date. It is by far my preferred DAW and as much as I am excited to continue to grow with it, I am not convinced all of this will end well. Maybe it will all just continue to trundle along and nothing major will happen, but I dunno, it seems this is the way everything is going now. I don't think its a PH problem, its just the system we are in. The rapid advancement of technology and the economic ideologies springing from it / pushing it forward are very much double edged. It always works out best for the minority though, and venture capitalists are venture capitalists - don't kid yourself thinking they have any real conscience when it comes to long term users. Income generation is there game, this has been proven time and time again through recent history. Technology has made music tech a viable investment strategy now, that's why we see NI and Props receiving big cash injections, but it is no different from any other short lived free for all the vultures have feasted on in the past. It probably wont end well, and it waters down the scene. I think everything is peaking just now and it will all come tumbling down soon, for some of us at least. Some seem to love the idea of subscriptions etc, more than I would have expected, and I fear they will give these companies and the small groups of individuals navigating them free reign to get silly.

Im sure the new CEO is a nice enough person. Im sure he is smart etc, but these people are wired a very particular way and I think it is at odds with the essence of creativity. Its all commercialised now, and they want it to continue to be more so.

2chris
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Post 22 May 2019

Congrats to the new CEO, and I'd say it's a sad day that Ernst is leaving - except that he's not. Being a board member and founder means he will still guide the company. Plus he needs his shares to keep increasing in value. He has a lot to be proud of, and 25 years is so long that I respect his decision and it's well deserved to have a little less stress. I started with Re-Birth and then Reason 1, and I was just a kid having fun with music. Look at it now, people are earning a living with this tool. He has accomplished exciting things with his team, and he has a lot to be proud of.

Here's to the continued success of the company! With the audio engine now updated, who knows what awesome and weird stuff is being worked on. New leadership means new ideas, but I hope the culture stays similar and only the focus on certain things changes. I hope the CEO's first task is adding a few more developers to the core Reason team rather than pulling people away toward iOS, but I have hope this change could result in a lot of good things to come.

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Post 22 May 2019

2chris wrote:
22 May 2019
...I hope the CEO's first task is adding a few more developers to the core Reason team...
There will be lots of nice words but the new CEO's ONLY task is to prepare the company for sale by growing the profits so the venture capitalist investors can recoup their investment plus a bit. There are two ways to grow the profits: increase sales or cut costs. The major cost for any software company is the staff salaries. Profit is everything to those folks so don't expect a sudden boost in dev headcount. :(

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Post 22 May 2019

boingy wrote:
22 May 2019
the new CEO's ONLY task is to prepare the company for sale by growing the profits so the venture capitalist investors can recoup their investment plus a bit.
That's hardly the "only" task for a CEO. :lol:
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Post 22 May 2019

EnochLight wrote:
22 May 2019
boingy wrote:
22 May 2019
the new CEO's ONLY task is to prepare the company for sale by growing the profits so the venture capitalist investors can recoup their investment plus a bit.
That's hardly the "only" task for a CEO. :lol:
It is when they are appointed by venture capitalists. Everything he does will be profits led. Everything.

As stated by Ernst, this CEO was lined up on day one of the investment and has been appointed purely to help the VCs cash in that investment. I've seen it first hand two times now. Look back at this thread in one to two years time and you'll get it. :thumbs_up:

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EnochLight
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Post 22 May 2019

boingy wrote:
22 May 2019
EnochLight wrote:
22 May 2019


That's hardly the "only" task for a CEO. :lol:
It is when they are appointed by venture capitalists. Everything he does will be profits led. Everything.

As stated by Ernst, this CEO was lined up on day one of the investment and has been appointed purely to help the VCs cash in that investment. I've seen it first hand two times now. Look back at this thread in one to two years time and you'll get it. :thumbs_up:
I'm just saying, you're grossly simplifying the CEO's role. Obviously it's to maximize shareholder profits, but there's a ton more they have to do. Read up:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_executive_officer

If Propellerhead are sold to a new buyer in one to two years time, I'll happily eat my shoe though. ;)
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boingy
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Post 22 May 2019

EnochLight wrote:
22 May 2019
boingy wrote:
22 May 2019


It is when they are appointed by venture capitalists. Everything he does will be profits led. Everything.

As stated by Ernst, this CEO was lined up on day one of the investment and has been appointed purely to help the VCs cash in that investment. I've seen it first hand two times now. Look back at this thread in one to two years time and you'll get it. :thumbs_up:
I'm just saying, you're grossly simplifying the CEO's role. Obviously it's to maximize shareholder profits, but there's a ton more they have to do. Read up:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_executive_officer

If Propellerhead are sold to a new buyer in one to two years time, I'll happily eat my shoe though. ;)
I'll fetch the mayo. :D

antic604

Post 22 May 2019

EnochLight wrote:
22 May 2019
I'm just saying, you're grossly simplifying the CEO's role. Obviously it's to maximize shareholder profits, but there's a ton more they have to do. Read up:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_executive_officer

If Propellerhead are sold to a new buyer in one to two years time, I'll happily eat my shoe though. ;)
I'm sure he very well knows what a CEO is supposed to be doing. He's just saying what this particular CEO's task is. And I agree.

The bigger question would then be - who's gonna buy Props and what they're gonna do with it? :o

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Boombastix
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Post 22 May 2019

boingy wrote:
22 May 2019
2chris wrote:
22 May 2019
...I hope the CEO's first task is adding a few more developers to the core Reason team...
There will be lots of nice words but the new CEO's ONLY task is to prepare the company for sale by growing the profits so the venture capitalist investors can recoup their investment plus a bit. There are two ways to grow the profits: increase sales or cut costs. The major cost for any software company is the staff salaries. Profit is everything to those folks so don't expect a sudden boost in dev headcount. :(
The first thing that happened was to cut Allihopa - it was bleeding, so HC cut has already been made, no impact on Reason. Now, profit per HC is at a very nice level as well as overall NP, so they can afford to hire. Yes, and two for hire ads are out... The VC probably has a 4-5 yr horizon, could be a bit longer. You can sell, or take it public, that's how they normally exit. The only thing that I think is a bit sad is.

The Allihopa cost/yr was IIRC about what 4x C++ dev would cost, so imagine what 4 dev could have done to overhaul Reason for 4 yrs. The discussion of the sequencer falling behind the competition, and lack of updates to legacy devices would probably not exist then. As far as the PH board goes, it was said Ernst stays on board, it often part of the deal in a buy out, to stay on for about 2yrs to manage/advice the transition. But no doubt who is the new boss, I think there are 4 new board members appointed by the VC, so they have full control. Let's just hope they don't put all eggs in the app/web basket and let Reason fall behind and become the "My Space" of DAWs. Reason has already lost nearly all content creators on YouTube, but easy to find a tonne of new Cubase, S1, Maschine, Abelton, FL Studio content. How will they attract new kids if nobody finds them on YouTube, or worse starts to be looked upon as a "lame duck for old heads"?

The next thing is kids work-flow, yup, loop based. Maschine has Sounds.com integration, Akai has Splice integration (both very recent). Splice has now a way big VC capital influx, this is where a big piece of where future revenue is coming from. Not many buy VST EQs anymore, hence the current $29 price tag for "$200" VST FX. Arturia V collection, $17 per synth, Waves Gold $3 per FX. Not much money left in the plugin market. Consolidation will probably have to happen. This integration thing will probably sweep the DAW market and become a major selling point, or slow death for those who has no new loop content to sell. Kinda like in app purchases. Niklas being an app guy may get this, if someone presents it to him. But I'm not a PH or Verdane adviser, but I hope he gets a good briefing about the DAW market. If there is one buyer for Reason that you probably haven't thought about, then it could be Loopmaster... All their kits are NN-XT and Kong already... Both PH and Loopmaser use UJAM dev kit for RE/VST...worlds connect. Who knows? Verdane can send me my 5% check when Loopmaster buys them :lol:
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Undistraction

Post 23 May 2019

Well let's just hope his exit strategy isn't the same as it was at his last company.

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Post 24 May 2019

Undistraction wrote:
23 May 2019
Well let's just hope his exit strategy isn't the same as it was at his last company.
:lol:

Yeah, I’ll concede that’s a little scary.
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zoidkirb
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Post 24 May 2019

Interesting to see Mattias and others talk about Blizzard and the Diablo Immortal controversy. A big moment of the drama was fans asking at least if the game would get ported from mobile to PC which was a flat no. Now here we are with rack devices migrating across from mobile to PC. Anyway, so far, so good with a nice surprise 10.4 release :cool:

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diminished
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Post 24 May 2019

zoidkirb wrote:
24 May 2019
Interesting to see Mattias and others talk about Blizzard and the Diablo Immortal controversy. A big moment of the drama was fans asking at least if the game would get ported from mobile to PC which was a flat no. Now here we are with rack devices migrating across from mobile to PC. Anyway, so far, so good with a nice surprise 10.4 release :cool:
Yeah I'm relieved to be honest. It's a cool way to expand for PH, although I find the pricing a bit steep. Then again, I'm sad that I don't have an iOS device :)
I wouldn't have expected to see Reason's mobile future that quick - which also means everything was already set in motion while we were scared of the new CEOs hypothetical path. Time to calm down I guess.
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