Speculation about new dude

This forum is for discussing Propellerhead's music software. Questions, answers, ideas, and opinions... all apply.
scratchnsnifff
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Joined: 21 Sep 2016

Post 15 Aug 2019

Was wondering what people think about that CEO transfer


I loved how propellerhead took care of their updating from 5-10

Reason has changed for the better in the past few years.

Do you guys think this new person will be synthesizer/device oriented?

Or do you think he will try to focus on more platform type issues?

I’d love to see a update cycle plan, for example one or two major improvements along with one or two user requests.
I think the next big update will be something that was started with earnst, so I think it’s more likely that we will see how the new guy works during the 11.5 and beyond cycles.

Exciting times, and I don’t even know what I’m excited for.
Mayor of plucktown :evil:

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antic604
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Location: Warsaw, Poland

Post 15 Aug 2019

As far as I can tell he's money & mobile oriented.
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reddust
Posts: 384
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Post 15 Aug 2019

antic604 wrote:
15 Aug 2019
As far as I can tell he's money & mobile oriented.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

well, I think all CEOs are money oriented, that's why they are CEOs in the first place... now we need to check if he's a smart CEO or just one more on the list that just goes with the flow when giving form to the business. I hope he concentrates in making Reason even a better product for the customers, then at the very end that's what's going to make money long term

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Raveshaper
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Post 15 Aug 2019

I do not envy the task before him.

If he's smart he'll ask for his salary up front in a one-time disbursement, take the tax hit as a nominal loss, then resign citing creative differences.

He's got to somehow deal with:
  • Decreasing patience of investors
  • Brand identity crisis
  • Product irrelevance
  • Development stagnation
  • Third party developer exploitation
  • Blindness of corporate vision
  • Deafness of public relations
  • Bleak industry perception
No, I do not envy that man.
But maybe bringing someone else in is a clue for how these issues were able to pile up for so long?
However it turns out, I have already washed my hands of it. In the mean time, time is passing.
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Luxuria
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Post 15 Aug 2019

He hasn't said anything to the public since he took over in June. The company also hasn't made any announcements regarding the future for Reason or anything for that matter.

Based on that I don't think I can form a valid opinion on him. I don't like his track record if I'm being honest. He worked at Ericsson for 5 years so it would appear he has a background in telecomm and networking. He co-founded the app Instabridge which is just a map of all the public wifi spots available.

He has no musical or audio engineering backgrounds from what I can tell. His last tweet from 7 hours ago reads, "And suddenly I need three screens" with a picture from headnodproduction's multi-touch setup shared on Prop's instagram.

It doesn't appear he has any intent on creating an account on Reasontalk and saying hello or introducing himself to the official unofficial forum for Propellerhead Reason users.

I think he will advocate and push Reason Compact updates heavily while letting the core Reason program update at a snail's pace with lackluster features or unwanted additional devices/freebies that were sold in the shop at one point but are now included for free. The devices released outside of the core program by Phead's like Processed Pianos and PSS will be churned out with a new device every 3-4 months while the point updates to the core program will be seen every 6-7 months if that. Reason 11 will include small improvements that Phead's markets as "revolutionary and huge for music makers" while in reality those updates will have been long overdue or a fraction of what a major update from any other DAW company would deliver. At least one of the major areas that are updated will be half baked and not well though out, making us question if they themselves use their own products. Pheads will neglect any negative criticism and avoid discussion on why said feature wasn't implemented fully and refer any suggestions to be sent to their support email in which you will get a generic thank you reply back. The community will add the plethora of features they neglected to implement to the list of future requests we'd like to see be included in Reason.

All while there will be little to none communication on what we could expect on anything Reason related, leaving us clueless and speculating till the next major release, rinse and repeat.

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boingy
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Post 15 Aug 2019

He's there to prepare the company for sale because venture capitalists need a return on their investment. That's all.

reggie1979
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Joined: 11 Apr 2019

Post 15 Aug 2019

With the gloom and doom of his arrival, guess I should make sure I keep a copy of 10.4 on hand, just in case :lol:

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Aquila
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Joined: 21 Jan 2015

Post 15 Aug 2019

Wow it took 5 posts to speculate about the end of props. Far out.

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dioxide
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Post 15 Aug 2019

antic604 wrote:
15 Aug 2019
As far as I can tell he's money & mobile oriented.
I'd say those two things don't go together. I think mobile = money in 2010.

Do you think Propellerhead are raking in the cash from Reason Mobile? I don't. A******a was free and had no way for PH to generate income.

owlymane
Posts: 141
Joined: 27 Feb 2019

Post 15 Aug 2019

Aquila wrote:
15 Aug 2019
Wow it took 5 posts to speculate about the end of props. Far out.
:lol:

It seems like the CEO replacement was a "planned succession", and Ernst will remain shareholder and board member. Maybe we should trust Ernst and the board's planning decision and see how things go. After all, a CEO becomes one from the vote of the board members.

Also regarding the new CEO's previous experience in a different industry and his new entrance to the audio world, this is not a problem at all. A CEO's main objectives are to properly manage the company's operations and resources, and be be the public face of the company. Reason's development progress and design is a whole process spread between different developers and designers teams and planned by the board members.

I look forward to seeing how things will hopefully improve. And now that I'm informed that he used to work for Ericsson it makes me more excited because he must have a lot of experience under his belt from Ericsson's previous rollercoaster business cycle.

Undistraction
Posts: 209
Joined: 11 May 2018

Post 15 Aug 2019

I think the fact we've heard nothing from him speaks volumes.

He's been handed a failing company with a rapidly shrinking user base, and will have the investors on his back looking to him to find some kind of way to recoup their investment.

Not the greatest situation to be in. For him or for us.

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Aosta
Posts: 273
Joined: 26 Jun 2017

Post 15 Aug 2019

I think the whole 'Reason Compact' shenanigans which ultimately concluded with users having shell out 30 earth moneys for a pretty limited bundle when it comes to mobile music making probably made them retreat and rethink their direction and business model. I mean how many people actually bought the europa, monotone and rythmik upgrades?
Tend the flame

reggie1979
Posts: 661
Joined: 11 Apr 2019

Post 15 Aug 2019

Aquila wrote:
15 Aug 2019
Wow it took 5 posts to speculate about the end of props. Far out.
Yeah, I mean we really just don't know, do we? BUT, it IS the speculation thread ;)

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Luxuria
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Post 15 Aug 2019

It'd be unfair to put the pressure on him. The Propellerhead company has appeared shaky from the consumers perspective for some time now. Just looking at the numbers that we can observe their products aren't attracting enough attention. Every time a new device comes out there are <100 comments on Facebook of which half are asking for better features or aren't impressed. The number of reviews in the shop for their new devices are 10-20. We don't know how many people actually bought the last set of new devices, but if only 20 people left a simple 1 click star rating I can't assume its a lot.

The company not only brought Niklas in as CEO, but Sophia as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing and Timothy as Senior VP of Product. They may be on the right track in terms of business, but I think they need to shake things up on the developer level. Getting some new C++ programmers would be a positive start. I'm not sure who's in charge of product direction but I think they should be replaced. If it's the Product Manager, sorry but personally I don't think Mattias has done what's best for Reason. Even on the forums; he has an act of picking and choosing what he replies to, and for the most part avoids any serious topics about actually talking with us when it comes to implementing what the community wants in Reason.

I think there is a lack of seriousness being shown by Pheads. Like the consumer is going to shell out any amount of money for whatever product they release. I don't know a single musician, producer, or engineer that doesn't put all their dedication in trying to make music that sells or attracts a crowd. All the while the marketing has been targeting happy fun loving vibes. Well, hate to break it to you, but the kids also want to make it big or make living doing music and not just jam and have a good time killing a few hours.

As Raveshaper pointed out, the two biggest things in my opinion are brand identity crisis and bleak industry perception. Phead's didn't want to even get in the DAW business back in the day and slowly but surely they are here and don't know what to do. The rest of the industry is evolving with the times while Pheads is trying to scramble around and be anything but a DAW. They are trying mobile, they are trying to expand their RE format as web devices, but nothing is sticking better then if they buckled down and invested in tools to compete with other DAW's on a professional level.

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raymondh
Posts: 1188
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Post 15 Aug 2019

Undistraction wrote:
15 Aug 2019
He's been handed a failing company with a rapidly shrinking user base,
I thought Props was a private company. If you have financials or user base data that would be very interesting!
Win 10 64-bit | :reason: 10 | Scarlet 18i8 | M-Audio Code 61 | KRK VXT-6 | JX-8P | System-8 | D-05 | JP-08 | Sirin
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MannequinRaces
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Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 15 Aug 2019

Lol, there’s so much blatant speculation in this thread from people who don’t know jack shit about the inner workings of the company, it’s ridiculous.

reggie1979
Posts: 661
Joined: 11 Apr 2019

Post 15 Aug 2019

But again, it's the SPECULATION thread, it's all on-topic despite what some of think about those speculations ;)

reggie1979
Posts: 661
Joined: 11 Apr 2019

Post 15 Aug 2019

Didn't he say in the beginning "let the speculations begin" ????????? Seems to me I have that tucked away somewhere.

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MannequinRaces
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Post 15 Aug 2019

Speculation about the new dude... not about financials, or a failing company (wtf), or decreasing patience of investors, haha. Totally off the rails from what the OP asked about.

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QVprod
Posts: 2266
Joined: 15 Jan 2015

Post 15 Aug 2019

I think there are some very high expectations in this thread for a man who's barely been on the job for 2 months... :roll: It's not even the same industry he's operated in. It takes time to get acclimated to a position before any real moves can be made. At least wait for Reason 11 to be announced before resorting to the usual obligatory doom and gloom.

I would agree though, that there are some challenges he faces as far as Reason as a product. Will be interesting to see what comes next seeing as this is the first time a founder is no longer the head of the company. May have fresh ideas since he's from the outside. For those who don't like the moves Propellerhead has been making in recent years, if they moved someone in house to that position, we probably end up with more of the same.

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Jagwah
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Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 15 Aug 2019

I wouldn't be surprised if there's a big push for mobile. I don't see how it has stopped being the holy grail of consumer markets. Literally everybody has their phone with them 24/7, if you can get your business in there and have the user opening your app every day - maybe you can get the whole world doing it.

I think this push for mobile still has a few years left in it and we will see at least some development there from Props.

Luxuria wrote:
15 Aug 2019
I'm not sure who's in charge of product direction but I think they should be replaced. If it's the Product Manager, sorry but personally I don't think Mattias has done what's best for Reason. Even on the forums; he has an act of picking and choosing what he replies to, and for the most part avoids any serious topics about actually talking with us when it comes to implementing what the community wants in Reason.
You should try and understand the massive pressure that comes with representing a company on social media that usually keeps very tight lipped about everything.
Luxuria wrote:
15 Aug 2019
They are trying mobile, they are trying to expand their RE format as web devices, but nothing is sticking better then if they buckled down and invested in tools to compete with other DAW's on a professional level.
I agree and wish they would just do this, and take their time about it. Show the world a really big Reason update and get people taking Reason more seriously as a competitive DAW.

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boingy
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Joined: 01 Feb 2019

Post 16 Aug 2019

The new CEO is in place because that's the deal PH cut with the venture capitalists at the outset. They invest in a company with a view to selling it in 3 to 5 years. Part way through that they install their own CEO to ensure that the "value" of the company is optimised for that sale. That means going for short-term sales boosts and reducing costs. Once the company is sold the CEO stays in place for 6 to 12 months then moves on to the next company the VCs have bought.

It's not a death knell for PH but the VCs are purely about profits and do not take a long-term view of a company. It can be a positive thing because they are not afraid to make unemotional decisions about products and practices that maybe should have been dropped years ago. If you go to any company that is still being run my its founders you'll find quite a few examples of "but we've always done it like that" - systems and practices that everyone accepts but that maybe are not appropriate any longer. But it can also be a negative thing because they tend to cut resources on anything that will not pay back in the short-term. I've seen it first hand. Just be happy you are not a PH employee...

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QVprod
Posts: 2266
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Post 16 Aug 2019

boingy wrote:
16 Aug 2019
The new CEO is in place because that's the deal PH cut with the venture capitalists at the outset. They invest in a company with a view to selling it in 3 to 5 years. Part way through that they install their own CEO to ensure that the "value" of the company is optimised for that sale. That means going for short-term sales boosts and reducing costs. Once the company is sold the CEO stays in place for 6 to 12 months then moves on to the next company the VCs have bought.

It's not a death knell for PH but the VCs are purely about profits and do not take a long-term view of a company. It can be a positive thing because they are not afraid to make unemotional decisions about products and practices that maybe should have been dropped years ago. If you go to any company that is still being run my its founders you'll find quite a few examples of "but we've always done it like that" - systems and practices that everyone accepts but that maybe are not appropriate any longer. But it can also be a negative thing because they tend to cut resources on anything that will not pay back in the short-term. I've seen it first hand. Just be happy you are not a PH employee...
Sounds like the change people want, provided the parties involved are actually doing market research. How to make Propellerhead and attractive sale item? Enhance its products. Can't speak for the employees, but the only way this goes south is if they ignore what competition offers. Regarding that, we did see VST support added, which probably helped Reason's salability. Who knows what else hell might freeze over on.

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joeyluck
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Post 16 Aug 2019

Luxuria wrote:
15 Aug 2019
He hasn't said anything to the public since he took over in June.
You can follow him on Twitter...








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Luxuria
Posts: 106
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Post 16 Aug 2019

joeyluck wrote:
16 Aug 2019
Luxuria wrote:
15 Aug 2019
He hasn't said anything to the public since he took over in June.
You can follow him on Twitter...
I quoted the first tweet in my original post. Sorry for not being clear. He hasn't said anything "new" that we hadn't already heard from prior to him taking seat as CEO.

A tweet about his future plans or ambition behind taking the position would be welcome, but Ernst never talked about such matters either so I guess its the same routine with Niklas. And if I wanted to be informed on all things Magic the Gathering I'll just follow Mattias.

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