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Victims of your own marketing...

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Hello Platform team. As I look through the support docs and the forum posts -- they seem replete with unsatisfied customers. People who thought this would be easier than it turns out to be... And who could blame them? Your sales pitch claims, "Build custom websites in seconds, with drag & drop layout and content." And you charge a hundred bucks for the privilege with no refunds. That's serious money, as far as wordpress themes go, at least. People think that "for $100 bucks, I had better be making awesome sites with it." And you can, but not if you don't know anything about Wordpress, CSS, PHP, web standards, and effective design principles. Which your workers obviously do. You are selling a tool, but like any tool, it relies on the skill and vision of the craftsman to do its best work. Photoshop is a tool, a piano is a tool, hell, a hammer is a tool. In the right hands these tools make beautiful things, but just because you have the tool doesn't guarantee YOU will make beautiful things. And therein lies the problem. You are calling this thing a framework, but then selling it along with your themes. People buy a theme assuming they will have SOME customization, but the theme will have a general look and feel (which is why they bought it) and they will ultimately be able to get it MOSTLY the way they want it to look and work. They pay for the shortcut. People aren't prepared for unlimited possibilities. They didn't know they were going to have to bring all the creativity to the table. They didn't realize that development and design are 2 distinctly different pieces of any project. You guys have the development locked down. This is the easiest way to assemble the nuts and bolts of a site that I have ever seen. It's the design part that is a) equally important to the finished product and B) IMPOSSIBLE for you to guess what everyone wants, that is missing. That's not your fault, insomuch as we should have known that we needed to bring the ideas. You shouldn't be held accountable for that, BUT when you market a product that can "Build custom websites in seconds," and "You??™ll be surprised at how easy it is to look pro," you can't blame someone for expecting the world. I think you need to change the way you sell this product. Platform is a tool, not a theme. It fast tracks your designs and allows you to turn your idea into a functioning site in a much shorter amount of time than traditional coding. But you need an idea to bring to life first and you need a sense of what is and isn't possible. And you need to deal with the people who thought this product was something it isn't. You can't just say <PARAPHRASE>guys, of course this thing can't design a website for you. you need to take some responsibility in the creative process,</PARAPHRASE> as Bryan Hadaway is doing tonight, ESPECIALLY when you just sold them a product that claimed it would build custom websites in seconds... Here's what I know about people and selling things: 1) If something is 'as expected' people don't usually write a review telling the world that the product is just what it's supposed to be. Only people who are tickled to death write positive reviews. But people who are pissed write bad reviews, they write a bunch of them, and they tell everyone who will listen. Bad feedback on the internet will BURY you, especially because people look for reviews about products before they spend $100 bucks. I'm sure that most people have gotten exactly what they expected from this product, but you need to deal with the ones who didn't -- it'll cost you more than their one sale if you don't... 2. The recipe for happy customers is to under-promise and over-deliver. It's about managing expectations. You'd rather sell half as many copies to the RIGHT people and let them go tell their friends how wonderful it is. A recommendation from a trusted source is 100x more powerful that any ad you can run or review a stranger can post. Now, I know I'm busting your guys balls pretty hard, but I am only doing it because I recognize what a wonderful product this truly is. I don't want to see the squeaky wheels hurt your product or it's potential. I think, properly marketed, this thing is a great product for any armchair, or maybe even pro, DESIGNER who has the vision to make beautiful sites, but not necessarily the dev chops to do all the under-the-hood coding. I can see that if I learn just a little bit more, I can unleash this beast on any future project and have a solid, standards-compliant, SEO-optimized, ready-for-content site up in days instead of weeks. It's a powerful tool. I think you should sell it that way... EP

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