There’s something undeniably exciting about seeing a large cross-section of people from all over the world, in one place, who have chosen to do the same thing you do with your life being re-energised by a company you’ve loved and whose products have changed your life.
And so it was at the inaugural event of the Avid Customer Association yesterday (it continues today). I saw many jaded Avid customers (not ours of course!) with a new fervour in their eyes and excitement in their voice when discussing Avid and its works. As an exercise in customer re-engagement, based on my statistically insignificant sample, it appears to have been a towering success.
Prior to the event there have been plenty of naysayers
and I confess that I too expected it to be nothing more than a lot of empty marketing hooha. However, I suspended my disbelief – thanks for the tip, Marianna! – and (as an invited member of one of the Boards) engaged in good faith.
I am glad I did.
From Louis Hernandez’s electrifying delivery to the renewed passion for listening to customers that I saw in Avid employees eyes it has massively exceeded my expectations. I think the reason is that not only does Louis mean it (I am sure Kirk and all the preceding Avid leaders meant it too) but he also understands (as a coder and serial entrepreneur) what it is he is promising. In short; he appears to have a handle on how much there is to do and how to get shit done.
There was a lot more to it (I think a recording of all the events will be released sometime) but to boil it down to one thing that excites me about the ACA is that it is a public commitment to assemble all the interest groups in Avid’s customer base (the resellers, the little guy pissing and moaning in the Avid forum, the medium and large Post Houses, the Big Broadcaster, the 3rd party devs etc.) in committees who will be encouraged to provide structured advice and feedback to Avid as to where they should spend their R&D dollars and, essentially, how they should be running the company. On the first day Louis signed a document that commits them, legally, to sharing the feedback and their response to all the advice back to the community in a totally transparent manner.
Once they have provided their response we, the council members, get two votes. If the first idea or suggestion we vote for gets few other votes then we can use the second one to get behind one of the more popular ones. Once all of the committees have voted Avid management will swing into action; that’s when we will really find out if it was all marketing hooha after all 😉
You can keep an eye on things as they develop here